My grandmother was a gospel singer. There was always music and dancing around my house. As a kid, I identified with that vibration. There is also a feeling of inspiration that comes with the experience and appreciation of your roots and relating to your culture in a positive way. I learned from the old folk (The Masters); being raised in Memphis, Tennessee in the fifties, I was exposed to gospel, blues, jazz, Elvis, country music, Mahalia Jackson, and the fathers of modern music, Ray Charles, James Brown, Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Spaniels, The Platters, The Moonglows and The Flamingos. As a child, I listened to them all. Much later, I was inspired by Miles, Coltrane, Bach, Mozart and Sly and the Family Stone.
Follow your passion. That is the invaluable lesson I’ve learned from participating in a field that I love. my main objective has always been to give my best. The path of Earth, Wind & Fire has been full of challenges, but these challenges have created great results.
As a group, we have grown as by-product of our experience. We make mistakes while expanding in awareness. We stayed unified. The dream could never have been a reality without the energies of others – my brothers Verdine and Philip and Charles Stepney helped put the dream in perspective.
I owe a lot to God for linking my path to many great musicians and creative wonders – all who helped create music that will last forever.
We live the eternal dance!