Soul Revival. Photo courtesy Middleman LLC
Soul Revival grew out of a deep appreciation for 90s-style R&B and soul music for vocalist and songwriter Derick Pierre and producer/musician Desmond "D. Professor" Mason. KCUR called their first single, "Fall in Love," "a strong contender for best locally released song of 2016" and hot on its heels is the follow-up, "If You Ask Me Again (I Do)." Pierre and Mason should be no strangers to fans of modern Kansas City jazz, as they're both featured members of the ensemble Shades of Jade. Soul Revival takes their skills in new directions. We are proud to share an interview with Desmond "D. Professor" Mason about this new project.
Please introduce yourselves. Where do you live and work?
I live in Kansas City, MO. I do music full time.
Tell us about the origins of Soul Revival. Who does what?
Desmond: Soul Revival originated with Derick's vision, which was to bring the best KC musicians together to play soulful R&B music from the 70's until the present. I was one of those musicians, and I played piano for several of the live events Derick organized and presented. Derick and I decided to work with one another to record music when my skills in track production was witnessed by Derick. So for the live events, I play keys when I am available, and I am the main producer for the recorded music.
Both of you are also associated with the KC jazz group Shades of Jade. How is Soul Revival an extension of your work in Shades?
Desmond: I started producing tracks while in Shades of Jade, so this group (Soul Revival) has experienced the evolution of my production craft and process from that.
Describe your writing process. Who’s really influencing your music right now?
I write to my feelings and if Derick wants to record over that, he does. That's how the relationship works currently. If I think a track I produced fits Derick's style and taste, I just send it to him and then he'll decide whether he wants to make a song out of it or not. As far as my process, I usually start with a melodic or percussive loop, and then build a hook or verse around that. Then once I have that verse or hook built, I build all of the other elements around that, adding or subtracting instrumentation to make the track an "Out D. Park"experience (Out D. Park Productions is the name of my production company).
KC artists shout-outs:
Shoutout to producers/musicians xj-will, MaxxMarvel, Dominique Sanders, DawgBeats, D'Jawns, Jamial Black, Kemet The Phantom, Leonard D'Stroy, Jeff Stocks, and others for pushing me to become excellent at music production!
Shoutout to artists Derick Pierre, Tasha The Lipstick Killer, Jessica Ayala, Paula Saunders, Kemet the Phantom, Kadesh Flow, Duncan Burnett, Isaiah Yurking, Clark Roosevelte, and others I forgot but love for being dope!