Catching Up With Josh Milan
Although I do realize that this is a very euphoric kind of dream. However I am a Dreamer. I believe that one person can definitely make a difference and I'm trying. Music should inspire you.
[Byrd's Eye View]
I had the chance to catch up with Internationally known musician-producer-songwriter Josh Milan from the popular 90's group Blaze, here in New York City. I will be attending his listening party and video premiere in the city on August 27th, 2010. Milan's label, Honey Comb Music specializes in funk and soul sounds and is set to release a compilation of CD featuring eight outstanding vocalists including the acclaimed Sandra St. Victor and ChinahBlac. Milan wrote and produced all of the songs with the first single being the edgy "Til You Go Home," performed by in-demand and noted backup singer ChinahBlac.
SB: Can you tell us a little about your back ground?
JM: I am a typical church boy, from Brooklyn, New York-born and raised. I Got into the music industry early on,I was fifteen. I got bored with high school, and got together with some friends who did the music thing. So then eventually one thing led to another, and we got a lil record deal with an independent label and have been doing this ever since.
SB: How many years have you been in the industry?
JM: Well guess it should be about 25 years now.It's not easy, with having morals and being raised in the church and having good parents. All of that is not a good combination if you want to make money in this industry. But I'm never gonna be vulgar. My lyrics will always be for the whole family to hear. And unfortunately in this business if you're not talking about something racy or real sexual, it's rare that you'll be a hit; you know like number one on top. It's rare. Here I am talking about loving yourself and these great things that we should live by.
SB: You have been in the industry for 25 yrs, and you have new music and also a new label. Can you talk about that?
JM: This is true. I started this label in April of this year, only because I saw a need to have a label that does good music. I'm not a old-old guy, but I'm kinda old school when it comes to my music. I like The O'jays, The Commodors. Remember when groups used to happen? Like Earth Wind and Fire. You know groups! And that kind of sound, Shavaughn, is not happening. Nobody is doing that kind of music. You have some great artists that are doing some wholesome music like Laila Hathaway, Rashan Patterson. They are doing great stuff! In what I'm doing, I'm not compromising the message and I'm not compromising the sound of the music. The sound of the music is gonna be organic. I have real musicians playing on my stuff and that's all that I'm ever going to do. I have some things, like drum machines, but for the most part on every song that I'm putting out somebody's playing something. And that's what my label Honeycomb Music is gonna be about.
And also there is a myth that you have to be real young to put out a record, you know like Rhianna she's twenty-something. Beyonce was like 19 or something when she came out with Destiny's Child. So if you're like 35 to 40 years old, your not gonna really feel comfortable, or like you have a chance. Well my label is not going to discriminate, I'm about talent. If you got talent and you can actually sing. I'm with it. Another thing, back in the day, you know Billy Paul, Mrs. Jones, Issac Hayes rockin' in their forties! Billy Jackson, I mean I could go on for days. A lot of people back in the day were older, doing it! And now our standards have gotten so low we are looking for babies to come out to sing and put'em in a thong, I'm not into it. So that what Honey Comb is doing...Trying to make it happen.
SB: Is it safe for me to say you're trying to get music back to being more authentic?
JM: Yes. Although I do realize that this is a very euphoric kind of dream. However I am a Dreamer. I believe that one person can definitely make a difference and I'm trying. Music should inspire you.
SB: Out of all the songs that you have written or was featured on, do you have a favorite?
JM: I haven't written my favorite song yet. But I guess if I had to pick a favorite, there was a song I did called "Found Love" I did house music for the last 25 years but the music I'm doing now, I don't wanna just call it house music although they do play it in the club. It's reminiscent of Chaka Khan and Rufus and those kind of people. So It's not clearly house. Long story short, Found Love was almost like a ballad, so I put it out and the way people played it in clubs; club music is kinda like boom-boom, but this is like a love song. And they were still rockin it out. It became one of my favorite songs to perform.
SB: What was your inspiration for writing the song?
JM: It was after dealing with the pressures of life; happens to everybody. I was a little down, I'm a spiritual brotha, I believe in God and I talk to him all the time. And at one particular moment, I don't want to get to deep on you Shavaughn, but I really did feel God's presence in my life and I wrote this song Found Love, in other words I found God. Because God is Love.
SB: Are there any artists present or past that you would like to work with?
JM: Yes. Let me tell you a funny story. I really wanted to work with Chaka Khan for many years. If I write a song for a female, I write it like Chaka Khan would do it. But the problem is that now so many people have worked with her that it's almost like I don't even want to do it now because it's saturated. My man Louie Melvic is producing Chaka Khan now, Jimmy Jam and Terry Louis put out a great album on Chaka Khan recently, so how many more Chaka Khan albums can be put out? But I guess if I had to pick, it would still be her, but she has worked with so many people, I want to make a difference I don't want to be just one of the numbers. This single that I just put on out on Honeycomb Music, My artist, her name is ChinahBlac. Chinah if you listen to the song, it sounds like Chaka Khan music. She is also a huge fan of Chaka Khan.
SB: Where can we go to find your music?
JM: Well right now you can go to www.Trapsource.com and type in my name or Honeycomb music and there you are. After August 27th I will be on all of the music sites.
SB: How has the internet helped or hurt music in your opinion?
JM: It has done both. Helped us to be independent in the sense that I can run a label from my home without a full staff. Now we can just email music and not have to worry about paying for studio time, that can be so expensive. On the other hand, hurt because people steal music and I'm not getting all the sales I should be getting. Money has shrunk. In 1989, I got $22,000 to do a Diana Ross remix and now in 2010 for that same remix I may get like $3,000. So it definitely has restricted us in a huge way.
SB: Is there anything you would like your fans to know?
JM: Yes. I would like my people to know that my new music is about everyday folks; nothin' glamorous, no diamonds involved. But in order for me to keep doing what I'm doing I do need the support and love from the people and not rip the music off. Cause if this keeps happening I'm gonna have to get a job at staples and thats just not gonna work out!
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Also visit www.shavaughn.com