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  Name:   Mr. Gordon Chambers
Month: October 2005
Schools: Brown, American Civilization, 1990
Organization: Chamber Music
Title: CEO, Recording Artist

Introducing Gordon Chambers

Established as one of contemporary music's premier producers and songwriters by virtue of his work with superstars such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Anita Baker, New Jersey-born Gordon Chambers is now fulfilling one of his longtime goals with the release of his critically-acclaimed debut album Introducing Gordon Chambers. The Brooklyn resident puts it succinctly: "Deep inside, I've always wanted to sing and be a performer but to be honest, I never thought my voice was good enough so I hid behind songwriting and producing." The turning point came at a Whitney Houston session he was producing a couple of years ago: "I was working with Whitney on the song 'One Wish' and I had to sing some of it as a guide for her. She turned to me and said, 'You want to do what I do, don't you? So go for it!'" Those words of encouragement from Houston along with constant support from live performances was the catalyst for Chambers to get to work on his debut album.

That Gordon Chambers would pursue his musical dreams is no surprise considering the support he got during his formative years. "My parents always encouraged me as a child and I was able to take music lessons whenever I wanted and needed. They really gave me an environment which could explore my creativity and I'm so grateful that they supported me," he recalls, noting that he started out playing several instruments including trumpet and piano.

After college, Gordon landed a job at famed 'Essence' magazine but his choice to live in New York came from his desire to be a working songwriter and musician. "I was moonlighting!" he says, remembering that an interview session with Queen Latifah for Essence led to his first recorded composition. "Latifah said she liked my line of questioning. She asked me if I was a musician and I said 'yes.' I gave her a tape of some of my songs and she called me back that night and told me she was very impressed. For someone like Latifah to show that kind of interest was a real validation. That was in 1993 and she asked me to write a song with her for Motown album, Black Reign. Then, my next song was for Phyllis Hyman. I met (songwriter/producer) Dave Hall through an ASCAP networking situation and our first assignment was to write something for Ms. Hyman. Of course, I was doing all this 'after hours'.I was in the studio till 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. and I'd be falling asleep at work sometimes! Through the Phyllis Hyman session, I met (producer) Barry Eastmond who was working with Anita Baker."

Before Gordon's name would appear on Baker's 1994 double-platinum Rhythm Of Love album, a song he'd originally intended for the group Jade ended up with the female trio Brownstone. The song, "If You Love Me" became a major pop and R&B Top 10 hit, and "I Apologize" became a Grammy-winning Top 10 R&B hit from Baker's album. By 1997, Gordon started devoting his time entirely to music. In short order, his name would appear on Angie Stone's 1999 major hit single, "No More Rain" and on tracks recorded by Patti Labelle, Brandy, Carl Thomas, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Jamie Foxx and Beyonce among others; by 2000, the eight-time ASCAP award-winner was in the studio producing and in the last four years, Gordon's produced tracks for soulful divas Aretha (for her 2003 release So Damn Happy) and Whitney among others.

Introducing Gordon Chambers is just the beginning of the next phase in this multi-talented musician's career as he establishes himself as a recording artist in his own right. Gordon notes, "...It's great presenting my own music and the response I'm getting touches me in a whole different way. And having the album gives me the opportunity to perform more and that is something I really, really love."

Gordon Chambers graduated from Brown University in 1990, with a dual degree in Journalism and American Studies. He is the former entertainment editor of Essence and a former member of the National Association of Black Journalists. He is an active member of the National Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences and Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, where he currently resides. He is the recipient of eight pop and ASCAP awards for his compositions "I Apologize" (for Anita Baker), "If You Love Me" (for Brownstone) and "No More Rain" (for Angie Stone)-as well as community service awards from Boys Harbor in New York City and the Bay Shore Schools Arts Education Fund on Long Island, New York. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Blue Note, Madison Square Garden, The Essence Music Festival, BB King, A Taste of Chicago, and Westbury Music Fair.

Gordon plays live in New York City on October 28 at Symphony Space.
http://www.symphonyspace.org/ for more info and tickets.

 

 

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