Saturday, October 20, 2018

Interview: Von B. & DL Wilson Discuss Debut Album ‘Von B. & DL Wilson Presents’

Indie R&B/Soul Singers, Songwriters and Recording Artists in their own right, Von B. & DL Wilson joined forces to create the duo Von B. & DL Wilson. Raised in South Bend, In. Both members were part of a High School R&B singing group that made a name for themselves on the local scene. From talent show victories, local news interviews and TV show performances, they were more than just average high school students. Major R&B recording artists such as the DUO/Group MEN AT LARGE, Lil JOE (of The Rude Boys) and the late, great Gerald Levert were a few artists that offered a positive influence, great advice and the opportunity to perform. Earlier in the year they released their debut single "She's Unbelievable" and followed it up with the current single "Mr. DJ Stole My Girl". I caught up with the duo to discuss their debut album Von B. And DL Wilson Presents, their Formation, Sound, Musical Influences, Recording Process, Independence as Artists and much more...

TERRANCE: First, can you tell us how and when Von B. & DL Wilson formed and what the journey from then to now has been like?

VON B: We officially became a DUO in 2016 and the journey has been life-like. By that we mean, anyone can set a goal but not everyone is able to overcome adversity and still accomplish it! We have always been on the same page with good communication, a strong brotherhood, understanding, being teammates etc. but we both overcame a lot outside of the Duo in order be at this very moment! We hope the listeners can feel the ‘vibe’ our music creates.

TERRANCE: When did you both discover your love of music and wanted to be musical artists?
DL WILSON: Early! (laughs)…we grew up in houses that played all the Motown Urban/R&B/Soul greats, Jazz and Gospel music and artists! We took it seriously when we became members of a 5-man high school singing group that became popular in our hometown. Starting with practice, performances at local events, interviewed on multiple news stations, studio recording and being special guests on a Saturday morning kid’s television show, we became serious in developing our craft.

TERRANCE: How would you describe your sound?

