Aaron Akins: Thinking Love
AAJ: Darryl Phinnesee as a producer of Into the Cole.
AA: Firstly, Darryl Phinnesee is my friend. We went to the same college. He was in the graduate program while I was doing my under graduate work. I wanted him to produce my CD because he is a great singer first, and a sought after songwriter. All those collaborative efforts, I knew he would bring great vocal insight and musicality to the project. When he commits to something he treats it with the utmost respect and concern, or he doesn't take on the project. I know that he treated me with the same concentration and focus that he did when he worked with Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.
AAJ: What's in your heart?
AA: Love, passion and more love. Love for life. Passion for life.
AAJ: Tell me your songwriting.
AA: My songwriting has been an intriguing, beautiful process. I think my writing is a reflection of what I think and how I feel normally. I seem to have a universal perspective, writing-wise. All the songs that I write seem to talk to the world about something. When I get the inspiration, I try to put the song down on paper first, I usually get a melody and the lyrics at the same time, and because I am a singer I sing the melody and lyrics into a recorder and then I go into the studio and perfect the song with some of the best producers in the world.
The inspiration comes from all around, from everywhere, from everything. It just depends on what I am being at the time. If I am being open and receptive to love, and beauty and happiness, I will receive inspiration more than if I am feeling down, depressed or sad; so I feel it is my responsibility to keep myself in a happy, loving, positive, grateful disposition, and then inspiration can come in easier.
AAJ: "God Made Women Beautiful."
AA: This song is my baby. When I say "it's my baby," what I mean is that I simply love this song. I can't say enough about this song. I know I was inspired by God to write this song. I think there are so many negative images and thoughts and words in music today, especially some Rap, that it is absolutely imperative that there be some positive images and thoughts and words in music today. "God Made Women Beautiful" is an attempt to remind women about the truth of who they are.
I don't believe that God can make anything that is not beautiful. I believe that certain women bought into a lie, and believe they are something other than beautiful. It is just an idea, and an idea can be changed. The definition of an idea is something that exists in the mind, the definition of a thought is something you put your attention on. If you have an idea that you are something other than beautiful, you will feel that way. If you put your attention on a thought that you are something other than beautiful, you will feel that way. So I am going to continue to remind myself and anybody who would listen that God made women beautiful.
AAJ: A perfect song to sing.
AA: "God Made Women Beautiful," because it has a message to all women, not just to some women. Every woman on the planet I am trying to remind them that they can't be anything but beautiful. Because anything other than beauty is just an illusion, it is not real, it's just an idea. I'm also extremely fond of "Mona Lisa."
AAJ: Your influences.
AA: Nat "King" Cole. Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, to name a few.
AAJ: A dream.
AA: That every man and woman could hear my song "God Made Women Beautiful."
AAJ: A fear.
AA: I try to never say or think that word.
AAJ: What has been your biggest accomplishment as an artist, so far?
AA: I sang for the Pope at the Vatican, and I performed alongside some of the best jazz artists at the North Sea Jazz Festival, but I think I would say that as a an artist my biggest accomplishment is that I was inspired to write "God Made Women Beautiful."
AAJ: And as a human being?
AA: I am very happy that I learned that the best prayer is a prayer of gratitude, and I also understand the magnitude and importance that meditation has on my life.
Aaron Akins, Love is All Around (Vintrix Entertainment 2009)Aaron Akins, Into the Cole (Nakico Records 2004)
Courtesy of Aaron Akins