: I was inspired by my Favorite Aunt LaVern Stewart who sang in the church choir at Union Baptist Church to sing in church. “Rest in Heaven.” I started singing in the church youth choir. And one day my Amazing Dad Willie L. Whitt heard me singing and he took me to the basement and introduced me to R&B and Jazz. “Rest in Heaven,“ I loved every minute of it. My ears were changing on how to listen to music and the instruments. I started studying classical voice at Peabody Conservatory
for 3 years and in local bands and talent shows around town. I would go on to work with the famous producer Skip Scarborough
. He mentored me for 3 years in Baltimore before I moved to California.
: Who are your top R&B influences and why? LeGrand Whitt
: My top influences are Marvin Gaye
, Donny Hathaway
, Stevie Wonder
, and Sam Cooke
just to name a few. I like Marvin Gaye
because of his beautiful tone. And his writing would paint a picture of what’s going on in this world of love and true events. Donny Hathaway
was another genius that I follow because I like his songs and how he milks his tone when he sings. His voice was like glass. Stevie Wonder
was amazing with his songs about black awareness. And always kept a ribbon in the sky about love. And Sam Cooke
was awesome too and I love the way he controlled his publishing and record label.
: In today's music industry, would you say that tha future of R&B is bright? Why or why not? LeGrand Whitt
: The future of R&B is bright because R&B is spiritual and soulful. It’s almost close to gospel. R&B songs have substance and they last forever. A lot of babies came from R&B music. And people are searching for that soulful feeling in music to fill that spiritual hole in their lives and hearts. Taking R&B out of the world is like painting a picture in black and white with no color. And R&B is the foundation of a lot of music today. Where do you think samples come from?
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