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Biography

One Shade of Soul

 

 

   HISTORY:
 
              A Brooklyn born, 100 % pure Puerto Rican Salsa. Rap, Rock, reggae, soul and R&B lover, July aka One Shade of Soul’s first taste of performing occurred in the late 70s at the tender age of Nine when he played percussion with a Latin combo, in at the time one of New York City’s largest night clubs, “The New York Casino”. Afterwards, One Shade of Soul continued to write songs, compose music, play the array of musical instruments he plays, which include drums, guitar & piano as well as sing & rap. In his late teens, working under his middle name “Angel”, One Shade Of Soul met up with the producers called “The Fabulous Aleems” whom were known for their work with the early 80s rap legend “Sparky-D” and Leroy Burgess of the top forty hits “Confusion” & “Love’s on Fire”. Performed by R&B star & historic figure, “Leroy Burgess”, The introductory lyrics of the song “Love’s on Fire”, which are on the vulgar side, are… “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don’t need no water let the motherf#cker burn! Burn motherf#cker, burn!” and are still widely used today as a popular party calling. At this time, One Shade Of Soul was broke, homeless and without a way to make his talents audible so One Shade Of Soul  like the composer, percussionist, song writer, singer & rapper that he is sat on the wood floor in the house of a longtime friend & father figure with a pencil, a double cassette deck, a left and right mono microphone and the song lyrics One Shade Of Soul had written about an at the time heart break in front of him. Striking the floor with the back of his wrist for a kick drum, at the same time striking a sheet of paper with a pencil for a snare drum, all while simultaneously tapping the wood floor with a pen for the sound of a hi-hat cymbal and using his mouth for a bass guitar, One Shade Of Soul recorded the first part of a demo of an R&B song he wrote entitled, “Girls Just Want to Play”. One Shade of Soul / O.S.O.S. took this cassette and put it to play while he recorded the first vocal on to it. Now with the music and vocal together on One cassette, O.S.O.S. put this cassette to play and repeated the process till all required vocals and music were together to make the song as complete as possible on one cassette. This was home recording for One Shade of Soul in the mid-80s. Once done, One Shade of Soul set out to have “The Fabulous Aleems” listen to his demo and was turned away. One Shade of Soul now decided to sit on The Aleem’s door step every day until they would at least listen to this song demo. It became a Three month sit in when just to get rid of One Shade of Soul, The Fabulous Aleem’s decided to just listen to the song intending to send O.S.O.S. on his way. It turned out that the song excited The Aleem’s and they began recording the music asking One Shade of Soul to re-create the percussion line which was too difficult for the Fabulous Aleems to re-create themselves because unaware of how it was created, The Fabulous Aleems couldn’t achieve the same sound. O.S.O.S. was told they were going to work with him because the lengths he went through just to be heard made One Shade Of Soul’s hunger undeniable and this hunger was, according to The Fabulous Aleems, what was necessary to succeed in the music industry as an artist. The Fabulous Aleems and O.S.O.S. recorded for several months in which a single entitled “Running After You” was released. Within Two weeks of its release “Running After You” was featured in the May 1989 issue of Billboard Magazine. As a feature on the song  ” One Shade of Soul performed “Running After You” with Leroy Burgess at New York ‘s famous night club “The Sound Factory” for a Tony Humphries production.  O.S.O.S. also performed “Running After You” with top 40 recording artist “Brenda K Starr” & recording artist “Fascination” at New Jersey’s “Foxes” night club. Also while working with The Fabulous Aleems O.S.O.S. performed and wrote the lyrics for 2 successfully aired cherry Coke commercials and co-composed a Coke II commercial for one of New York’s, at the time, largest advertisement agencies called “McCann Ericson”.
When One Shade of Soul did this first commercial the producer was going to have One Shade of Soul removed from the studio because due to homelessness, O.S.O.S. was stinking up the place. It was brought to One Shade Of Soul’s attention that the main reason he was given the commercial was because the prior artist had been working on recording the commercial for some time, however, OSOS had already written the 60 sec. commercial, described the product in detail and named the product 23 times in his 60 sec. version of the commercial within 5 minutes of his arrival after listening to the commercial for the first time as well as recorded it in that same first 30 minutes of his arrival to The Apollo. The Advertisement agent was so impressed with One Shade of Soul’s quality and speed of work that One Shade of Soul went on to do a second Cherry coke Commercial and co-composed a Coke II commercial. O.S.O.S. worked with many others during this time. One Shade Of Soul guested in and wrote his own part for a single with “Toni Thomas” entitled “Honesty” as well as guested and wrote his own part for a single with “Princess”, of the smash hit “Say I’m Your Number One” entitled “Dreamin”. Afterwards, O.S.O.S. went on to release his own single entitled “House of Techno” in 1991. “House of Techno” was done under One Shade of Soul’s newfound pseudonym of “One Shade of Soul”. “House of Techno” was the first of its kind making One Shade of Soul the father and founder of T.H.Rap music, pronounced TRAP music, “Techno House Rap”. Yes, before groups like “Prodigy” whom made the hits “Breathe” and “Fire Starter”, there was only One Shade of Soul who was now father and founder of THRAP music. At the time, teamed with Producers, “The big Blast Boyz”, House of Techno was launched out of the world famous “Limelight” night club of New York City and was the world’s First THRAP / Techno House Rap song. House of Techno was given a Four- & One-half star rating by “Peter Colon” in Streetsound Magazine. The highest rating possible was Five Stars, but at that time had never been given. Peter Colon’s Review in Streetsound magazine stated, “One Shade of Soul Delivers”. House of techno sold for over Six months as a top 40 single in the V.I.P. record pool & D.J. charts. One Shade of Soul then decided to test the waters of his heritage. One Shade of Soul released an English and Spanish versioned song entitled, “Temptation”. One Shade of Souls’ new manager, Nicholas Americanos funded the release of Temptation the Ep under Diablo Music. A record label opened just for One Shade of Soul. The single soon disappeared from the public eye due to literally no type of promotion, marketing or distribution and the lack of proper funding for such. For One Shade of Soul it was back to the drawing Board. One Shade of Soul felt he needed a change and after hitch hiking through Sixteen states came to stop in Maui, Hawaii where he resided for the next Twelve Years. On Maui One Shade of Soul formed his first real band called “Chronic Soul” with band co-founder, solo-finger-style guitarist, Darren Ventura. Chronic Soul was dismantled by founders Darren Ventura and One Shade of Soul. Since then One Shade of Soul fronted a few successful working bands. One of the more successful bands was the Latin combo of “Hector Serrano y La Fuersa Tropical” of Maui with which One Shade of Soul performed Salsa music. O.S.O.S. also fronted a rock n roll cover band. This band was called “Pranxter”. The bands were dismantled when One Shade of Soul decided to move to Oklahoma to attend college for nursing. He never did and never will forget Maui, Hawai’i so he went back to Honolulu and lived with the homeless becoming a small advocate for the homeless and a member of “Ohina O’ Hawaii” founded by an angel known as Lei. One Shade of Soul loves his Hawaiian brothers and sisters. One Shade of Soul says, “long live and God bless “Ohina O Hawaii”, the homeless organization he lived with during that visit. Afterwards One Shade of Soul attended Oklahoma State University and Northern Oklahoma University to obtain his LPN, then RN, then practitioner, all of which he never obtained, however, One Shade of Soul became and remained successful as a certified welder/fitter. One Shade of Soul then felt and still feels If he can’t invest in himself who will? Thus, One Shade of Soul was enjoying his new career as a welder / fitter and it left him the funds to invest in himself

