Power of Our Rhythm

By The Columbia Chronicle

Timothy L. Mathews


What’s the deal Columbia Peeps!!! This is your Chief urban music columnist for the phattest college newspaper since — wait a minute, I don’t know any other ones. This is my last semester here at this great institution. Hopefully those of you who are reading this will keep some form of column pertaining to urban music alive in this paper. This column has been in existence for the past two years and I have come across many different artists like Ginuwine, 112, Goodie Mob, Jon B, and Psychodrama just to name a few. All I want from my readers is feedback (I’m working on my E-Mail and Website as we speak). I want to know when I’ve hit something right on the money or when I’m way off base. My readers from semesters before can vouch that my response time is pretty good.

During the time I have left with you I’ll be doing a different artist profile weekly. There will also be weekly album reviews, schedules of events, and quotes from different people who have established themselves in the music industry. A topic will be put on the table each week involving different aspects of what makes up urban music. I will review any of your demos/projects if you’d like (preferably from Columbia Students). If you’re looking for someone to tell you it’s hot and my ears hear otherwise, be prepared for a huge letdown! Past reviews include alumni ESP, Everything and More, and Code F.I.

My first artist profile for the year is with a young man who sings like his heart, mind, and soul are purely into it. I met him via Tony King, the manager at George’s Music Room (West Side!!), who hyped me into believing this kid was the next big thing. So a meeting was set up between the artist, myself, and his manager, Diane Deese. I have to admit, it’s been a long time since a male soloist moved me. He made me want to come out of retirement and sing again! His range is comparable to Johnny Gill’s and his delivery made me think of Stevie Wonder. The artist has great body movement on stage, and he looks at the audience with a sharp gleam in his eye.

TM: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

AR: My name is Arvell Redis and I’m 18 years old. My stage name is simply Arvell. I’m an aspiring R&B artist (balladeer) that’ll be on your CD changers constantly in 1999. I’m from South Holland, IL. I’ve been singing since I was 7 years old.

TM: Who taught you to maintain that great harmony you have?

AR: My mother, who was an R&B singer at that time. She’s had me performing everywhere from age twelve on up. She stopped performing due to health problems, which inspires me to work even harder today knowing tomorrow isn’t promised.

TM: How was life growing up for you?

AR: I was the baby of the family, so being spoiled, I got to have my way.

TM: Oh, by the way ladies, he is single.

AR: (Laughs)

TM: Where have some of your recent performances been?

AR: I just performed this past weekend at the Kappa Karnival at SIU in Edwardsville. Oct. 11 I’ll be performing at the Tyrone Davis fundraiser. Besides that, I’m just in the studio working on more music.

TM: Don’t you have a single coming out?

AR: Yes, I do. It’s called “Never Wanna Let You Go.” On the b-side of the tape are two snippets called “Can’t Do That” and “Can’t Hold Me.” Those two are a capella and show different styles that I want my audience to encounter. I wrote all the lyrics. The songs talk about everyday life and ongoing battles within a relationship.

TM: Are there any artists you’d like to collaborate with in Chicago?

AR: I’ve already started to do that. My first single was produced by Shaky Shaun, who does his thing over at Lower Level Productions. R. Kelly definitely comes to mind when you talk about putting it down. Then there’s Common, who I like. I’m also looking forward to maybe having the chance to meet Dejah, who I’d love to do a duet with. Outside of Chicago, you got Brian McKnight, who is a good example of where I want to be as an artist. Then Brandy or Monica, who are both very talented.

TM: How does it feel when your on stage?

AR: It makes me feel good, especially when I pick up the vibe that everyone is enjoying it. I just want everyone to give me a chance to let me sing for them. I’m not doing this for the money, although it is nice to get paid for doing something you love. As long as I keep doing this with love for my craft in my heart, success isn’t that far away.

Thank You Arvell for spending a little time with me. Until next week, peace out and much love!