The roots of Curtis Harding run deep.
The American artist released his debut album in 2014, a raw, ragged and extremely soulful display of musical dexterity.
New song 'On And On' breaks a short period of silence, and it's a hugely uplifting piece of music, one that speaks to racing past life's barricades.
There are shades of Motown's golden run, as well as the socially aware songwriting of near namesake Curtis Mayfield.
Clash invited Curtis Harding to break the track down...
The song came about rather quickly.
I recorded it at 30th Century Studios in Brooklyn, New York, where I was working on a record with producers Sam Cohen and Dangermouse.
After an earlier session finishing vocals, we had some down-time so I started working on another idea. I picked up a bass, because sometimes bass is a good starting point for me when writing. In most cases, I'm humming a melody while working on chords, bass lines or whatever. I showed the baseline to Sam and we were both into it, so we decided to demo it.
Sam is just an all around good musician so he played the bass. I laid a scratch vocal melody and drums. Later, I took it to the hotel and wrote the lyrics that night.
Musically it pays homage to James Jamerson and the spirit of Motown. If you listen, there are no guitars on the track. That was purposely done. I believe the bass is that strong. The rhythm section represents the driving force in the plot of the song.
The lyrics are pretty straightforward, keeping with the 'On And On' theme of perseverance. Though it may speak for me at a specific point in time, I wrote it to fit anyone or any community that may struggle with continuing in a positive fashion. After we had a definitive foundation with lyrics and musically knew what we wanted to give back, we brought in some talented musicians: David Christian on drums, Raymond Mason on trombone, Elizabeth Pupo-Walker on percussion and Amber Marks on background vocals.
It was mixed by Sam (Sam Cohen) and produced by myself and Sam. Joe LaPorta did an awesome job mastering it too.
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Tune in now.
Photo Credit: Matthew Correia