Gordon Chambers – A Timeless Music Maker
Grammy award winning, talented singer and prolific songwriter are just some of the components that make up Mr. Gordon Chambers. He has worked with and written songs for over 75 recording artists including Angie Stone, Yolanda Adams, The Isley Brothers, Brandy, Trey Songz, Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle, Usher, Marc Anthony and Jamie Foxx, just to name a few. New York raised, Chambers not only has an ear for a song, but also a deep respect for music. We caught up with the award winning artist and he shared a few words of inspiration as well as some tips on improving your songs.
Parlé Magazine: Songwriting seems to be a lost art form in music nowadays. what are three elements that every song must have?
Gordon Chambers: Songwriting isn’t a lost art, per se, it’s certainly changed, however. Many of today’s songs are written for today, and won’t be rerecorded again and again. A timeless song, however, must have a killer melody, unique yet accessible lyrics and infectious rhythms.
Parlé: I think I might love every instrument every created. do you think it is important for any artist to learn at least one?
Gordon: It certainly can’t hurt. Playing an instrument, even just a little bit, helps your pitch and your understanding of harmonies and vocal arrangements.
Parlé: True or false: Quincy Jones is the dopest producer ever.
Gordon: I had the honor of spending four hours with Q once in a limousine while I was entertainment editor of ESSENCE. He was winning an ESSENCE award and I picked him from the airport. We talked about everything and everyone under the sun. He was so emotional when talking about music and told me that he gratefully regretted not ever producing Donny Hathaway. This broken promise left him in tears. It spoke volumes about his sincerity, and his love for music, and the depth of his friendships in the business. Quincy was dope because he was a music fan first. He found songs and arrangements that brought the best out in the artist. And his jams can still rock a party just as hard as any hot producer’s latest hits. Timeless, timeless. Truly a genius and generous sweet man. Long live Quincy!
Parlé: It seems like the love of creation outweighs the love of substance. What in your opinion makes a song stand the test of time.
Gordon: The melody, I think. Having traveled the whole world (in fact I’m going to Cuba for vacation this week!), I can say that melody transcends language. People in other countries sing along even when they don’t understand the words. And songs in other languages become standards here, such as “Guantamera” (the Cuban anthem). The melody is the gateway to the emotion of the songs. I saw Motown, the Musical, on Broadway, and the joy that it brought the audience was like nothing I’ve ever seen on a theater stage.
Parlé: I’m in the process of constructing a time machine. When it is finally completed and I travel to the future, a.) will you travel into the future with me? and b.) what will I experience and see in the museum of Gordon Chambers?
Gordon: I’d love to go to the future with you and in my museum you’ll see pictures of me, my family, my friends and the artists I’ve worked with and lots of lots of smiles! I truly love what I do, and have been so blessed to make beautiful relationships in my journey. I think you’ll also pictures of me in museums in eras before I was born. I’m a timeless music maker, and an old soul. I was here before, I think. I feel like I was sharing stages with Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Billie Holiday back in the day. Deja Vu.
Interview by Digo Rockstar @digorockztar
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