Coast 2 Coast the Fantastic Gems
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Mr. Butler our musical and performance teacher at Eastside High School. "Mr. B" was instrumental in developing our musical spirit.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Getting a gun pulled on the group by the club owner!
What has been the high point of your music path?
Reconnecting with The Fantastic Gems (guys from high school) to complete this current project.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I write from life experiences. Sometimes the music comes first, sometimes the lyrics come first.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
The biggest challenge is finding promotional support. Also, collecting royalties.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Matthew Whitaker, an up and coming Jazz artist, who happens to be my nephew.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Rehearsals are usually scripted as not to waste time. Same for preparing for a live show. we work through the unfamiliar songs first until we get the formats/arrangements tight. Vocals usually rehearse separately to work on parts and routines.. We set a group rehearsal with all the parts and work out any issues or challenges.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
"Sing This Song To You". Song started out as a love song to a female and wound up being a love song celebrating God's love. Not sure how that happened but as we began to write the song the lyrics weren't telling a story of love for the flesh but of love for the spirit. So we completely changed the Lead and background vocals to help drive the message.
What's coming up in the future?
Got two projects in the works. Remake of Marvin Gaye's "Save The Children" and a "House" tune.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
About Coast 2 Coast Feat. The Fantastic Gems 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. 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.