 

PRESENT

One Shade of Soul is currently recovering from 3 recent heart attacks, 7 stent insertions, An LVAD insertion gone wrong with which he was given a six-month life expectancy, 3 strokes, 3 deaths he was brought back from and a heart transplant. One Shade of Soul loves music so much that he founded Soul Records LLC and created his full c.d. debut called “Something 4 Everyone” by recording, producing, preforming & mixing the entire thing partly in his dying bed at home & partly in a hospital bed during his heart transplant at the heart hospital in Norfolk, Va.. The sixth song on “Something 4 Everyone” entitled “Self” is about the difference in One Shade Of Soul’s life when he realized that his chosen life style was largely responsible for his current health issues and how much of an improvement loving himself made and could make in his life. Now a video as well,  “Self” was filmed & edited by One Shade Of Soul in that very same dying bed at home as well as his hospital bed during his heart transplant and is a monument to how much a little love, like his love for music, can lead you to accomplish. In this case it’s a song, but love can apply to anything including yourself as a person. The first Song on “something 4 Everyone” entitled “New Beginning” is a remake of a Tracy Chapman song that expresses One Shade Of Soul’s feelings about the state of his beloved America with its now ever present random & mass killings, school shootings, hate crimes & the rise of Donald Trump. O.S.O.S.feels we can’t make America great AGAIN because America always was and always will be great. O.S.O.S. feels the people should just start all over by being great Americans to thmselves first and then the rest of the world. We must love and be kind to one another. America’s greatness is after all only the greatness of all those whom occupy America. As the lyrics suggest, it’s time to start over. sometimes things can get to a point where you cannot build on them anymore and that’s time to just start over. “Something 4 Everyone”, in its entirety, is inspired by People always asking One Shade of Soul what type of music he does. O.S.O.S. is not a rapper or rock singer or blues singer or jazz singer or reggae singer or salsa singer / song writer. One Shade of Soul just does what’s in his heart & that includes all those genres. Heavily influenced by Tracy Chapman, India Arie, Sting, Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Eric B & Rakim, Sean Paul and Hector Lavoe, One Shade of Soul feels all these different styles and genres of music are in his heart so why should he label or limit himself? One Shade Of Soul wishes for all his listeners to find at least one or Two songs they like and can relate to regardless of what their music preference may be, thus “Something 4 Everyone” contains 2 folk songs, 2 rap songs, 1 R&B song, 2 alternative songs, 1 alternative Christian song, 1 alternative Rock song, 1 Rock N Roll song, 1 reggae Rap song & 1 Spanish Reggaeton & Dance song One Shade Of Soul created and named his 11 song full c.d. album “Something 4 Everyone” and it truly is and has “Something 4 Everyone”.

