Tracey: You have been writing songs since the age of 7. Can you remember writing your first song and did you try singing it for your parents?
Gordon Chambers: Yes, I do remember my first songs and I sang them for my parents, aunts, uncles and schoolteachers. I got amazing support from adults in the neighbourhood. The sixth grade music teacher had the entire 6th grade learn one of my songs and perform at elementary school graduation. It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes.
Tracey: Do you get much chance for ‘quiet time’ and if so what do you most like to do at those times?
Gordon Chambers: In my quiet time, I like to exercise, travel, hang with family (in Jamaica now with them actually), read, go to church, go to films, watch HBO re-runs. I'm in denial that the Sopranos has ended it run!
Tracey: You sang in a campus group called “Shades Of Brown.” Are you still in touch with the other members?
Gordon Chambers: We get together about once a year or so; at least we try. Some former members come to my shows in NYC, and that's always a treat.
Tracey: I read one of your vocal warm-ups, before your shows include the words “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free.” Have you always been happy or has the music business ever got you depressingly down? If so, what lifted you back up to be inspired again?
Gordon Chambers: The music business can get you down, truth be told. It's hard to stay inspired, and you have to keep proving yourself-plus the powers-that-be are constantly changing, or being fired! Going independent and releasing my solo albums was healing for my soul. I knew I had these songs, and wanted them to be heard. I always wanted to feel like I could steer the ship of something creatively. I have my ups and downs, but joy and pain make for the most honest heartfelt songs. Life is a journey. “Still Blessing Me” on my new CD is a very autobiographical song that I wrote one day to minister to myself. I hope it's a blessing to others as well. You have to stay spiritually grounded or the music business will surely drive you crazy!
Tracey: You’ve studied classical piano and trumpet. Whose music do you admire, past or present, within those fields of music?
Gordon Chambers: I've always admired trumpet player Miles Davis who has integrated every single genre of music, including classical on “Sketches of Spain”, into his jazz career. I believe music should be a conversation between genres, composers, arrangers, styles, etc. A great big gumbo. My hands-own biggest inspiration is Stevie who has done it all. One of his recent albums Natural Wonder was a live concert with a 40-piece orchestra. Amazing! You can hear some classical inspirations on the introduction of “Violins” on my new CD as well.
Tracey: Do you find it easy as an artist to ask for help and do you feel it is important for an artist to ask for help during their musical career?
Gordon Chambers: You have to ask for help to get things done.? You have to have folks around you who are brave enough to give you a loving but honest opinion to be successful. My producers have been very generous in giving me great tracks for my solo projects, as opposed to 'rejects’. They've let me shine, and I'm grateful.
Tracey: Your surname Chamber(s) is derived from a room, which is used by a barrister or group of barristers. Are you very judgemental about your own music :)
Gordon Chambers: I never knew that, thanks for sharing. I'm known to be an awful perfectionist, yes. Very judgemental. Very high standards.
Tracey: Do you have a particular song, which you are very proud of and wrote for another artist?
Gordon Chambers: I'm proud of all the collaborations I've done, because it's not an easy business and I'm thankful artists choose to record my songs over and over again. Seeing “If You Love Me” go number with an unknown group Brownstone was very fulfilling and exciting and sentimental. It was my first hit song. I think I'm most proud of that. It's also considered a classic thirteen years later. When I sing it live now, folks sing along like it’s an anthem. That's a great feeling. I was also proud of “One Voice,” which Brandy chose as a theme song for her work with UNICEF. It was wonderful to have a song that had social impact. Recently a song I wrote "Can't Bring Me Down" for a new artist Karina Pasian, a 15-year-old on Island Def Jam, was performed at the UN and the White House. This song will touch the world - I can feel it.
Tracey: If you had to name one person who has been the greatest influence on your chosen career, who would that person be?
Gordon Chambers: As before, Stevie is God. Luther, Patti, Chaka, Donny and Roberta, Gladys, Nina and Prince have all been great teachers as well.
Tracey: Do you enjoy touring?
Gordon Chambers: I love it. Love meeting new fans, and can't wait to get back to Europe (hint, hint promoters!). The Jazz Cafe show in June was great!
Tracey: You have received community service awards for your charity work with youth organisations of New York. Is this something you still do today?
Gordon Chambers: Yes, indeed. I love speaking and performing for youth. Many students don't have music programs in school any more so I enjoy going back to inspire and be inspired.
Tracey: You have performed in London. Did you enjoy your time in the UK and was it a productive time for you?
Gordon Chambers: Yes, London was great. The show was magical and I did a round of wonderful interviews. Also went to lots of open mikes and heard some incredible singers and musicians. I was warmly received. The European music lovers make an artist feel very appreciated.
Tracey: Could you give a couple of lines to us here at Just Soul, from a chosen song - off your current album - and explain to us why you chose those particular lines?
Gordon Chambers: From “Unfair:” "On another plane, it's so insane 'cause I know the goodbyes hurt you. I could stay right here, always be near, but some things I know I must do. Another postcard and souvenirs for your collections, another six months gone, more loneliness between connections" These lines paint the portrait of the agony of balancing travelling and relationships. Also very true emotions I've experienced. I've lived those words and when I sing them live I really feel them. I hope the audience relate.
Tracey: Please share with us your website links and any tour information for the current year and thank you for gracing Just Soul with your time.
Gordon Chambers: The site is www.gordonchambers.com and tour dates are available there. You can by the album on the site, as well as on itunes.europe.
Tracey: Gordon thanks for connecting with Just Soul and we hope you continue to be inspired to write many more outstanding songs for yourself and other artists.
Gordon Chambers: God bless, and thanks for having me on your site.