Thanks to “Super Publicist” Karen Lee, I was granted an audience with the unstoppable Charlie Wilson, for a quick Q&A before the upcoming show in Cincy.
Charlie Wilson's pre Macy's Music Fest interview
By KEVIN CHILL HEARD
Former front man of the legendary Gap Band, Charlie Wilson has continued to successfully reinvent himself. Not only has the Tulsa, Okla., native managed a successful solo career after his gap Band days, but has caught lightning in a bottle and continues to remain current and popular among a younger audience. He is set to arrive in Cincinnati for the July 27-28 Macy’s Music Festival. Thanks to “Super Publicist” Karen Lee, I was granted an audience with the unstoppable Charlie Wilson, for a quick Q&A before the upcoming show.
Chill: How do you feel about the “continued” acceptance of your music by loyal Gap Band era fans and new generation listeners?
Charlie Wilson: It’s a blessing. I thank GOD everyday for my life. I’ve been on the road this summer and have been having a ball. I look out into the crowd and sometimes see three generations of a family having a good time. It’s a wonderful feeling.
How do you prepare to give a high-energy, top of your game, performance night after night after all these years; and what preparation lessons can you give new school artists, who sometimes think it’s okay to just roll in with a half-@$$ performance?
Well, it’s all about balance. I try and eat as healthy as I can, both on and off the road. My wife stays on top of that. I work out when I’m not traveling and I try and get rest – which isn’t always easy. I get a lot of energy from my team, the band and the dancers are always ready to go out and have a great time. That energy, together with my own, pumps me up and then when we hit the stage and the audience is on their feet ready to party – you have to give them more than your best.
Do you intend on making new music for the rest of your career, or will you eventually go “Frankie Beverly” and give continuous quality show, but retire from new music?
I’m in the process of completing my next album now. We're listening to it now, trying to determine what will make it and what won’t. I love writing and producing so I don’t think I’ll ever retire from releasing new music.
You have so many things going on, what’s new on the horizon for Charlie Wilson? And are those fly hats still for sale?
Well, as I said a single sometime in the next few months and a new album at the top of 2013. My manager Michael Paran and I have signed a new young group, Solero. They are two young brothers who I found on the Internet performing “You Are” in Spanish. We’re currently in the studio working on their debut CD. My hat line, “Uncle Charlie Hats,” is available on my website (www.unclecharliewilson.com/shop). It’s a line of summer and fall hats that are doing very well. And of course, I’m still out educating and making our community aware of prostate cancer. I’m working with Janssen Biotech and we have been doing events around the country targeting the African-American community. In fact, we are doing an event at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago on July 28th.
You can get more information about that at www.myprostatecancerroadmap.com.
* Follow Kevin Chill Heard on Twitter @houseofchill