Paul Stafford in "Jazz Corner Magazine"
Q: What ignited your passion towards music.
A: Music is something that has been a part of my soul for as long as I can remember. When you're passionate and or have a love for something, you're willing to put time in. I've always been amazed and curious by the different tones of instruments. If one instrument can create music with endless possibilities, just imagine the creativity of a trio or quartet. My passion lies within those possibilities.
Q: Your latest track, "Chill'd," reveals traces of not only smooth jazz but '70s funk as well. What are the qualities of those genres that appeal to you.
A: My music is a reflection of what I'm feeling in my soul. Growing up during the '70s, I was exposed to many different genres with funk being one of the main ingredients in the mix. Funk is a groove that is like no other. While being a student of jazz, I was also a fan of funk. I performed and entertained with several bands throughout the '70s, one of them being mine. We were called "The Facts of Funk." We were young and energetic and in search of that groove. We found it in funk. Although my passion is fusion I refuse to limit myself to one genre.
Q: Are you planning on recording a full-length album and, if so, what can listeners expect from it.
A: The album that includes the track "Chill'd" is on schedule for early summer of 2015. With a growing portfolio of music within the walls of my studio the process of elimination will play an important roll for this release. This album will be colorful with passion and soul, that will tell the story of my journey. The instrumentation will reflect my thoughts with rich tonality and creative character. Although smooth you can expect an urban groove that is full of life.
Q: What was it like sharing the stage with Peabo Bryson.
A: Anytime you can share the stage with a man like Peabo Bryson you should soak it up like a sponge. We recently connected on Twitter, laughing over a tbt (Throwback Thursday) pic. While I was a fan of his stage presence, my curiosity was notated to his staff, band, and mode of management operation. Although we are artists, we must also realize that this is a business. So I would say that sharing the stage with Peabo was a positive business experience that has had a lasting effect on my business decisions.
Q: How long have you been recording music, and did you release anything in the past.
A: It's funny how time flies when you're doing something you love. My first experience of a major recording studio was 1982 in Europe. I've release several albums/CDs over the years. My "Fall in Love Again" album was produced in Germany featuring four singers under the name "Commitment." I later released The Brown Recluse CD as well as the Sunrise CD. Time was well spent in between producing and promoting other artist.
Paul Stafford "All About Jazz" Interview
Eric Taylor 03.02.2015
Q: You received your first drum kit at the age of five. Did your family already know you had an interest in music?
A: I would say yes. The drum kit was purchased based on the constant beating on shoe boxes. My mindset was drumming as one would do in a school marching band. Although not being my main instrument, it definitely played an important part of my younger years as a multi-instrumentalist on stage in my brother's band.
Q: Your brother was also a musician. What did he do and was he an influence on you?
A: My brother played trumpet through high school as well as with a few local bands around Houston, Texas. He introduced me to sheet music at a very young age. This was a proactive process years before entering high school. I was playing all brass instruments by now and learning concert (symphony) sheet music, for in high school it was important to claim a spot in the school band. He would place a particular piece in front of me and perform it on his trumpet as a reference as I would rush home to perfect my chops on my cornet.
Q: When did you realize that music was going to be an integral part of your adult life?
A: I've always believed that if you visualize and understand the process with hard work and timing, anything is possible. I was around 14 or 15 years of age performing around Houston and Austin and realized that my sounds were forming quite well based on my approach to each instrument. It was at that time that I began to believe and visualize that this could be a strong possibility.
Q: What instruments do you play? What did you learn first?
A: My main instrument are keyboards. I favor the old analog sounds as well as the demanding sound of a grand piano. I've played all brass - bass and treble clef instruments, anything percussive, and I'm a student of strings (guitar and bass) at the moment. The drums were my first instrument; I've always loved great rhythm. I did a particular song titled “The Brown Recluse" with the CD being of the same title back in 1996. This piece will give you a greater understanding of my drumming as well as my appreciation for fusion.
Q: You relocated to Europe in 1982. How did that affect your evolution as an artist?
A: That was around the time - 1982, 1983 - MIDI became available. I remember it quite well, visiting my first European studio in Germany and being introduced to this technology. I was intrigued and immediately became aware of the possibilities. I was also introduced to the early fusion sounds of the group Brand X. This was the first time I heard Phil Collins on drums. I began to understand the importance of music as an international language.