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article imageInterview: Narada Michael Walden talks new album 'Evolution' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 19, 2016 in Music
Three-time Grammy and Emmy-winning producer and singer-songwriter Narada Michael Walden chatted with Digital Journal about his new studio album "Evolution."
How did you approach the song selection process for your album "Evolution"?
"I approached the song selection process very naturally, in a very evolving type of state. I felt my in heart, what I wanted to say, what my spirit wanted to say, what my life wanted to say based upon the celebration of these new babies in my life. Having children kind of re-awoke an inspiration in me which was always there but drove it in a way that made me want to celebrate life and bring back the funk and dance aspects of my music."
Does the album have a certain theme to it?
"The dance, the funk, the celebration, the party, the “Tear The House Down”, the “Billionaire On Soul Street”, all these things are expressing how good I feel, how good my life is going, that I appreciate my life, I love my life, I’m very grateful for my life."
What is your favorite song on there and why?
"Well I very much like “Baby’s Got It Going On” because it’s got so much Rick James funk and spirit in it. And I very much like the Beatles homage of “Long And Winding Road” …and I very much like the Ritchie Havens homage of “Freedom”…and I like the whole album, I think it’s a really sweet, powerful, delicate, gentle and foot stomping, dance, hip shaking record."
What are some of your proudest moments in your career? (You've produced for so many big names in music)
"I’ve had many, many proud moments… my first Grammy, winning song of the year with “Freeway of Love” with Aretha Franklin in 1985, in 1987 winning producer of the year with the Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”. Aretha and George Michael’s “I Knew you Were Waiting For Me” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and the Olympic theme song in the same year as “One Moment in Time”. And then doing the James Bond theme was also a highlight in my life, “License To Kill” with Gladys Knight …and then of course winning for “Bodyguard” Album of the Year in the 1992. Lot’s of highlights in my life …I’m very proud to be selected by Mahavishnu John McLaughlin to be a drummer in his band in the very beginning and to have Tarpan Studios now. They are all proud moments you know. I just love my family and I love my life."
Can you talk about your upcoming performances at the Iridium in NY on May 26-28... What can we expect?
"Yes, we can expect fireworks because I always bring 110 percent to what ever I am doing. Playing the drums and singing and having my band there, I really want to connect with the people and take them on a journey, a love journey, a flower power journey, a journey of the re-awakening of life, a journey of the “Dance of Life”, a journey of “I Shoulda Loved Ya” in life, a journey of evolving and then “Tearing The House Down”. I want to touch on a lot of my songs from my past; “The Sun Is Dancing” from “Garden Of Love Light” right on up through to today. I like to keep people guessing, they are not sure where I am gonna come out of. But I can tell you one thing, I plan on making some knock out blows and having everyone walk away happy and thrilled."
What do your plans for the future include?
I want to keep my label and Tarpan running, I want to keep producing artist that need great songs and be a songwriter as well as a producer. I want to keep my band pumping and I am happy to stay home for a while now and raise my babies, a 1 year old and a 2 year old. So it’s nice to be home too. Anything I can do to reconnect with my publishing in the song writing world and sound tracks, all that kind of thing while I’m here in San Rafael is wonderful.
What motivates you each day?
Each day what motivates me is my family. In my heart it beats a lot of love for spirituality and that is directly connected to my family. I want to achieve and do well and make money and make a good living for them. So I’m very motivated, I’m very turned on.
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