• Smooth Jazz Network

Vincent Ingala: Behind the Beats

Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Vincent Ingala.


Vincent Ingala is headed for the top of the charts again with his current single “On The Move”. We were able to grab a few moments this past week and catch up.


Vincent, Thanks so much for taking some time for us. I know you are busy and in the midst of getting the new CD released and gearing up for some live dates in October. Congrats on the single… Looking like another #1 for you!

Always great to speak with you, Allen. And I wouldn’t be so sure about that yet! (Laughs). I never take anything for granted, but I am always grateful that the fans have allowed me to keep making music all these years and share it with the world.


The new album “Fire & Desire” just went on sale. I understand this was a very personal project, in that you are literally a ‘one man band’ for this one. How did that come about?

I’ve pretty much kept in the tradition with this album, as with most of my projects. I normally play most of the instruments on all of my records, with every now and then bringing in a certain guest artist or musician that could bring their sound that is unique to only them. However, this project saw no guests of any kind. I basically took advantage of all the free time we had in 2020 with not being on the road and being stuck at home and was able to devote basically all of my time to writing and recording.


I believe that when your first album came out in 2010, you were still a teenager. Now you are a smooth jazz format veteran and still in your twenties. What have been some of your career highlights thus far?

I was still a teenager! When I think back now, it seems so crazy how young I actually was when I got started in the business. I have enjoyed every step of the way so far, with every show in itself seeming so memorable. But if I had a list a few, it would be all of the various Smooth Jazz cruises over the years, the Jakarta Jazz Festival in Indonesia, the Peter White Christmas tour, and most recently, joining Dave Koz’s ‘Summer Horns‘ (and us playing the Hollywood Bowl)!


The last time I saw you perform live was several years ago on the Dave Koz Cruise to Alaska. I recall that you were on the mainstage pretty much every night performing with everyone from Dave Koz to Bobby Caldwell. Tell us a highlight or two about performing with such music icons.

You know, it’s an amazing thing to grow up with someone’s music, and then find yourself playing those iconic songs with them on stage. But that “wow-ness” factor only lasts a little while because at the end of the day, I find that we’re all just simply musicians making music and LOVING music to its full extent. We have that common thread, and common denominator that connects us and creates that special bond. That same year you mentioned also found me playing with the legendary Earl Klugh, which was an experience that I will never forget. Being such an innovator of our genre, and a pioneer of the guitar, it was special to be on stage with him and playing sax on his iconic songs.


As I watched you play with the different performers, it seemed as though you had been playing with each of them for years! Tell us about your practice regiment and what you do to keep your skill set so stellar.

Sometimes there’s just a natural chemistry that musicians experience when on stage together. To the audience, it may seem like we’ve been playing together for years, but the reality is that most of the time we had just met each other or have barely even played a gig together! It’s like anything else. If you speak the same language, it’s much easier to connect and relate with someone.


In the case of music, it’s a universal language that connects us all. I spent many years playing with all different types of musicians, starting at a young age. So by the time I started touring and making a name for myself in the business, I already had that experience under my belt which made it much easier to jump right in and be confident playing in musical situations with musicians that I may have never played with before.


“On The Move” is a fantastic tune. Any other standout tracks on the album, we should expect for singles?

Thank you very much, I’m glad you are enjoying that song. It was definitely one of my favorites as well when recording the album. Another stand out favorite track of mine is “Shadow Dancer,” which kicks off the album, and I also have an affinity for the title track, “Fire and Desire” which allowed me to stretch a little more musically then I normally do, and basically just jam on to my heart’s extent. Much of the playing was raw in the studio in one take, just pouring out whatever I was feeling at that moment.


Who is on your future ‘wish list’ to perform with?

I have collaborated with most artists in the smooth jazz genre, so my aspirations of who I’d like to work with extend outside of the genre. I grew up with a ton of different music, my father being a DJ and having a extensive record collection. So I have a well rounded appreciation and knowledge for all types of music. I especially like singers that have signature voices that nobody else can duplicate. For example, I think it would be fun to duet with Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, or even collab with the great Tom Jones, who I consider one of the greatest voices ever, second only to Elvis Presley.


You have had a very successful ‘1st decade’ of your career. Any advice for new artists getting started?

My best advice is to always diversify as much as possible with the music you listen to. Don’t just close your mind off to one type of music, nor should you restrict yourself to playing one type of music. I have always loved all genres, and I’ve played music from all genres. I feel that the versatility has helped me tremendously in my career so far, because I’ve been able to jump right into a bunch of unique different musical situations. Versatility is the key. Also, if you could play another instrument, you have a significant advantage over someone who may play only one instrument. Don’t be afraid to stretch your hand into other things, for it can only lead to more work, more opportunities, and endless possibilities.


Get the latest Vincent Ingala news in his website.

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