Last night, TVOne, that #2 venerable cable television institution of black arts and culture, is aired a hot concert billed as Get Together w/
Kenyon’s husband John Legend. It’s nice to see a live concert on TV again since the video channels seem to show everything but music. Apparently Mr. Farrow Legend has launched a new label, Homeschool Records, and this show is a promotional for the new artists he is signing to the label. He explains during the show he got the name for the label from the face that he was homeschooled as a child. It also comes from the way in which Legend and the three acts signed to the label work–in the original Motown mold, where artists worked side by side, writing and singing for each other, or competing for the hottest songs.
One of the executives of the label described the Homeschool brand will be focused on quality, over commercialism. Sure they want to sell, but artistic excellence seems to be the name of the game, instead of making tracks to sell 10 second ringtones, which is what the industry has become.
But I digress.
The concert opens with Legend singing his second single, Heaven, from his latest CD Once Again. Legend is looking good as usual, and sounding even better.
The second artist, Estelle, did two singles from her forthcoming album, Shine. Estelle, a black Brit, reminds me of the best of UK soul, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the early 1990’s, like Mica Paris or Caron Wheeler with more hip-hop flavor. Her first single already gets heavy rotation on Vh1 Soul, and I am looking forward to the record.
Next up to stage is a three-man act called The James Gang. They’re part vaudeville, part Louis Jordan, part step-show performance was really something we haven’t seen before, and it’ll be interesting to see how the market reacts to them!
my brother in-law Anthony Vaughn, John Legend’s younger brother. He’s more hip-hop in his vocal attack, dress and swagger, where John is more Marvin Gaye/Smokey Robinson meets Burt Bacharach.
Check out Estelle’s video Wait A Minute (Just A Touch). I love how she gets the boy together at the end of the video.