Tuesday, July 26, 2011


About two years ago, I was on You Tube checking messages, and one of the messages I received was from a guy named Enrico Delves asking me to check out his page and music. I did and I was blown away by his vocals and British accent, and his rendition of Michael Jackson's classic "Butterflies." I have a strong appreciation for British artists, so I sent him an email telling him how much I loved his music, and if he ever comes to the United States to perform, contact me, so I can check him out live. Two months ago, I learned that the talented artist was going to be peforming at the legendary SOB's, and I made sure I got my ticket, and when I sent him a message informing him I would be checking him out, he was excited to know that I was going to be in the house to give him the support, and I was excited that I was going to finally meet the talented vocalist, who has been the toast of the UK.
Born in South London, Delves started performing at the age of 10, and has been honing his skills eversince. He's performed at various cafes and coffee shops in London and around Europe, but his big break came when he won the opportunity to perform at the 2008 MOBO (Music of Black Orgin) Awards, which enlarged his fan base, and created a buzz in America, where many celebrities including Tom Cruise has asked him to perform at parties. After soundtrack, we met, and I found him to be extremely out going, fun loving, down to earth and at times dramatic (in a good way). After seeing him perform, I learned that he was going to be performing at Best Buys two days later, so I managed to score an interview with this talented and fun vocalist, where he spoke about being in New York, performing at the Mobo Awards, the challenges that many Black U.K. artist face, and his future goals.

DA-PROFESSOR: How does it feel to be back in New York?
ENRICO: Oh yeah. It's my second tgime. Well the first time I was doing a musical of an comtemporary version of A Midnight's Summer Dream. I'm selfish. Now I've come back it's about me, my solo songs and everything. It's really good. I got to perform at SOBS. I got to perform at a school called Grand Campus and today I performed at Live at Best Buy, which was a really good experience. I'm loving New York but the weather is killing me.

DA-PROFESSOR: How did you become involved with Music?
ENRICO: I realized I can sing at age 10, and I was praticing to Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror" instrumentals. So I kept singing over and over and over and I was like 'oh I like the tone of my voice when I do that.' So I kept on singing the hell out of that song until my mum over heard me and she's like 'Enrico is that you?' I said 'yeah,' so she started the track again, and asked me to sing and she told my dad 'you got a talented child' and this and that, so it was nice to know I got something.

DA-PROFESSOR: Besides Michael, who else influenced you?
ENRICO: Ooh. I love alot of artist. I'm a huge fan of Rashaan Patterson. He's one of my favorite vocalist. Maxwell. I love Maxwell. Tao Cruz. He's from the UK. He does Electro Pop. Usher. Aaliyah. I love old school artists like Otis Redding. My influences are truly wide. Even down to Jazz and an artist called Liz Wright. It's truly wide (laughs).

DA-PROFESSOR: I saw a clip of you performing at the MOBO Awards. Congratulations. How did you become involved in that contest?
ENRICO: Oh Thank you. (Laughs) I was part of competition; it was Western Union competition. There were hundreds of artists who applied to get the chance to open for the MOBO Unsigned Awards. It got narrowed down by a group called In Doves in the U.K. I was one of the final ten and then I had to go in front of a panel whiche was like Universal A&R's and perform for them accoustically, and they said they would call me a few days later, but they called me in a couple of hours and told me I was the winner, so I was screaming and the rest is history.

DA-PROFESSOR: What was it like peforming on the MOBOS?
ENRICO: It's not cracked up what it's make up to be. It looks glossed. You're on stage and you got the make up, the sound is pumping through the speakers, but for someone on the outside, you'll be like it looks good. It looks great, but as an artist in the U.K. and you're unsigned, there's a stigma like 'ooh, you're unsigned. Without status (Enrico pronuced the UK pronounciation of the word Stay-Tus), or in this country it's called status, Without status, you're seen as a nobody but it has helped my growth in the industry.

DA-PROFESSOR: You got some hot tracks. I like the song "Room 143" What was the inspiration for that song?
ENRICO: "Room 143." You actually remember that? That was a really old song. I did that back in Norway. I did that back in 2008, back when I did the Mobo's, but yeah, it's been years since I did anything with that song. I recorded a verse, pre chorus and a chorus, even though it wasn't fully writen.

DA-PROFESSOR: Another favorite is "Role Play" What was the inspiration for that song?
ENRICO: Thank you. Sexual frustration, like (in a a dramatic voice) Yeah! Want you want me to be? I'll be anybody. I'll be a doctor. I'll be a teacher. I'll be this and that. The song concept is being comfortable and able to play different characters in the relationships. Being able to tell your girl to wear a nurse outfit and to say it's OK. It's cool. I won't take it personally if she wants me to be a fireman. I'm not gonna take it personally because I'm a singer and be like you want me to be a fire man. You don't like me, it's only role play.

