New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Eclectic is a word tossed around too much in music. Its definition means to be derived from various sources, and the question follows what one does with them. Built on familiarity, experience and a combination of musical influence, the Orlando, Florida-based Soul Kamotion has released #5or5000. A recent sit-down with frontwoman CeCe Teneal, along with keyboardist/music director Christopher
Baptiste and bassist Terrell Kimble gave off the feeling of excitement and accomplishment. "We have been together for so long," Teneal explains, "so for us to get to this point, and (the album) to be a product of such substance, that's the one thing we're super-proud of, we got the opportunity to do this with people that we love and people that we can see ourselves onstage with night after night."CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion Release New CD, #5or5000
The significance of the title is a simple one: "We would always say whether there's five people or five thousand people in the audience," Teneal says, "and that just kind of stuck with us for this record. We're gonna give the show of a lifetime, we're gonna lay it all on the line, because every person deserves to get what the message is, they're gonna experience the same thing."
Gospel is at the root of Soul Kamotion's music, but that's only the beginning of the experience #5or5000 brings. "I think that the undercurrent of everything that we do," Teneal goes on, "you can hear the gospel underneath it. Because that's where we draw all our roots from. We're all so eclectic in our musical influences, as we come together as a collective, each of us are so eclectic, imagine five people, multiply that by ten different influences, it molds together so well because of how we are as friends. We kind of table our personal selves (and) the collective shines so bright. You can hear it, you can feel it, you end up leaving with a feeling of how music is, it's supposed to touch people."
The album changes from track to track, but this comes naturally. The opening buzz of "90 Mph" gives way to the soulful "Rockstar," then the funk of "Danger." There too is a step into the blues, with a cover of "What I'd Do to Get Your Love Back," which was recorded by Teneal's mother, Yvonne Jackson, and "I Betcha Come Back."
"Every song draws from a different story or experience or something that God dropped into our spirit that needed to be spread," Teneal says. "The main thing for us is, if one person's life is saved, or if one person changes their perception on how their life is lived or gets them out of a bad situation, then for me that would be the measure of success, being able to change lives."
"And we will gladly accept the Grammy as well," Baptiste adds, which draws a laugh.
Baptiste agrees while there is a formula, "it's a little different, song to song," he says. "This is almost our second album. CeCe had done a studio album, where a couple of these songs were on there. We were already a band, we had the chemistry already, we had the camaraderie already, we could finish each other's sentences."
Some songs were drawn from the band's respective pasts, as Baptiste explains, "(Guitarist) Lavar Rushing had some songs we already had seen, 'Danger,' specifically. The process is where we're comfortable enough to tell each other 'no,' we're comfortable enough to accept that, we listen to each other, we take each other's advice and have so much respect for each other things fall into place. I don't think we plan on changing the process. I like for the record to speak back once we're done."
#5or5000 is the product of all of the above, and the tracks fit together, not as a specific concept album, but the principle seems the same. "'90 Mph' just really sets the tone for the ebbs and flows that will be in the album," Teneal says. "The message is totally what we stand for, but the music gives you a particular drive you can expect to hear throughout the rest of the album. '90 Mph' is basically saying we're music for your body and your soul. A lot of times we'll open our show with that song because it really sets the tone for what to expect during this experience."