Tell us about yourself and your music
My music experience began when my brother, the late Gary Gamble, taught me how to play the guitar. I was a fast learner, and in no time, I was hooked. All I wanted to do was play guitar. I was a young man with a big dream. Many of the neighborhood guys in Philadelphia were musicians or sang in groups or bands. Fortunately, a friend recommended me to play for the legendary Grammy-nominated R&B group The Stylistics. At a young age, I was on the road playing to sold-out crowds around the world on many occasions. Then I got an offer to record my first solo album titled, Could it Be Love in Montreal, Canada. That album put me on the dance music charts. I was awarded two top Canadian Dance Music Awards (1984) in the categories of Best Record and Top Male Vocalist of the year for the title track “Could It Be Love.” That was my first hit single, and it spanned the Atlantic Ocean charting the Top 5 list in seven countries in Europe and Canada. It was a great experience that I will never forget. In 2016, I performed Could it Be Love to a sold-out club in France and was asked to return during the summer of 2020. In 2018 my song and video “3 steps” gained international popularity, since then I recorded and released singles such as Bounce, Inside Out, Give Love another Try, and This Time. I was inspired to write and record the song and video “This Time” after battling cancer. With strong faith, love, and prayers, I pulled through and I am forever grateful to God to have given me a second chance at life. I also enjoy playing live music in intimate local venues around Williamsport as well.
I have always been concerned with helping young people find their way in life, especially school-age boys of underserved communities, as I know firsthand the influence it has on their development into adulthood. So, in July 2002, I founded the Kennedy King Youth Intervention and Development Basketball League / Gang prevention project, a structured program that eventually became the Community Alliance for Positive Progressive Action (CAPPA) non-profit. As Founder & Executive Director, I provided academic mentorship, gang prevention tips, and computer technology instruction for at-risk youths. Then I took it a step further, and I formed the Young Gentlemen Project. I used my skills and hip-hop music to create a space where young boys learned how to produce a song, proper stage presence, and how to write a song while they learned and practiced the tenants of becoming Gentlemen. I believe that music is a universal connection for people, young and old. I knew these boys would be engaged in a hip-hop initiative. I established the CAPPA Performing Arts Showcase Program in 2005, where the CAPPA youth participants performed at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport, Pa. The showcase was also televised on Comcast Cable from 2005 through 2011.
Talk to us more about your latest release
We Ride Together is a song I dedicate to health care workers who show up every day, non-stop and put their lives on the line to help people through the Covid-19 pandemic. This song is also dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement for all the people that have died and suffered due to racial discrimination.
What inspired you to write this release?
I live in a small town that is not well racially mixed. One day, while leaving a grocery store, I was approached by an elderly white woman who showed me kindness. She shared her disinfectant wipes during a time when there was a lack of disinfectant cleaners due to the pandemic. This incident was the first time I was treated with humanity by a stranger who happened to be an elderly white woman. She said, “Excuse me, Sir; I have some extra Clorox wipes. I usually wipe down the bags and the groceries before I take them home. I have a few extra in my bag and you can have them. My husband says that I am over the top with wiping everything down, but you can never be too cautious. You can have them if you like.” Then she gave them to me and said we’re all in this together. I was blown away. That small act of kindness showed me that something good could come from this pandemic. As I thought about it on the way home, the song came to me. “We Ride Together” was another way of saying: “we’re all in this thing together”.
Describe the writing and recording process
Two years ago, I built a recording studio in my home, but I never had time to get into recording melodies and songs that I heard playing in my mind. Touring with the Stylistics took up a lot of my time. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, I was sheltered-in one place; I now had time to lay down some tracks and record vocals. The more I got into it, the more I heard the melodies, the lyrics, and the rhythms. It felt good to be able to sit and focus on creating music. When I play guitar, I get into a groove, and the music just flows. It is a surreal experience. This time during this Covid-19 pandemic, playing my music had a more emotional experience. I saw sad images of health care and essential workers going the extra mile to help people get through while sacrificing their safety. This Covid-19 pandemic was and is emotionally draining for me. And it moved my process to another level to create the melodies, that you hear when you listen to the Instrumental tracks I recorded during this time. For example, instruments like the French horn, cello, and keyboards inspired the moods and emphasized deeper feelings.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
The video for the latest release We Ride Together is in progress, as I plan to release the song on June 25, 2020. The video is scheduled to be released shortly after. Both songs and videos will be available on all digital platforms and they will have a digital release event on social media.
Yes, I plan to go on tour outside of the USA at first, as I have a market in Canada, France, England, and Japan due to my 80’s hit song Could It Be Love and 3 Steps a line dance song that I released in 2018. We were in negotiations to organize a few tour dates when the pandemic hit. Once the travel restrictions are released, I will proceed with scheduling the dates.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I stick with formulas that work for my signature sound while taking risks with innovative elements that are programmed to peak the interests of listeners. There is always an instrumental element that connects with the emotional cords of the rhythms while emphasizing the meaning behind the lyrics.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I listen to Motown, Norman Brown, Santana, Stylistics, Dramatics, O’Jays, Journey, Toto, old school R&B, and Smooth Jazz.
Who are your biggest influences?
My late brother, Guitarist Gary Gamble was my greatest influence. He taught me everything I know about playing and understanding the guitar. The Motown sound Santana the Stylistics and finally Roger Troutman of Zapp who influenced me to use the TalkBox.
Tell us about your passions
Every day, I think about what I can do to help at-risk youth. I believe that with the right examples and teachings, young boys can become great men, gentlemen. I am passionate about helping young people become better, stronger, and more productive community members. I started The Young Gentlemen Performing Arts and Life Skills Project (The YG’s) to provide meaningful and vital, hands-on experiences and opportunities to young males, through music and the performing arts. YG’s program is designed to motivate and inspire at-risk youth, who are not emotionally connected to traditional educational environments. Again, music is the core attraction. To become a member, participants must sign an agreement and live by the tenants of the YG’s Pledge. Unfortunately, I discovered that there is no funding for innovative after-school programs. I knocked on one too many doors seeking funding without success. I hope to generate enough revenue from my music projects to support my youth development program Initiatives.
What else is happening next in your world?
I am back with the Stylistics playing lead and rhythm guitar for my long-time friend Russell Thompkins Jr. (original lead singer and co-founder of the Stylistics). And promoting my solo releases i.e. 3 Steps, Give Love another Try, Inside Out, Bounce & This Time. I will continue using music to help improve low-income communities. That is my motivation today. My next release is We Ride Together which is an inspirational song that pays tribute to the health care and essential workers who show us every day that they have our backs. It is also a song that honors the Black Lives Matters movement for social change. I want to do my part to show gratitude for those who stand up for change. So, as long as God allows me, I will keep pushing to get the Young Gentlemen Project funded and help underserved communities. My music and this project are my life’s mission, together they are my passion, and I am committed to seeing it through.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Gam Jam Music Entertainment LLC
Connect with Gam Jam Music Entertainment LLC
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