DA-PROFESSOR: You also did a Dance Song I like.
ENRICO: "Fairy Tales"?
ENRICO: That's a song I recently did, and now I'm talking to different publishing companies. That's a song they picked. For me writing it became very personal, so I ended up taking it for myself. Rather than giving it to another artist. I'm very selfish, but not it's my song. "Fairy Tales" is my song!

DA-PROFESSOR: You made a great point about publishing. How important is it for an artist to own their own publishing?
ENRICO: Ooh. I thing it's the biggest thing in the industry. There's alot of money to make in the right avenues. So for instance, you're making moeny from performances, PRS. You're making money from publishing. Whether you're writing by yourself or writing with somebody, and you're able to make money off of sales and royalties, so you're pretty much covered (laughs).

DA-PROFESSOR: I notice that you perform with a live band. What is it like to perform with a live band and backing vocalists?
ENRICO: Ooh. I love it because it makes it more authentic. You're able to play around with it and being an artist, you're creative. When you're creative, you're always wanna tamper with certain parts of the beats and backing vocals. You wanna tamper with the chords and it makes it more authentic and intimate for my audience who are listening to me at that moment.

DA-PROFESSOR: How's the U.K. music scene for Black U.K. Artists?
ENRICO: There's a scene in the U.K. Defintelty, but it's a small scene in the U.K., because in the UK, because in the U.K. the Black population only count for 2 or 3 percent of the whole U.K., but the population is small, the support of Black artists is extremely tiny. I say the U.K. is crap for Black artists if you're doing Soul. I think you can make it if you're doing Pop, but again it goes into racial things on the sense of skin complexion if you're lighter or darker and the politics, but I woulse say the U.K. is harder to break.

DA-PROFESSOR: That was something I was unaware of, but the one thing I admire about U.K. artist is how you love the American Artist more than Americans. How important is that?
ENRICO: Ooh yeah. It's true. I would say from the 90's and 2000's the airwaves has been overloaded with American artists and alot of British influences have come from America and because we've heard it so much, it's like psychology if you hear alot of one thing, that'w what you get into, so American music is big in the U.K.

DA-PROFESSOR: In addition to singing and acting, do you plan on doing any acting?
ENRICO: Yes. I do plan to do some acting. As I said. when I first came to New York before I was doing a musical. It's something I want to look into once my music takes off.

DA-PROFESSOR: If you have the chance to work with any artist, British and American, who would it be?
ENRICO: Chris Brown. I'm really a big fan of Chris Brown. Like I said Tao Cruz. I'm a really big fan of his. Bruno Mars. Artist too many. I work with every and anybody! I'll be like a musical whore (laughs).

DA-PROFESSOR: How do you think you're making an impact ong the music scene?
ENRICO: The U.K. It's really taking places in the U.K. I'm a perfectionist and I'm aiming for higher heights, so I wass ba be massaive. I wanna be a universal brand. It's opening up in the U.K., but we've got alot more grinding to do.

DA-PROFESSOR: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
ENRICO: Whew!! Winning Brit Awards in the U.K. Winning Grammy Awards here. Performing everywhere. I wanna be universal. To see that in the next few years.

DA-PROFESOR: What advice what you tell a young kid who wants to pursue a career in music?
ENRICO: Go for it. Go for it whole heartly. Go for it with everything and take up everythign. Take up songwriting. Practice on the vocals. Pratice on the performance. Even though you're an artist, it's always good be an entertainer. Engage your audiences.

