Take Five With Fede4real
It's difficult to write my bio down to 200 words. I'm a singer/songwriter/keyboardist.I write, compose, arrange and produce all my material. I'm half Spanish and Equatoguinean (Africa). I have lived in both countries and I love both. My music has many different influences, jazz being the biggest. I started playing music at six years old, jazz and blues with my father, and classical with a private teacher as a hobbie. I didn't decide make music my priority until I was 25 years old. I've performed internationally and my albums have received great radio and magazine reviews. I'm also an accomplished commercial and fashion model. I don't label myself as a jazz musician, 'cause I'm not an instrument virtuoso to jazz standards, and I'm not limited to jazz music. I like my music to speak for myself, so I wish you enjoy it and that it brings something positive to your life.
Teachers and/or influences?
My father, Francisco Javier Ngomo (jazz guitarist), Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Nat "King" Cole, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, El Debarge, Billie Holiday, Prince, Wes Montgomery, Mizell Brothers, among others.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
When I realized I had music inside of me and God wanted me to share it with the world. I started playing keys at six years old, but didn't realized I wanted to be a musician 'til I was 25 years old.
Your sound and approach to music:
I started in music, playing jazz and blues with my father. I grew up listening to everything from '80s pop to '90s R&B, smooth jazz, hip-hop and, of course African music from my country.
My first songwriting was pop R&B with a slight touch of jazz. I was developing my sound and with every album I've come closer to jazz and soul. But I don't label myself; everybody wants to put you in a category for market reasons. I'm just a musician. I don't want to be classified as a neosoul artist, 'cause many of my songs are not. Neither a pure jazz artist.
I can't choose the song I'm going to compose tomorrow; they just come. So it can be a jazz ballad, like "Paradise" or a funky tune like "Maybe." I'm open to many different genres; I've produced house, funky, jazz, pop, R&B, neosoul, hip-hop. Like Charlie Parker said, there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music. I like to think I belong to the first category. Music writes itself, I just let it flow, and it becomes what was meant to be. I'm currently in transition, discovering myself as a jazz musician, and learning.p>
Your teaching approach:
I can't teach anybody. I'm not a musicologist. I'm just an artist, but I'm going to add my two cents. I think a common mistake is to forget that music is a sound, before you can even write it. I can read and write music, but that is not the way I approach composing and songwriting. Always, remember that you can call it minor 9th or whatever, but it's just a name or number to design a sound. Before we could even write, we humans sang together and played ancient instruments. Music came first.
Your dream band:
I definitely would like to work with Patrice Rushen, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, the Marsalis family, El Debarge, Prince and Stevie Wonder. My ideal band would be three guitars: a funky electric one; a big box jazz guitar; and an acoustic Spanish guitar. Drums and a percussionist. Bass. Alto and tenor sax. A Yamaha Motif XS keyboard and an original Fender Rhodes. Flute. Brass section.3 females and a male tenor as back singers.
Road story: Your best or worst experience:
My worst moment was when I was up on stage about to do a Michael Jackson tribute show and the mike wasn't working. For 15 minutes. My best is every time I perform in front of a new audience. They always start with doubts about my show and end up cheering and applauding. I like the feeling of control over an audience, and taking them where I want.
Sugar Bar, NYC ; it's small, intimate, with a high class house band and a nice crowd. Sonically it's great too.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Ok, this is the most difficult question you could ask me. I'm going to pick two. First, "Paradise," a ballad that came to me one morning. And it's the song that encouraged me to record my album Jazzylicious. I always had, in the back of my mind, the idea of recording a jazz album. But it's something I always thought would be in my later years, when I had grown more musically. But the song came, and it sounded like one of my favorite jazz standards. It was really above my expectations; I didn't know I was able to compose and arrange a song like that. I consider it my pinnacle, and it's very special, from beginning to end.