Every couple of years there is an artist that steals our hearts and ears with a captivating track that comes out of nowhere. This time around it is George Tandy Jr’s track March , which tackles not only the obstacles we face in love but also in the social and cultural aspects of our everyday lives. For my first interview of the year, I had the privilege of getting to know more about George Tandy Jr. and i hope you do as well, for he is destined to become a permanent staple in the future of R&B music!
Jasmine: Many may be familiar with your voice from your hit single March which has been all over the radios, but for those who may not recognize your name, take some time to introduce yourself.
George Tandy Jr: My name is George Tandy Jr, I’m a singer/songwriter, originally from Virginia Beach, but I am living in Miami right now, soaking up the sun. I have a song out called March and I am really excited about that and I am happy to be talking to you.
Jasmine: You are from Virginia Beach? That’s crazy because I was born and raised in Virginia.
George: Really? Where?
Jasmine: I was born in Norfolk, raised in Chesapeake, and now I am living in Virginia Beach.
George: That’s funny. I was born in Norfolk, moved to Hampton, I lived in Newport News. I lived in Denbeigh and Virginia Beach.
Jasmine:Wow, did you graduate high school here?
Jasmine: Oh okay! That is just around the corner! Back to the music though, some may put your music in the categories of R&B or Jazz, but you like to refer to it as “soulternative” music, what does that exactly mean?
George: It’s just my rebellious attempt to keep from being boxed into R&B. Even though obviously I love R&B and Jazz and Soul music, and everything like that, I think we live in an age where genre lines are blurred and really it is the content of the song that helps it win. Soulternative gives me the opportunity to experiment with other sounds and it helps me stay in the right mind frame and not box myself in.
Jasmine: Are there any other artists out right now that you think fit that category of “soulternative” music?
George: Yea! Miguel has that sort of psychedelic, sort of soul to him which is cool. Robin Thicke takes risks, he can go in any direction he wants, because his voice is incredible…he does whatever he wants to do. I think a lot of R&B artist who are really just pushing the limits and keeping enough soul, but pushing the limits as far as the sound they’re using, song format, and stuff like that. It’s an exciting time for R&B right now.
Jasmine: Now we mentioned your track March. I checked this morning and it is now Number 10 on the Billboard Adult R&B Charts.
George: Well, a combination of things. I think at the time I was probably dealing with some relationship issues, and also I was facing a lot of personal obstacles. I was in college at the time, financial stuff going on. I really wanted to create a song that could touch on the romantic side, but also touch on the realities of life; and feel intense and sexy at the same time. It sounds like a lot, but I feel like I managed to get it all in there somehow, with the help of some really good musicians.
Jasmine: Are you surprised with how successful the song has become?
George: I’ve always believed in the song and I am just kind of taking it one day at a time. I get more surprised when I meet people who have heard the song before I have actually gotten a chance to perform. You know? Like the charts and stuff like that, that’s all politics. There are millions of songs that are great that don’t even get heard and you just have to have the write team behind you. I am lucky to have the right team. But what surprises me the most is when I meet people an they know the song and I haven’t met them. It used to be that…I wouldn’t even tell people I had a recording. I would perform first and then say I have CD’s, I have recordings. Everyone has a CD, everybody can listen to it and know that you are good. Like I have a stack of CD’s here, shamefully, that I still haven’t listened to that I’ve taken from people, so anyways [laughs]
Jasmine : [laughs]. Okay, now along with promoting March, you are also working on your first solo project, The Foundation, what can fans expect from that?
George: Well, we are going to officially release the EP, The Foundation, which everybody can hear on SoundCloud right now-, but we are going to release it sometime soon. It is going to be personal and transparent as far as where I wrote from. I wrote from a very transparent place. It has those jazzy, R&B elements to it. There is some fun stuff up there. I am actually rapping on one track.
Jasmine: Oh really?! You got bars? [laughs]
George: I mean, I can make it work. I got a nice little flow though. It has a cool 90’s sort of, you’re on vacation, chilling at a bonfire on the beach, vibe to it. Ain’t nobody tryna be hard or nothing like that. [laughs] Yea, it’s gonna be a good combination of stuff. There is some alternative stuff up there too.
Jasmine: Okay, so will it be released through iTunes?
George: Yes, I believe so.
Jasmine: Alright! So Valentines Day is coming up, so I have a couple of quick questions just to get in your business a little bit! It is a “this-or-that” type game. For example, if I say Pepsi or Coke, you would say….
George: Water [laughs]
Jasmine: [laughs] Okay so homemade gifts or store brought gifts?
George: Homemade is pretty heartfelt, I like that.
Jasmine: Sweetarts or Chocolate Covered Strawberries
George: Oh….Yea, Ima go with the strawberries for a variety of reasons.
Jasmine: Dark or White Chocolate?
George: Can we get like a swirl situation or something?
Jasmine: You can have a swirl [laughs]
George: Can we just mash it together and have fun? Ima do that. Let’s do that.
Jasmine: Would you rather have dinner at home or dinner at a restaurant?
George: Dinner at home.
Jasmine: The Titanic or The Notebook?
George: The Notebook was incredible.
Jasmine: I haven’t seen it!
George: It was incredible, I mean if you want your emotions to be pulled out of your body and thrown all over the room.
Jasmine: Okay, I’m down for it. Ima have to see that.
Jasmine: And the ladies would kill me if I didn’t ask this question. Is this February 14th going to be a Valentine’s Day for you or a Singles Awareness Day?
George: [laughs] Definitely going to be a Singles Awareness Day.
Jasmine: That’s okay though!
George: Yea, we’re not valentining out here.
Jasmine: Before I let you go, I have to ask you do you have any special words for your fans that make up Team Tandy?
George: Of course! Stay positive. Thank you for all the support. Whatever you are doing in life, make sure your heart is in it and that you don’t let anybody tell you who to be, when to be it, where to be, anything like that. Stay positive. and do what you do!
A huge thanks to Mark from Redstar Entertainment and George Tandy Jr for taking the time out to talk to me! Be sure to download March here! Also, follow and support George through his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!