Black History Month - Influences on Michigan Musicians, Pt. 3

posted by Jess Martin on 02/24/2021

We have many talented artists in Michigan and they all bring their own unique sound to the community, so this month we wanted to hear a little more about what black artists/musicians have influenced them. Some of our respondents chose to reflect on who they listened to growing up and others wanted to highlight some of the fellow musicians they see making an impact in Michigan!


Let’s take a look at the third round of responses:

Root Doctor

What black artists/musicians influenced your own developmental interest in music?

Freddie Cunningham (of Root Doctor): Lou Rawls, Ray Charles, my Mom (Emily Lee Cunningham) who was very involved in gospel music, Sister Rosetta Tharp, B.B. King, Otis Clay

Other band members: Steve Jordan, Bernard Purdie, John Blackwell Jr., Jimmy Cobb, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Michael Jackson, James Jamerson, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Max Roach, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Freddie Cunningham: Keb Mo, Robert Cray

Other band members: Deantoni Parks, Ozay Moore, Greg Hutchinson, Ralph Peterson, Solange, Nate Smith, Sharary Reed, Maison Guidry, Ulysses Owens, Larnell Lewis, Charles Goold, Taron Lockett, Justin Faulkner, Jason Brown, Anderson .Paak, Chris Dave, Calvin Rogers, Corey Henry, Justin Brown, Robert Glasper, Gerald Clayton, Wynton Marsalis

What are you/your band up to these days?

Freddie Cunningham: We have been laying low, but plan on getting some rehearsal in for spring livestream concerts and outdoor summer events.

Other band members: Going to be doing some recording for a livestream in the next couple months, and hoping to get back to gigging soon!!

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The SEVENth

What black artists/musicians influenced your own developmental interest in music?

The Debarges, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Sapp, Kanye West, N.E.R.D, Lupe Fiasco, The Roots, Common

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Tyler The Creator, Travis Scott, Azealia Banks, Thundercat, Sango

What are you/your band up to these days?

Producing and recording new music. On 2/12/21 I have a beat tape called "Audio Wizard" featuring 15 tracks that I produced.

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Hollywood Makeout

What black artists/musicians influenced your own developmental interest in music?

James Brown, Bad Brains, Missy Elliot, Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Aaliyah, there’s so many (this is a mix of many people in our band).

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

SiR, Lizzo, Jamilla Woods, Santigold, Anderson Paak, lee fields, Charles Bradley, and many more.

What are you/your band up to these days?

Trying to get some merch together. We released a new album on 1/1/21. We don’t have any shows, of course.

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PHABIES

What black artists/musicians influenced your own developmental interest in music?

Vocally, it doesn't get any better than Whitney Houston. I tried a lot of things with my voice as a kid trying to mimic her. And growing up in the Flint area, Stevie Wonder (and the entire Motown sound) was just always on. 

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Our lead vocalist Laura has been listening to these artists lately: SZA, Tobe Nwigwe, Jazmine Sullivan

What are you/your band up to these days?

We just spent a few days in the studio finishing up recording for our debut album - out in June!


Stay tuned at 88.1fm WYCE for more!

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