Coast 2 Coast feat Feat. The Fantastic Gems - 10 Questions Interview
Back in 1968, at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, a music group called The Fantastic Gems was born. After graduation, the talented musicians went off to college, the military, and new careers. Years later, two of the original members reformed in Washington D.C. as "Coast 2 Coast" and began recording and performing from 1986 to 1990. In 2016, The Fantastic Gems got back together to fulfill a promise they made to each other when they were young students in New Jersey. The result of their reunion was the release of The New Old Skool. The project took three years from conception to completion and was released June 2019. The album is a tribute to their musical roots, and was made in recognition of the community who encouraged, supported and shaped their musical spirit. The New Old Skool features 11 great songs that fans of R&B, Gospel, Pop, and Jazz will love.
Coast 2 Coast Feat. The Fantastic Gems are one of the artists who will be featured on BWH Music Group’s ‘On Peace Street,’ a compilation album featuring 19 songs about peace and social justice.
What is the name of the song you have on Peace Street?
Live Your Life
What is the inspiration behind your song? Or, what is the song about?
The song is about find your life's truth, loving and believing in yourself.
How did you write your featured song? Or, can you describe your songwriting process?
The song was written in hopes of encouraging people to believe in themselves, trust their truth and don't be afraid to live the life that they have been blessed with.
Who are your major music influences?
Mr. William Butler our musical and performance teacher at Eastside High School in Paterson, NJ. "Mr. B" was instrumental in developing our musical love and spirit.
When you wrote this song, did you have a goal in mind? For example, were you trying to raise awareness about an issue that’s close to your heart?
We were hoping to inspire people to "Get Busy Living" and not be afraid to "Go For It"
How did you get started in music?
Singing in the church choir as kids was the beginning. Influenced by the musical explosion of the 60's and 70's inspired us to form The Fantastic Gems in hopes of being the next Motown discovery.
Of all the songs you’ve written, what was the most challenging and why?
On our album "The New Ole Skool" there is a song entitled "Song In My Heart". If you listen to the song it has a message of inspiration and utilizing the gift of song given to us by God to encourage and inspire others. The difficult part was writing it in the genre of "Big Band" jazz.
How do you think music help promote world peace and social justice? Do you have a favorite social justice song?
Music has always been at the forefront of social change. Throughout history, music has been a vehicle to educate, inform and inspire social justice. You name a genre and I bet you can find a song/Artist within that genre that has stood up through song to speak out against social injustice. One of my favorite songs about peace and justice was written and performed by Donny Hathaway, entitled "Someday We'll All Be Free"
What’s coming up in the future?
We're looking to connect and collaborate on some music and possible tour dates with up and coming jazz artist, Matthew Whitaker.
Tell us where fans can access your music?