Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week, we talk with John Stewart of Groove Frequencies.
John Stewart and GROOVE FREQUENCIES is back with a cool new single “Love Parade”. We checked in with John this week to get the latest scoop on the group.
John, thanks for taking some time with us! This new single is titled “Love Parade.” Tell us about any inspiration behind the tune and how it came about.
Allen, coming out of an extended period of social distancing we wanted to spread a feeling of joy and to celebrate being able to come together once again. We want “Love Parade” to be a symbol of hope.
And you’ve got Jimmy Reid on sax…
Yes, I’ve been fortunate to work with Jimmy and Clay Benjamin extensively on the last two Groove Frequencies projects. They both are exceptional musicians and I look forward to creating much more music with them both.
“Love Parade” is a nice follow-up to your hit “Beautiful Ivory” from your latest album “Grooves To Go.”
Allen, “Beautiful Ivory” was an idea I just stumbled upon one day when I was sitting at the piano in my home studio. I knew immediately that I would reach out to Dawoud Said and feature him on the track. Dawoud had been featured on every Groove Frequencies project and has always been my go-to guy for acoustic piano features. Unfortunately, we lost Dawoud last year (RIH), but he always told me how he was so proud to hear “Beautiful Ivory” whenever it was played on smooth jazz radio. I’ll never forget that!
What other standout tunes from the album do you expect to release as singles?
We’ll have one more track from the “Grooves To Go” album titled “Kinetic” that also features Jimmy Reid that we’ll be releasing as a single in October.
Any favorites on this album?
Allen if I had to pick a favorite track from this album, I would say “Play Day.” “Play Day” has a cameo vocal from my son Jalon that I recorded one evening in my studio over 14 years ago. I kept the soundbite and created “Play Day” around it.
Over the past 4 or 5 years, Groove Frequencies has established itself as a smooth jazz force to be reckoned with. Tell us how you got into ‘smooth jazz.’
The smooth jazz bug hit me when I was introduced to a David Sanborn album titled “Straight to the Heart”. After hearing that album I knew I wanted to play bass in a saxophone player’s band, but it took me 20 plus years to get it together. After retiring from the military, in 2015 I started putting the concept for Groove Frequencies together and here we are.
And your musical influences in the genre?
I have many influences in the genre, but a few are:
How would you compare your processes between composing, producing and performing?
If I had to compare the processes between composing, producing, and performing I would say I love composing and producing the most. It’s cool to walk into my studio with nothing, pick up my bass or sit at the piano and in a short period of time start to see something take shape. It’s really cool when you’ve completed the track and you take a moment to think back on how it all came together. As for performing, it’s awesome to see people enjoying themselves, heads bobbing, and hands clapping to a song that you’ve written. The waiting in airports I could do without.
What’s next for Groove Frequencies?
What’s next for Groove Frequencies, more good music!
“GET IN THE GROOVE”
Learn more about the band at https://www.groovefrequencies.com/.