- Posted August 13, 2014 by
NYC, New York
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CNN iReport Music Spotlight: Interview With Rising Star Ebon Lurks
What is the significance of your name?
I’m named after my dad; I’ve never really known him since he and my mother where both murdered when I was 2 yrs old. He was an undercover detective in Muskogee, Ok working with the FBI. My grandma tells me stories about my father every day and how much I remind her of him. She says I get my singing, confidence, sense of humor, and smile from my dad. The root of the Ebon also means Black Warrior, so I try to always channel my inner warrior whenever I am faced with challenges. Whether a letdown or not getting the outcome I was hoping for in situations.
Who is your target market?
The world! I don’t like the concept of boxed in music by genre, like even though Michael Jackson was considered Pop/R&B he was able to impact the world with his music. Music without boundaries should be a genre. My style of music is definitely pop and I say up-tempo R&B because it’s not traditional slow R&B. So it’s not Pop but up-tempo music with a soulful twist.
What is your USP? (Unique Selling Proposition) and what sets you apart from other artists?
I don’t really try to mirror other acts; I love to play the acoustic guitar while signing R&B songs which I feel is different. I just focus on what makes me happy musically and don’t really get caught up in the comparisons. I personally want to break barriers and bring people together. Meaning I don’t want to limit myself to just R&B music based on my mixed race. My manager envisions us being the modern day Jimmy Hendrix by bringing a bit of flavor to pop or alternative songs. Jimmy was a genius with the electric guitar and it got him recognized, at the time electric guitar (even now) was used for primarily rock records but he brought more of a funk/soul sound to it. An African American man who was able to break down a wall through music and intertwined his influence and culture with what was loved by predominately white fans was a huge progression for society I feel.
What single or project are you currently pushing?
We just released my debut EP June 30th and the response was crazy. My website even crashed 3 times on the day we released it. We are over 40,000 visits and downloads so far.
What is the philosophy by which you live by?
Never quit your day dream!
I’m a huge believer in believing in your dreams and not allowing anyone to stop you from reaching them or happiness for that matter.
Which artists have inspired you?
Justin Bieber, because he was so young when he started and achieved success that most artist don’t see until later in their careers or never at all. I also admire his work ethic and dedication. Chris Brown also for his determination to over come adversity in his personal life. Growing as an artist and human being, and not being afraid to admit his mistakes to the public, and while he continues to get ridiculed for his past he seems to always keep a smile on his face and understand that he is blessed to be able to live out his dream.
Who does your production?
Currently as far as production we don’t have one or two producer we work with. I feel sometimes when you work with one producer they must stick to their signature sound, so if I record to their tracks only a lot of the music might sound redundant in its sound. That is why we like to get submissions from a bunch of producers and whichever tracks we love we work on. Currently as far as songwriting goes my manager writes all the songs or I might assist if I’m with him at the time. For example I wrote the hook to “He Aint Worth It”, the chemistry and vibe is always there when we write so we definitely plan on joining forces on more records.
What is your opinion of the current state of the music industry?
Personally, I love it. The beauty of complete freedom of expression of in its self-alone is beautiful. Then being able to capture that in a song is amazing to me. I love the progression being made, of course there are standard mainstream records that all sound the same, but then you have the few risk takers who help evolve our beliefs and understanding to what popular music should sound like. And a lot of people tend to complain that the music industry sucks for allowing recycled music to constantly play on the radio, but if you look at which songs are on billboard top 10 or even #1 you can see that it’s evolving and being more acceptance of “different”. Also the fans truly have a say in what becomes popular, so if you a type of music or artist you should support them 100% from shows, cds, to merchandise that way that sound will catch on a major label.
If you can change one thing about the music industry what would it be and why?
I would want it to be more accepting toward acts that push the boundaries of music. I feel that a lot of creative musicians dumb themselves down in order to fit industry standards. There is a saying that there is sort of formula to create a hit record which entails upbeat track, catchy melody and lyrics that have n substance. I understand there are times where you want to just have fun and not have to think to hard while listening to music, but It would be nice for radio to play more diverse music rather than just dance music. Once mainstream radio becomes more accepting of songs with messages and meaning, it will force artist to push themselves as artist as well.
Are there any singers that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Yes, Chris brown, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and Boys 2 Men. I feel they’ve all brought something unique to music and also I look up to them so it would definitely be amazing to collaborate with them.
What producer would you like to work with in the future?
Rodney Jerkins is a producer that I’ve studied and am aware of all the work he has done from Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Beyonce and the list goes on. To work with someone who has worked with so many big names would be an honor.
What are some major misconceptions that you think people have of you?
Theirs a misconception towards artist who are considered “well known”, like in my case when I meet people the first thing they say to me after hanging out is that I’m normal and humble. People sometime assume fame makes you cocky or out of tune with society but I’m always respectful and remember where I come from. Also my grandma and the people I keep around me keep me grounded. I’m very grateful with what God has and continues to bless me with.
What is your favorite part of your live show? How has it evolved?
Interacting with the fans and seeing fans singing your lyrics with you is a surreal feeling. I was doing the OMG Fest in Houston April 2013 and it was my first large show and it was my first time in Texas, so it was so exciting an unreal to see people scream my name, ask for autographs and know the words to my song. After that show my confidence grew immensely ot the point where I like to bring one lucky fan on the stage and sing to her.
What is your album going to be like?
Everything people can relate to from love, break ups, friends, and helping you over come obstacles.
What is your website?
Any final words for the people.
Thank you to all my #LURKERS who gave me confidence and so much love towards my self titles Debut EP. I just hope to continue to put out impactful music for every day people, and hopefully create soundtracks to peoples lives.