To check out Enrico Delves' music and videos Check out the following sites


Tuesday, July 5, 2011


From 2002, I have attended Esculita's several times, and I've always had a great time listening to the various genres of music, as well as watching performances by Harmonica Sunbeam, and the various exotic dancers, who have made my feel good and shown me respect. Esculita's have had a great rep, but it's also gotten several bad reps from party goers, and unfortantely, I'm one of them, who received a bad taste of the staff's lack of professionalism, so I'm about to go into my Millie Jackson mode, and express how I felt about the staff's shadiness.
On Saturday, July 25, me and my Gay son had arrived at Escos (the nickname for the club) at 11:12 PM, and waited on line along with other party goers, who had arrived early to get in for free. After waiting on line for 28 minutes, security outside the club checked our ID's, and said we could go downstairs, and when we got downstaris, the guy sitting at the cashier had checked my ID and text, said I was cool, and gave me a wrist band. Great for me, but not for my son. The cashier had told my son that he couldn't get in the club, because his ID and text was not legit and that he would have to pay an admission fee of $ 20.00. He explained to the guy that his ID was legit, but the shady guy didn't believe him and insisted that he pay $20.00. Outraged, he stormed out the club, upset and with good reason. He had a legit ID and text that had the address and invite that said free b-4 12. I called my best friend Author/Blogger Donald Peebles, who gave me Esco's number to contact the manager to get the issue resolved. I called and left a message. My son suggested that we go back and speak to the secutity outside about the situation. I spoke to one Afro-Latin guard about the situation. He then called an Black African American guard over for us to explain, and he asked my son did he had another form of ID on him. My son explained to him that he had gotten his new ID in him homestate, and that it expires the following year. After looking at his ID and seeing it was legit, he and the Latin guard wanted to know was the guy who gave my son false information large or slim. I told him slim, and they both said Fernado in unison, which meant that other party goers have had issues with his lack of professional attitude. The Black American guard told us to let the cashier know that we could enter the club and if he had any problems or questions was to send for him. We returned downstaris and that's when the drama began. The guy was trying to rush me into paying quickly by asking for ID and after showing him he told me I had to pay the admission fee. I had to ask him let me finish to speak to him because he was cutting me off and cross talking me. I explained how my son was mistreated earlier, and that security said we could go in. The kid checked the ID and after seeing it was legit, he insisted my son pay. Me and my son were like we shouldn't have to pay. The kid was saying it's a few pass 12 and that he had to pay. I explained to him that he shouldn't have to pay due to their error, and he kept on saying we don't have no more wrist bands and that it was after 12. I told him that despite that, my son shouldn't have to pay being that he came with me the time that my ID was checked and being that I got a wrist band and they made a mistake. We went back and forth, and then the kid went into shady diva mode by doing the neck twirl and raised his voice a few octaves high. I felt threatned because he looked like he was going to attack us, and it's rare that I go off, but after that, I went into Millie Jackson mode and said 'you know what Bitch, I got ties with media! Not only am I gonna write you up, I'm gonna put you on blast!!. He had a attitude like whatever. Me and my son left the club pissed and upset at the mistreatment, and I felt bad because he was in town to celebrate his birthday, and for that shady bitch to act the way he did was more that upsetting. I called Donald, my son's Godfather and he was even more outraged; he actually expressed how he felt on Facebook, and gave us comfort and support. The next day at pride, we were watching the parade, and a guy was passing out flyers from Escos, and when Donald spoke to the guy about the way we were mistreated, the guy revealed that he knew what happened and that he took my son's ID and that his name was Tee-Tee. Both Donald and I try to explain to him about the situation and instead of apologizing, and listening, he constatnly cutted us off saying that it was past midnight, and that we could come to Escos as his guest that night Things got hotter when Donald told him about how he tried to attack me. The guy got silent and stiff, and when I reminded him of how I felt threatned, he quickly walked away.
How do I feel about the mistreatment of the staff? It don't see what the fuck the problem was in the first place! If the first security guard saw that my son's ID was valid and legit, then why did the cashier down stairs couldn't see it was legit? And why after being told that it was legit and it was OK for us to enter, why didn't the shady bitch listen to the situation and tried to resolve the issue by allowing my son free admission to the club. Especially since they were the ones who were at fault in the first place? Why did the kid feel the need to try to cross talk me? To brag to his friends? Was he having a bad day/Night? Was he upset that he had to work instead of shaking his ass at the club?
Well my thing is that had the staff in the basement were being professional and mature, I wouldn't be writing this blog and putting people of blog, but as Millie Jackson said in her 1981 hit "I Had To Say It!"
The purpose of owning a club is to make money and to make customers happy to the point of them spreading the word and coming back bring you more revenue. We could have been investors who were looking for clubs to invest in. The staff didn't think about that. All they thought about was getting money by being shady and unprofessional, which makes me wonder do they do this to avoid letting people get in for free before the midnight? Was that kid being selective? Well all I got to say is that regardless of what job you have, everybody deserves to be treated with respect, the way that you would want somebody to treat you and your family and friends and I would like for the owner and manger of Escos to give their staff some training in hospitality, listening and anger management, because word of mouth can help boost and end your career, and what I've heard recently heard about the way the club is, many people will avoid going, so my advice is for you to use some of that money and give the staff,(especially Tee-Tee-if that's his real name) some lessons on how to listen, and know when to leave the (so-called) Diva attitude outside the club because one day he may come across the one patron, who may hurt more than his feelings, and that would be a good look for the club, the staff and the Gay community, who despite recently having Gay Marriage legal in New York, is still fighting for equality, respect and justice. How can we get respect from the mainstream people, when there are many Gays still throwing shade at each other? Most of the times for unnecessary reasons?