There were many
magical moments for me at Dj Times' International Expo 2000 such as
the time an angel found TWO 12" copies of JoiCadwell's
"Superstar"(Carpenters, circa 1974) abandoned at one of the
phone centers on the third floor, and brought them to me saying,
"didn't you forget these?" I really hadn't but to
anyone bringing me the Vinyl, I say "Yes!" And I love
the version she did!; The magic of "you've got to give to
get" idea exchange transcended into the nights across town at
Atlantic City's premier nightspot , De'ja' Vu (New York Ave &
Boardwalk) as their End Of Summer Bash tied-in with the International
Expo 2000. In this interview I will speak with mixers
Kenny Bobien & Chris Cox.
JB: We're talking
with Kenny Bobien , artist on Soundmen on Wax Records; which I guess
is one of those New labels! Since I'm kinda an ole skool dude,
I don't know all these things, but any way
KB: One of the new
Well how are you, where you from?
KB: I'm fine, 'man!
JB: I was
just listen to your soundcheck, and you evoke memories of the Garage
an all that from New York's WBLS in it's heyday when we used to mix
on the air, so gimme some background on yourself;
KB: Well, I'm from
Newark, New Jersey, and I got my start in Newark amaturally I was
singing at Zanzibar, they were doing talent shows amd the club was
being run by who is now running my company, Mr. Shelton Hayes..
JB: Then you know
Tony Humphries , I gather!
KB: A very good
friend of mine; I got my start there, an to make a long story
short, I went from I went from there and I started doing background
for a lot of people; Adeva, C.C. Rogers, working with Marshall Jefferson..
KB: 'Singing on
all the records; I sang on the first Ten City record, Foundation..
I have all o' their stuff!
Really? I sang with my partner Eddie Stockley, you'll see our
names on everything! We worked with Craig Gallman when he had
Big Beat Records..
out! You said Big Beat records and I just want to show you what
my Key/Neck chain says;
KB: Big Beat!
KB: Well before
Big Beat was distributed by Atlantic Records, Craig Gallman was
running it out of his BEDROOM! And who is now the
assistant to the Chairman at Atlantic!
JB: Is that right?
KB: But we
were working with Craig Gallman, and we were doing all nighters for
him, and Eddie and myself, we're the vocals behind the Truth
"Open Our Eyes", and then we started
alotta different artists, and I went on to record with a group on
Warner Brothers, I was the lead singer for a group called Def Con 4
back in the early nineties;
JB: I think
I have a promo of like one of their jams.
KB: And one
of the guys who was half of the production Fly Guy Productions, Guy Vaughn,
so I went on to do some other things working, doing backgrounds
for different people; working with Wig Productions, singing
background for Teddy Pendergrass,
JB: You've been
KB: Yeah, Jennifer
Holiday, Malira, I sang on alotta records..a LOTTa records;
mentioned Marshall Jefferson a minute ago, and I do a radio show here
New Jersey on
92.1 which is just seventies and eighties dance, disco, and
R&B, and was preppin the other day and pulled-out a Marshall
Jefferson 12-inch called, um..somethin' simple like, "Move That Body"?
"Move Your Body"!
KB: That's his
biggest record, and everybody uses that, "da,da,da, dun,dun, da,da;"
It was a huge
record for him; he's my buddy, I think he's livin in London now.
JB: Is he still
KB: I haven't
heard anything lately, but you never know with Marshall, he'll sneak
right up on ya with something.
right. So, what's the name of your new - you have an album out
or a CD?
KB: I have an
album out. Finally, cause I've been doing singles for the past six years.
My first single
was a song I did; it was a remake of a Sylvester song called "You
Are My Friend"
KB: It was a
club version that did wonderful.
JB: I miss
KB: And then I did
a few songs on King Street; about four records; one of them called
"Brighter Days" which was a huge record. And then
finally started doing other things.
I have a few
records on Jellybean, and then I did "I shall Not Be Moved"
And finally I got
a chance to do an album. Soundmen On Wax approached me, it was a
we did it, and now we have a brand new album out called
"Blessed" and were really excited about it. We're on the
second single now which'll be released the end of September called
"Father" that was produced by myself and Big Moses who
alotta people know that the two of have this great chemistry
together, seems like we always work
JB: Like timing
and chemistry is everything!
KB: Ya know, and I
really excited about the album, I happy with the album, and it's
doing very, very very well, and I hope it continues.
And that's on Soundmen On Wax Records, right?
JB: Ya know,
being in Record Pools over the years, you accumulate vinyl you may
listen to, like once, but talking to you and hearing all the tracks
you sung on's gonna make me go back an dig in the krates!
KB: Yeah, I
had a duet with my wife whose also a dance music artist , her name is Stephanie
has a record on King Street as well, and we did a duet called
"Love's Been Right Here".
JB: That's beautiful.
KB: It's really
JB: So you've been
busy guy, 'man.
Yeah , writing now, and producing, starting my own label;
JB: I saw
you on the artists panel this afternoon, and looking at all of you on
the dias, some of whom I know, I looked at you and thought, "must
be kinda of a Luther Vandross singer;" (which is a compliment
by the way), and you didn't disappoint me. Then you were
talking 'bout how you sing "Gospel House". Describe
"Gospel House" music for us;
KB: Well it's
basically; Gospel means 'good news' and it's a message, and it's just
Gospel music, the same thing you would hear from a Shirley Caesar, or
James Cleveland but it just has House sounds and House tone to
it. Besides, EVERYBODY is doing house now!
You have people,
even your major artists; the record is not going over until the remix
JB: You see four
versions of everything that comes out, and one is invariably a House version.
KB: A lot people
in the beginning weren't doing House, Gospel House, and then when I
kinda did that, I even did a remake of a Sylvester that nobody
really heard, it came in and left right out, "Over and Over"
JB: I have the original
KB: You have the original?
KB: Well I did it
over, and we're gonna make that available with all of my stuff on a
CD real soon.
JB: That's good
that means ole DJ's like me can play the original, and then play your
version and we can keep the history goin;
were so many soungs out by me that you guys didn't know about, and
that's why I'm know in the business as "a quiet legend".
JB: Okay, Hey like
Jocelyn Brown was the same way, she was in the background on other
artist's records, and then one day suddenly she blew-up with
"Somebody Else's Guy" so this is your time!
JB: So Kenny, my
readers wanna know where they can see and hear you for the rest of
KB: From here, I'm
on my way to Europe September 7th. I'm going to Copenhagen,
Sweden, Germany, and then I'm back in New Jersey, performing in
Newark for a coupla big shows October 28th, and November 4th, then
I'm on my way out again going to London, France, and then I'm back
home for the Holidays until it's time to go out again. I know
Brazil is one of those places I have to go;
JB: One last
question, do you have to sing in the native language in these places?
KB: No, actually I
was surprised , because I just got back from Japan not to long ago,
I usually do Japan
every year, and they sing everything in English, they just can't talk it!
JB: That is amazing!
KB: Isn't that
amazing? So I really understand since I've been going to Europe
and everything what they mean by music being a universal language.
JB: You took
the words outta my mouth. And I think that's a good place to
end this interview. The Universal language of music!
you, I appreciate it. God bless you.
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