Words/Interview: Caroline Simionescu-Marin
“I’ve learnt there are two kinds of song – a good one and a bad one. A good song will live anywhere” explains Illinois born songwriter, producer and artist Chuck Harmony. The GRAMMY Award Winner, whose monumental credits include Mary J Blige’s Growing Pains, Ne-Yo’s Year of the Gentleman and Fantasia’s “Bittersweet” was of course debating his transition from R&B to Pop music and the current issues within the overly ‘glamourised’ R&B network in the 2000 and teens.
IMC’s UK Editor Caroline recently sat down with Mr Harmony at Vanilla Sky Studio’s Atlanta, GA, to dig a little deeper into the patron’s personal creative galaxy which is responsible for his 10 year run in the music industry thus far. The self proclaimed ‘studio rat’, who has also produced tracks for Celine Dion, Anastacia, Janet Jackson and John Legend puts his calm persona down to one underlying trait “I was taught to be humble, I shunned the limelight because I didn’t understand you could do both.” And when asked about the hardest challenges in the music industry? Harmony simply analyses “longevity, the fear of falling off…that’s what keeps me motivated.”
What about the “Pretty Girl Rock” producer’s responsibility to bring back the R&B genre of which he pioneered? “They [the artists] have a coolness now… we pop bottles in R&B these days.” We’d presume this is Chuck’s reference to the saturated glitz of the celebrity obsessed culture. Further divulging, Chuck outlines that R. Kelly is the greatest example of the quality R&B content which is now being left behind, “He is vulnerable in whatever he sings about.” And in 2013? “Males should be taking notes from Drake, there’s no pretentiousness, he’s so honest.”
“I feel R&B is in a certain place, so I will give good tracks to whoever is best” finishes Chuck Harmony, as he clarifies his forthcoming projects and releases. Expect more music with James Blake-a personal favourite of Beyonce, and UK favourites, Olly Murs and superstar Jessie J.
Watch the FULL interview now:
Follow Chuck Harmony’s journey: @MrChuckHarmony