Over the last few years I’ve been privileged to meet a number of talented singer/songwriters. I’m glad to say I’m witnessing their deserved rise in success and recognition . One artist I advise you to look out for is friend Mark Vodery. Mark is about the perform as part of the National Jazz Appreciation Month in South Carolina on April 13th & 14th. We caught up in New York as he prepares for his big dates.
Q: How did you get into the industry?
Mark Vodery : I’ve always loved music. One day I was at my job looking around and decided, “this can’t be it.” I woke up thinking about music and went to sleep thinking about music. They say that’s the definition of your passion in life. So I secretly started taking singing lessons from an opera teacher in South Philadelphia. One night, at an event in a jazz club, a guitarist was playing and asked someone to come up and sing with him. We wound up doing two jazz standards. Someone I knew that managed some local artists was in the audience. We talked and it lead to performances inDelaware and Philly nightclubs. I eventually moved toHarlem and won on “It’s Showtime at the Apollo”. I’ve been grinding in NYC ever since!
Q: Which artists have been most influential on your career to date?
Mark Vodery : Jeffrey Osborne, Will Downing, Michael McDonald, James Ingram, Donny Hathaway, Stevie, Luther; I ‘m a huge fan of soulful strong voices.
Q: Which of your comtemporaries would you most like to work with and why?
Mark Vodery : I would love to work with Sade. She seems so comfortable in who she is as an artist. When you hear her, it’s undeniably her. The quality of her work speaks for itself and I feel our voices would compliment one another. India Irie is another. She is an incredible songwriter.
Q: The track ‘Everything Must Change ‘ illustrates that you’re a talented artist with a mature, distinctive style and strength to your voice. What demographic would you say your music caters for?
Mark Vodery : I had someone describe my music as “grown and sexy”. I would never say that, but I liked the feel of it (Laughing). There is a demographic of people who are supporting the soulful artists of the 80’s and 90’s because there are limited outlets for this music. I wouldn’t want to put an age to that demographic. Those people that enjoy soulful vocals with meaningful lyrics, those are the people that I aspire to touch with my music.
Q: I like the video.When and where did you film it?
Mark Vodery: We filmed it in the Village late February. I was happy with the feel of the video. TheNew York City back drop complimented the song.
Q: Like every singer/songwriter, you aspire to be successful. Does this mean we’ll see further diversity in the type of music you’ll produce in order to increase your commercial appeal?
Mark Vodery : I’m a fan of such a diverse spectrum of music. My Ipod could be playing
Seal and the next song could be Tool. I’m always open to new opportunities to explore. That being said, it’s important to know who you are as an artist. If you just change your style in order to appeal commercially, then I feel that there is an integrity issue. Of course we’re here to make a living. Believe me, I get it. But I feel that purpose is essential to an artist.
Q: You’re about to perform at the Le Café Jazz in Columbia as part of the National Jazz Appreciation Month. Could you tell me more about it?
Mark Vodery: Yes, I’m excited about the opportunity to bring my music toColumbia,South Carolina for this event. I will do some Jazz Standards, but the foundation of my set will be original music mostly from my Soulful Sessions EP Available on I Tunes now(Laughing).
Q: So what else does the future hold for you?
Mark Vodery: I hope to exponentially increase my fan base and book internationally. I’m currently working on an album that is being independently funded. In other words, “my pocket” (Laughing). I’m also courting new management, in order to work on a more global scale and expand the amount of people that I can touch with my music. This is an amazing ride with ups and downs but I know that I’m blessed to be able to do it. So many people come out to escape their lives for an hour or two. If I can touch one person positively, inspiring them in any way, then I have done my job as an artist.
I wish Mark the greatest success. For further information please visit http://www.facebook.com/mark.vodery
Everything Must Change Video featuring Mark Vodery