for the COMPLETE newsletter!
Newsletter - July 10, 2003
an interview with the
this week in anticipation of the
release of their long-awaited CD, The Master Plan
– in stores on July 15th. Hot
HOT CD that will stir emotion
in your very soul
- I guarantee it. For sure this is
CD to be added to your collection if
you like rhythmic, hard-hitting, emotional, soulful R&B. The CD release
party is on Thursday, July 17th at Bambu on the Lake so come on
by and check them out! See
www.inessence.ca for all info
related to their rise to success.
Upon arriving at BMG, I was led into a big room encased by glass with a huge
pool table in the middle of it, where a couple of the guys of IN ESSENCE
were playing a game.
IE, in case you
don't know, consists of Dru, Smooth, Que,
Touch. Obviously, this was going to be exactly the type of interview
that I prefer – informal and relaxed. Amid the jokes back and forth, I was
able to chat with this exceptional Canadian R&B quintet.
Just when I thought I couldn’t love the guys of
IE any more than I already
do, our interview was further proof that not only are these guys mega
talented, but their personal vibe is one of integrity, “keeping it real” and
honouring their Canadian roots. I will speak of them as a group as they all
concurred with each other, no matter who was speaking.
has been hustling their talent for 10 years on their own – from the streets
of Toronto to the streets of New York. I asked them if this leg of their
journey to success is what they expected. They all pretty much piped in
that you can never totally prepare yourself for levels you haven’t
experienced yet. They still enjoy control over their project but have the
added credibility that BMG enjoys as far as distribution throughout the
And they're still hustling – out on the streets as recent as last week,
flyering for their own CD release party on July 17th, out of a
sense of invested responsibility for their debut project. I just LOVE
When asked what the formula was for remaining close friends (or “spiritual
brothers”) over the span of 10 years, IE
answered RESPECT. Respect for each other’s individual’s talents and what
they each bring to the table, both personally and professionally. This was
very evident in the kibitzing and playfulness they displayed during the
interview. Just like family.
The entire debut CD was co-produced by IE,
so I asked what producers they admire or would consider working with.
Answers came immediately - Lenny Kravitz, Prince and P. Diddy. I brought up
the hot producer Jay Dee out of Detroit (A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village,
Busta Rhymes) and
IE was visibly excited at
the notion of working with him.
In speaking about the transition from independent artists to working within
a major label
and acquiring management, IE
mentioned that they were careful to choose their management team (Keidi-Ann
Graham and Andrea Chrysanthou)
and went with a team that felt their vibe as artists and embodied the
same passion for Canadian talent that they have always stood for. Having
success south of the border was incredible (400 spins a week in NYC
for the track "You'll Never Find"!!) but IE
was cautious not to fall into the boy band stereotype that America can
sometimes generate. IE
feels that Canada has many flavours and influences, which directly impacts
their music and let me tell you, it’s very evident on the CD. They wanted
to ensure that these influences were not lost or underplayed, but instead,
has worked very hard to achieve this stage of success and I know that you
will agree with me that their CD absolutely represents the soulful side of
Canada – and then some!! They are the personification of what it really
takes to not only make a dent in this industry but to also aim for longevity
– drive, determination and humility. It was a real pleasure to hang out
and I thank BMG once again for the opportunity.
Again, their long-awaited CD,
The Master Plan will be in stores on July 15th.
The CD release party is on Thursday, July 17th at 7:30 pm at
Bambu on the Lake. Be there!
THURSDAY, JULY 17
IN ESSENCE CD RELEASE PARTY
Queen’s Quay West (east of Spadina)