 

 


FUTURE

 

 

For some time to come One Shade of Soul will nurture his body and health into recovery from his heart transplant. One Shade of Soul will be running his record company, “Soul Records LLC” out of Virginia and will be pushing his debut full c.d. release entitled “Something 4 Everyone”. With Folk, R&B, Rap, Reggaetón and Rock songs, a nice little music buffet as only the Soul of “One Shade of soul” can & has created in “Something 4 Everyone” it’s all in his future. As much as he has tried to forget about it, this business of music refuses to forget about him. One Shade of Soul refuses to not be heard. His future is filled with the release of new music & welding to support himself and his musical endeavors.

Discography

“Stop” (1989) released on N.Y. Underground Raps, Rooster Records, “Wishing on A Blunt” (1989) released on N.Y. Underground Raps, Rooster Records, “Say It Again” (1989) released on N.Y. Underground Raps, Rooster Records, “Running After You” (1990) released on Konkrete records, “Temptation” (1990) released on Diablo music, “House of Techno” (1991) released on Fabulicious Vynl.

PRESS

Press Quotes

One Shade of Soul is currently recovering from 3 recent heart attacks, 7 stent insertions, An LVAD insertion gone wrong with which he was given a six-month life expectancy, 3 strokes, 3 deaths he was brought back from and a heart transplant, One Shade of Soul loves music so much he founded Soul Records LLC and made his 11 song c.d. album recording, producing & mixing the entire thing partly in his dying bed at home & partly in his hospital bed during a heart transplant at the heart hospital in Norfolk, Va. OSOS entitled his c.d. album “Something 4 Everyone”.  The sixth song on “Something 4 Everyone” entitled “Self” is about the difference in his life when he realized that his chosen life style was largely responsible for his current health issues and how much of an improvement loving himself made and could make in his life. Now a video as well, “Self” was filmed & edited by One Shade of Soul on that same dying bed at home & hospital bed during his heart transplant just like the c.d.. “Self” is a monument to how much a little love, like One Shade of Souls’ love for music, can lead you to accomplish. In this case it’s a song, but love can apply to anything including yourself as a person. The first Song on “something 4 Everyone” entitled “New Beginning” is a remake of A Tracy Chapman song that expresses One Shade of Souls’ feelings about the state of his beloved America with its now ever present random & mass killings, school shootings, hate crimes & the rise of Donald Trump. One Shade of Soul feels we can’t make America great AGAIN because America always was and always will be great. We the people should just start all over by being great Americans to ourselves first and then the rest of the world. We must love and be kind to one another. America’s greatness is after all only the greatness of all those whom occupy America. As the lyrics suggest, it’s time to start over. sometimes things can get to a point where you cannot build on them anymore and that’s time to just start over. “Something 4 Everyone”, in its entirety, is inspired by People always asking One Shade of Soul what type of music he does. OSOS always has to explain how he’s not just a rap singer or rock singer or R&B singer or reggae singer or salsa singer / song writer, etc.. One Shade of Soul just does what’s in his heart. “Something 4 Everyone” contains 2 folk songs, 2 rap songs, 1 R&B song, 2 alternative songs, 1 alternative Christian song, 1 alternative Rock song, 1 Rock N Roll song, 1 reggae Rap song & 1 Spanish Reggaeton & Dance song thus “Something 4 Everyone” truly is and has “Something 4 Everyone”.

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