If you have heard me play you are likely aware that hip hop is a large influence on my playing style. It is a somewhat rare influence in a flautist but having grown up in a city where I could pick up all the Detroit radio stations during a time where mainstream radio actually played hip hop it was bound to happen.
I thought hip hop was the definition of popular music. And I had no idea that Esham’s “Sunshine” and MC Breed’s “Ain’t No Future in Yo’ Frontin’” weren’t being heard everywhere. I thought they were major worldwide hits. When I mention them to people who were not listening to the same stations I mostly get bewildered looks. They were Detroit rappers who acheived some music industry success, and Detroit celebrated them … because Detroit needed something to celebrate.
I started out studying classical music, but I never listened to it beyond the sound of myself playing it. I stuck to it a long time, and I’m glad I did but it never spoke to me.
A big song at the time was Warren G’s “Regulate” (which is of course a major song across North America.) Being a song from my youth, I know it inside out … so I just had to cover it.
Jef Kearns is a Soul Flautist proving that flute can get down-and-dirty.
Check him out at www.jefkearns.com