R&B music is triumphantly rising to the occasion as one of todays most sought after genres in classic pop culture and the mainstream music scene. The R&B sound has returned to its original status as one of the most popular and competitive genres in today’s market. With the dominance of HipHop on the music front for a number of years, some may wonder how did this happen. In retrospect, the R&B Renaissance emerged into existence with Justin Timberlake’s breakthrough hit “Suit and Tie” creating the public demand for yet more lyric driven melodic releases.
The effects are monumental when it comes to trending in that the genre of R&B is now infused with a renewed sense of well being as seen by the current landscape of artists in this “true music” category. Billboard Charts are plentiful in qualitative volume of hit records as well as cathartic in artistic ingenuity with artists creating their own original sound with solid musical content resulting in the new, progressive releases in Billboard’s Top 10.
At a glance, Billboard’s Adult R&B Top 10 is jam packed with solid musical content, original current songs and populated with the best of the best singers, crooners and ballad singers of today’s market delivering impressive new singles. John Legend’s “All of Me”, Robin Thicke’s “For the Rest of My Life”, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” and Jennifer Hudson’s “I Can’t Describe” are some of the current hit singles that together represent the rejuvenation of modern love songs as a style of music in demand both on radio as well as in public appeal. Once again, it’s trendy and politically correct to sing about love and life with soulful flare.
Looking at the roster on Billboard’s Top 10, it is rather interesting to note that although there are major labels and their Grammy Winning Artists dominating in their presence in the R&B Top 10, there is one independent artist who has appeared out of nowhere and is holding his own among the lot of them. His name is George Tandy, Jr.
Tandy is impressively soaring up Billboard’s coveted R&B Chart as an independent artist who is experiencing the momentum of becoming this year’s top Break Out Recording Artist. Tandy’s single, “March”, is a radio blowout hit that is surpassing the expectations of even Tandy himself. The song is moving up the charts in the ALL STAR lineup of Billboard’s Top 10 in an impressively dramatic fashion as a true to form powerhouse indie hit record rolling like a major release.
According to sources, Tandy’s story reads like a novel. It all started in a local Starbucks where Tandy worked as one of the store’s professional clerks. He was discovered by a Starbucks customer who noticed his singing talent while humming a song. The two took a chance in getting together to record a single as an independent release. Within the blink of an eye, they recorded the single, “March”, in a basic studio with minimal takes. When the record was introduced to a few radio stations for review, the single grabbed the interest of program directors and soon the single took on a life of its own catching on like wildfire with extensive airplay on radio stations across America; and with the number of stations overwhelmingly jumping on the band wagon of the record, suddenly “March” is now marching in its official debut as a solid charting certified hit record on Billboard’s prestigious Adult R&B Chart.
Since its Billboard debut, “March” has gained strong momentum in its acceptance by top radio networks across America including Clear Channel and Cumulus radio. The single jumped from the position of #9 last week to the position of #7 charting above other top stars as it approaches the top 5. To think, it all started for Tandy at Starbucks.
Just as Halley’s Comet appears every 80 years and shoots through the sky as a phenomenon, George Tandy, Jr. is breaking down walls as an indie artist with a song that has amassed public appeal as well as becoming the talk of the industry amongst top radio program directors across America. What we have here is a singer/ pianist who on the strength of an indie release has now broken records across music genres as the first indie artist whose single is moving like a major on the strength of the music itself without the major presence of the Wizard of Oz to push it. Rather, the single is pushing itself in the hearts and minds of music lovers across America.
In the lunch rooms of the radio execs that run music on the radio airwaves, much is being said about Tandy’s breakout hit across the board. In a recent interview with Majic 107.5, a Radio representative shared his thoughts on the impact of Tandy’s “March” as relates to the R&B industry as a whole.
“March is one of those records that I can point to. Very few records like it. It’s like John Legend’s Ordinary People. Mint Condition’s “Pretty Brown Eyes”. When they came out, there was nothing that sounded like it”.
“March” is a general radio hit by the massive support of radio stations across America. It is a public hit record due to the overwhelming mass appeal of fans that are moved by the touching lyrics and its poignancy. It is a global hit in its bold assertion that global unity begins with the choice to unite for positive change.
The message behind “March” is profound in its content and applies to humanity as a whole. Watching the music video, “March” tells the story of a couple in love facing economic struggle and how they worked together to push through the challenges of adversity as one. The storyline shifts forward to the subject of marching for human relations and social change for the betterment of mankind. The song is an anthem to the freedoms of America and beyond. It talks of the power of unity and tenacity in tough times and it is celebratory in its outreach to acknowledge the unlimited freedoms of humanity that are vast in scope and many of which have been dormant or unexercised. The video shines the light upon the significance of tenacity fueled by the hope of tomorrow.
That very hope is embraced melodically and lyrically through the recognition of the significance of social change as each generation examines itself and its purpose and with all that we have as a nation, we forge forward to challenge ourselves to dare to dream and achieve beyond our comfort zone into the realm of uncharted territories... as we march towards higher knowledge and understanding of one another coming to new understandings and new beginnings. To new discoveries, new innovations all in a symphony of mental and spiritual evolution that make us participants as social innovators, pioneers, and inventors as people who walk and are guided on the path for change.
After watching the video the first time, I was left speechless and moved within my core spirit that this is more than a music release. It’s the new anthem for hope for the future and so much more.
So for those who were skeptical about the music industry’s honesty and integrity in relation to the possibilities of success for an indie artist, George Tandy, Jr.’s presence in the Top 10 of Billboard are indicative that there is such a thing as an honest ride to success by a regular guy with an extraordinary talent to sing and play a keyboard.
The following excerpt from Tandy’s recent interview with Tutu the Badboy on 94.1 The Beat speaks of “March” and the making of the song’s rise as an R&B Top 10 hit record:
Tutu: “Hanging out with one of the soulful cats who are out right now.George Tandy, Jr. Tutu the Badboy 94.1 the Beat. So “March”… it’s all over radio stations…your song is rising up the charts …Did “March” just happen?”
George: “Yes, uh..yes, it just happened.”
Tutu: “The song means a lot to everybody. what does it mean to you personally”.
George: “The song is drenched in this passion for life, resilience and love and for me It gives a message to the world . Can we reach beyond what seems like limitations? It’s dynamic and it takes you on a journey of possibilities”.