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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 just released the third single titled “Ridin’ The Wave” from his latest album “Fire & Desire” and he’s getting geared up for another run on the Dave Koz &Friends at Sea cruise next month. We caught up this week to check in with the busy artist.

Vincent, Thanks so much for taking some time for us. We just started playing your new single “Ridin’ The Wave”. Tell us how this tune came about.

This was a favorite of mine when recording the Fire & Desire album. It just had a feel- good vibe to it. My girlfriend, Olivia actually named the song! It always amazes me what imagery comes to mind when people listen to instrumental music. The title can have multiple metaphoric meanings as well.

Tell us more about your song writing process.

I tend to always want to make sure that a groove is happening first. Drum sounds are important, followed by bass and keys. Usually it is then that I can start to hear a melody and I start to build on it from there. Later on, I complete the production by adding in everything that the song calls for, whether it be strings, vocals, guitar, percussion, etc.

You’ve been performing and recording professionally for over a decade now. Has your process of producing hit tunes changed?

I don’t think so. I always have made sure that I made the music for myself first. If you go into it trying to write a hit, chances are you won’t get it. It is only after making genuine music that you like and that feels good, that it goes out into the world and they decide whether they like it or not. I’ve been fortunate that after a decade, I tend to tell now that what I tend to like others like as well. You must have confidence in the music at the end of the day.

And although you are now really somewhat of a veteran, core artist in smooth jazz, you are still one of the ‘young guns’ out there performing. Tell us some of your interactions with the artists that have been performing since the 80’s and 90’s.

You have to keep in mind that being born in the early nineties, I literally grew up listening to many of the guys that I now call my friends and close collaborators. It’s really surreal sometimes and I have to take a second to stop and reflect back to being a young student of music and absorbing everything like a sponge. Music was and still very much is exciting and it should always be. There’s always something new to learn or a show to look forward to!

Your primary instrument is saxophone, but I know you are a multi-instrumentalist. Tell us what other instruments you play and which might be your favorite, other than the sax.

I started on drums first, then my father taught me a few chords on the guitar. The rest I took it upon myself to learn and figure out. Piano followed and sax came last when I joined the concert band in 5th grade. To this day, drums are still a major favorite and a big part of my music life. I always seem to have this internal rhythm going inside of me. I tend to approach other instruments in a rhythmic sense too when I play.

And one of your other passions is cooking. Tell us about that part of your life… and how do you find time to cook in between all of the travel and gigs?

Cooking is a very relaxing a decompressing activity for me. I love the fact that we can take ingredients from scratch and make endless possibilities of dishes from them. It is very similar to how musicians record music. We take instruments and piece them together one by one to form a song and eventually a full finished track. Maybe I subconsciously like the correlation!

Tell us about your work as a radio host.

Once a week I host a two hour segment on Smooth Jazz 24/7 based out of the UK. I love switching roles a bit and getting to be a mascot for our genre. I feature new music, as well as classic smooth jazz and love adding little anecdotes throughout, especially if I have personally worked with an artist in the studio or onstage before.

What’s next for you after the cruise next month?

This may be one of my busiest years to date believe it or not! I look forward to a full spring and summer of touring with my band, some shows together with Peter White, and then joining Peter and Mindi Abair once again for his annual Peter White Christmas Tour which happens from Thanksgiving all the way until Christmas. I hope to see you all out on the road this year!

Learn more about Vincent Ingala here.

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