VON B: Our sound is like a “Modern day Throwback”, “Real good, feel good music” if you will. We want to represent where we come from. The kind of solid music that felt good but at the same time, real, and the kind of music that tells a story from our point of view! The Motown sound stood out because of this!
TERRANCE: Who were some musical influences growing up and who’s influencing you right now?
DL WILSON: We can go all day with this list…(laughs). Growing up listening to Otis Redding, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, The ENCOS, James Ingram, George Benson, LTD, Con Funk Shun, Earth, Wind and Fire! Gospel legends like the late Daryl Coley, John P. Kee., Mississippi Mass Choir, The Clark Sisters, BEBE & CECE Winans, and Commissioned just to name a few. In our opinion, artists that are making good music currently are R&B artists like MAJOR., Tank, Raheem DeVaughn, India.Arie, Jill Scott, Bruno Mars, PJ Morton, Luke James, Chris Brown, Joe, D’Angelo and The Vanguard etc…but we noticed a gap between current R&B solo artists and R&B groups. Groups bringing that vocal arrangement and harmony seem to be outdated in mainstream and that is where we come in!
TERRANCE: Earlier in the year, you guys released your debut single “She’s Unbelievable” as a duo. What inspired that song?
VON B: Yes, “She’s Unbelievable” is still unbelievable! We created this song to show love and respect to our women Worldwide! A ‘Woman’s Anthem’ if you will. It is about a woman and/or women who have ‘heard it all before’. We believe most women have heard all the ‘lines’ a man can throw her until it all sounds the same. This song acknowledges that fact but the beauty that we describe is more than just ‘hips, lips and fingertips’, it is the total package inside and out! We started out asking men ‘have they ever seen a woman, with eyes like an angel’. The eyes are ‘the window to the soul’ they say and sometimes body parts are all that seen. This society often times define beauty as ‘just skin deep’ but we believe beauty comes from within first and true beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors or creeds! To all the ‘She’s Unbelievable’ women out there, this is your song! Let’s turn up!
TERRANCE: You guys followed it up with “Mr. DJ Stole My Girl”. Why did you think that song was the right choice?
DL WILSON: Well, “Mr. DJ Stole My Girl” released as a one, two punch for promoting our sound, style and album! Just think of it as ‘Thunder and Lighting’! Just as “She’s Unbelievable” displayed our creativity,” Mr. DJ Stole My Girl” added a different vocal perspective, arrangement and an actual plot to the story lines, including a ‘sing/rap style’ that is different from what we usually do. We played off each other vocals and styles but were together as one at the same time! We went into the writing, arrangement and recording of this song, with no fear! Therefore, “She’s Unbelievable” and “Mr. DJ Stole My Girl” is our version of a ‘double single’ release to let the music listener know that we are not going to be a one hit wonder!
TERRANCE: Can you tell us about the creative process for your album Von B. & DL Wilson Presents…
VON B: The album Von B. and DL Wilson Presents is simply two passionate artists coming together to create one sound! Therefore, we are making our presentation to music lovers who have wondered where all the ‘real good, feel good’ music has gone. Some call our sound a ‘Modern Day Throwback’, ‘Refreshing’, ‘Uniquely tasteful’! Our album is one that young, mid-age and mature audiences can enjoy, in the same room, at the same time! To add, our process consisted of choosing the right type of production sound, writing material that not only is relevant but catchy! Easy to learn our lyrics and sing along. There is a story to every song recorded and our songs sound like a normal ‘conversation’. So in essence, our process is to create compositions that listeners will not forget.
TERRANCE: Debut albums are always first impressions. Is there anything in particular you hope listeners take away from their experience with this album?
DL WILSON: This is almost a continuation from the previous response. We hope the experience our album bring to our listeners is memorable. We hope that our sound reminds people that tasteful, relevant, soulful, good music still exists and can come from even indie artists! We hope that our fan base continue to grow and support us because we are just getting started, meaning that we have a lot of music, styles and flavor still within us to share Worldwide! We hope that we get the attention that our work and creativity deserves. We know not everything is for everyone but we hope that the people that do like what we are presenting continue to let others know about us. Lastly, to tell others that we were not afraid to be ourselves in do the music that is in our hearts.
TERRANCE: Are there any personal favorites on the album that stand out or speak to your current state of mind?
DL WILSON: Honestly, all the songs on the album speak to our current state of mind because of the hard work put into each one. Our goal was to produce an album full of singles and we believe we accomplished our goal.
TERRANCE: What are the most rewarding and toughest parts about being independent artists?
VON B: On the rewarding side, we would say the freedom to use our gifts as freely as we want. It is a sense of pride knowing that we selected each track for the mood of the album. We wrote to every song except the single “Girlfriend” because the featured artist wrote his own part of the song and produced it. We arranged all of our vocals, vocal harmonies, bridges and vocal key modulations. So again, the freedom to create our album exactly how we wanted to was very rewarding. The toughest part of being an independent artist is naturally the financial aspect, mainstream radio rotation and overall marketing and promotion compared to the counter-part Major Recording artists. The differences are obvious but in today’s advancing world of internet, apps and technology, more artists that are independent are using technology to bring the gap between Major and Indie artists a little closer.
TERRANCE: Can we expect any live dates or tour in the near future?
DL WILSON: Live performances and tours will be at a TBA type of situation. However, we can say to our fans and music lovers, contact your local stations, internet stations and DJ’s and request Von B. And DL Wilson music! Download and stream our music! Supply and demand is how the fans can see us perform in their town faster.
TERRANCE:  Any final words you would like to share with your fans, followers and the readers?
VON B: First, we like to thank RNBJunkie for not only supporting our first single ‘She’s Unbelievable’ but has continued support by offering us this interview. We really appreciate you. It is very important for fans get to know the artists they are listening to and like. To the triple F’s…our fans, followers, family and friends, we really appreciate you as well! Keep our music in rotation and tell someone who has never heard of us about our music. This album represents our heart, soul and passion about music. We feel very blessed to represent the same genres of music that we grew up listening to ourselves! In other words, we are giving back to an art form that we saw fading and I hope our fans can see that, which makes this project extra special. Continue to support the Urban/R&B/Soul Duo Von B. and DL Wilson.     


VON B. & DL WILSON: We both individually had uncle’s first name Clarence in a five member, 1960’s R&B/Soul singing group named The ENCOS. The ENCOS started out, just as Von B and DL Wilson’s 5 member group did, local in South Bend, In. Their uncle’s group went on to become one of the HOTTEST acts in the Midwest area! The ENCOS traveled the UK as well performing overseas and sharing the stage with the legendary group and Rock & Roll Hall of Famers THE TEMPTATIONS and The God-Father of Soul the late, great JAMES BROWN. In addition, they also performed with JR. WALKER AND THE ALL-STARS (another South Bend, In. native band) that went all the way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1965 with their hit ‘Shotgun’ written by Jr. Walker and produced by Mr. Berry Gordy former CEO of MOTOWN Records! Therefore, it seem like Von B. and DL Wilson has it in their DNA to press towards their musical goals, with a passion! We write our own lyrics arrange our own lead and background vocals and we are self-published. Our history goes back ‘like a good perm’ (laughs)… Our creativity, motivation and love for music is what kept our fire a blaze all these years! We want to be a household name to our Urban/R&B/Soul music genre. We hope that our fan base continue to grow with support and that the powers that be allow ‘good music’ to be a priority again instead of what is just ‘popular’. Von B. and DL Wilson will be ready regardless!
Follow Von B. & DL Wilson:
Instagram @vonbanddlwilsonmusic
Twitter @vonbanddlwilson

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