WHO Toronto soul music fans are in for a treat when Taylor McFerrin debuts his renowned live performance here this weekend. The Brooklyn-based one-man show builds soulful songs from scratch on the fly. From Brazilian to R&B- and hip-hop-flavoured beats, drums and ambient melodies, McFerrin’s beatboxing has steadily gathered an underground following over the last few years. His 2006 debut EP Broken Vibes garnered international attention with heavy rotation on the BBC thanks to Benji B and Gilles Peterson’s shows. From Battle of the Bands in high school to now touring the world, McFerrin comes from a family of musicians. He’s collaborated with his father, Bobby McFerrin (who famously made all the vocal and instrumental sounds on his ‘80s hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” with his mouth) and his grandfather, Robert McFerrin, was the first African-American to become a regular at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. While planning tours to Japan and Brazil, the young McFerrin is currently launching his own label called Bonzai Sound Exchange to showcase his solo work as well as the music of artists including TK Wonder, RAHJ and The Cell Theory.

WHAT “All styles of soul music,” says McFerrin, who draws inspiration from jazz, dub, hip-hop, broken beat, fusion and psychedelic rock. “[The best performing experience is] when you can completely get into your zone and bring the audience with you.”

WHERE May 17, The Kings of Late Nite 2-Year Anniversary with Mr. V, Kevin “Jazzy J” and Alvaro Gonzalez at Footwork (425 Adelaide W). $15 advance. More at door. 11pm.

FAVOURITE RECORD OF ALL TIME “I have too many… but Stevie Wonder’s Fulfillingness’ First Finale was the record that made me fall in love with music.”

FAVOURITE RECORD RIGHT NOW “A Cesar Mariano and CIA record from 1978 called Sao Paulo, Brasil. This is the biggest hidden gem I’ve ever come across in my life!”

FAVOURITE WEBSITE RIGHT NOW “I’m a big videogame head so I check www.kotaku.com to stay up to date.”

WHAT IS YOUR MOST SURREAL PERFORMING EXPERIENCE? “Having my computer die the night before I left to tour Europe and having to BS my way though every show on the tour.”

DIGITAL OR ANALOG? “These days you have to find ways to mix the two. I record using analog synths and tube preamps, but I mix my tracks on the laptop.”

WHAT IS VITAL TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE? “Make beats, exercise and get outside everyday.”

WHAT GLOBAL ISSUE CONCERNS YOU MOST RIGHT NOW? “People killing each other for make-believe reasons.”

WHAT IS THE LAST GREAT FILM YOU SAW? Favela Rising.

WHAT ACTOR WOULD PLAY YOU IN A BIOPIC? Martin Lawrence.

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?Teach Yourself to Read Music because it’s just a damn shame that I can’t.”

Advertisements