Tuneage Tutelage - New Music Monday....Nicholas Howard

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day THREE of Jamaica and NEW MUSIC - Remember this contest runs through September 15th.

Someone will win a CD each day (to be announced when I return) - what is better than coming to hear some new music, liking it, and then getting the CD sent to you...BAM!

Here is the contest - To the blogger that refers the most people here over the next week, you will have first choice of about 20 CDs I have plus you can opt to have me burn a CD from my personal collection- including all the bootleg concert music.

They have to come, leave a comment that makes sense and relates to the post (even if it is I like them or I hate them), leave your name in the comment so you get credit, and they must vote in the poll. I can tell who does what - believe me I can...

Come on - Pimp the New Music this week...what can it cost ya? A few friends????

Today, welcome to The Couch, Mr. Nicholas Howard. I read that Mr. Howard's influences are Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, The Beatles, Al Green and Billie Holiday and that he has been compared to Citizen Cope, Maroon 5, Simply Red, Al Green and Gnarls Barkley I immediately have to slap this puppy into the player.

But for a second I am stopped and a smile creeps over my face. OK, even if this guy's music sucks, I love him for his CD. I promise I will show you another time, but the CD is black and has 'grooves' pressed into it like a vinyl album - including the 'blank' areas between songs...Very cool packaging Mr. Howard!

What about the music? The music is soulful..."Mother"

This is one of those artists where when you hear his voice, you look at the picture and listen to the voice and look at the picture and wonder where it is coming from.

The music begins to make even more sense when you read his bio:
Nicholas grew up with the best of both worlds, the neighborhood streets of Queens, and in the household, a pair of artist-type parents (mother a modern dancer, father a writer) who introduced him to Bach and Billy Holiday, and everything in between.

By age ten he was trying his hand at hip-hop rhymes, and making his own beats. After squirming through high school in downtown Manhattan, he went south to Florida to earn a degree in audio engineering. After graduation he landed a job at the bottom-of-the- heap at Right Track Studio off Times Square. Before he left, he was in the control room for projects that featured some of hip-hop's finest, including the Neptunes, Fabolous, Joe Budden and Nas.

But the creative bug had bitten and there was nothing that would satisfy but putting out his own music. He took on the challenge and founded his own independent music company, Belief & Hustle Records. Teaming up with co-producer Rocky Grisez, he launched his first album, A Rip in the Sky. The chorus of the opening track defined the album and his own destiny: "Miss Music, you've got my soul."

The new CD, God Is in the City, is Nicholas' ode to the city that inspires him. He explains, "To me New York is a blessed place, because it's a place where people put themselves in the toughest situation possible in order to realize their dreams." In his CD's Thank-You's Nicholas ends with these words: "To the streets of NYC that have influenced me and my music, I say thank you for all your inspiring attributes and the honesty and integrity you hold within your concrete shell. This album is made in your name."

The CD God In The City is the one sent to us. This CD is gritty..."Life Is A Mystery"

This CD is hip-shaking..."My Hands Are Rough"

Mr. Howard responded to our questions...

How long have you been playing and what was your first instrument?
I'm actually a dibbler and dabbler in the instrument realm. My real
instrument is my voice but I play a little piano (and learning more every day)
and a little guitar. The first instrument that I ever played was the violin
and that, I think, trained my ear for music and writing of music.

What's the song you're most proud of writing?
My latest "proud of" song is "Mother" because it is about the environment
and speaks to a real and pertinent issue facing the world today. I want
everyone to listen to that one. Not for record sales or popularity sake,
but in hopes that people's eyes might be opened.

What's your favorite iPod track this week?
Besides "Mother" you mean?!?! Actually, there is this woman Daniela Cotton
who I have been listening to and she has this song "Bound" that I really
enjoy. Great voice she has.

What was the first album you ever bought?
I know this wasn't the first record I bought but it's the most memorable one
for me. It was "oooo on the TLC tip" by TLC. I was in love with those
girls. It was also the first CD I bought, and I didn't even have a CD

If you could craft an all-star band, who would play in it?
Drums by Clyde Stubblefield (the funky drummer from James Brown band),
Bootsy Collins on bass, Ray Charles on keys, Curtis Mayfield on the guitar
and the horn section from Chicago. I won't even get into background

What do you think is the most alarming media story in the last few
The releasing of the satellite photos of the polar ice caps that the Bush
administration suppressed during his term. They are melting at an even
more rapid rate than you might think.

Do you support any specific charities and how do you give back as an
I support child hood arts education and I'm in the process of trying to set
up a non-profit school for music and dance. It will be a while but I will
get it up and running.

What is the most adventurous food you've ever eaten?
My room mates refrigerator concoctions. ;-)

Thank you Sir...

I did this CD...I think y'all will also...

I will share two with you (but dang it all, this is tough to share only two this week...)
The title track, "God Is In The City" (the changes in tempo and total direction made me sit up and hit replay)and "Different View" - I love the use of cymbals and fingers cymbals in this one

7 Of Your Sparks

  1. Jay Says:
  2. Really not my kind of music at all.

    Rock on Vinny!

  3. Micky-T Says:
  4. Really liked the first 3 min. of the first song.

  5. Starrlight Says:
  6. Well the players hate me here at work so I went to his My Space. God's in the City was pretty funky although the transition was a bit much for me.

    LOVED Mother. And So Much Left to Say, which I listened to on his site. I likes him!

  7. ...thoroughly enjoyable, sir. Shades of Tower of Power in there...

  8. Mimi Lenox Says:
  9. I'm lovin' that you took the time to keep us entertained and up-to-date while you are honeymooning somewhere on a sandy beach.
    Just sayin..

  10. Travis Says:
  11. I kind of like this.

  12. JohnH985 Says:
  13. I love Mr. Howard. I've been listening to his cd a lot since I got it. Very good.


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