The historical and powerful idiom, “Young, Gifted & Black” is a phrase that personifies one with extraordinary abilities, and in this particular case that one is a rising, young, music mogul who goes by the aptly deemed name of Andre “Versatile” Hunter.
Born in Springfield, MA and now based out of Chicago, Illinois, his gypsy-like existence has him frequenting many areas throughout the states, including Canada and overseas. Currently he is on Ameilia Island (Fernandina Beach, FL) – Miami FL is also included in his Florida stop. In addition to cities in Florida, Atlanta GA is also a state and city that he parks his suitcases at from time to time.
When asked about his grueling traveling schedule, he simply states that he makes himself available for all inquiries, collaborations, performances and appearances. He revealed that he is about to embark on a tour called “The Versatile Xperience” bka “The VX” which will target cities, states, and provinces that he has traveled to before and received the most love, but he is also reaching out and extending his entertainment travels to areas that would have otherwise not been capable of landing major acts. His flexibility and openness to play for big-budget venues and small intimate ones allow fans of all economic means the opportunity to see him perform. He added that he wants the world to know him and that he aspires to become a household name, known for tastefully rich and honest entertainment.
Hunter’s zeal to compose music was ignited by the people in his surroundings who lived their lives through music; he elaborated by saying that his mother and father kept the household flowing with it, and that his mother’s voice was comparable to Whitney Houston when she was at the top of her game. He shared another fond memory of how he was awakened at his aunt’s house one night, and asked to sing Houston’s “You Give Good Love”, which he flawlessly nailed.
His natural musicianship and vocal abilities seem to be a family trait, for he is part of a bloodline that includes his talented relatives (his mother’s cousins) who were part of a successful 70’s R&B Group called Tavares. Tavares’ hits included, “Heaven Must be Missing an Angel”, “Never Had a Love Like This Before”, “It Only Takes a Minute”, and last, but certainly not least “More Than a Woman” which appeared on the record breaking soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever”, a movie starring a young John Travolta.
For the impressionably gifted tyke, musical expression became a place of peace and solace. Whenever he felt lonely or hurt, angry or sad, music always soothed and lifted his spirits, something that it still does this very day. He says that once he zones out and, (In the words of the superstar rapper and business CEO, Jay-Z), starts murmuring and mumbling words to a beat; the ideas formulate and what might take many upwards of hours and up to a week(s) to complete; sometimes in 30 minutes, or up to a couple of hours perfectly, depending on the complexity of the arrangement. When beat making, he can make a high quality, big sounding instrumental right in front of your very eyes, whether it’s hummed or beat-boxed in as little as 15 minutes but, again, it pretty much depends on the complexity of the composition. He further adds that his talent is not a gimmick and that he has plenty of eye-witnesses that can attest to his genius. Hunter states that music is, indeed, in his blood, that God saw fit to bless him with his a gift he cultivated without any formal training or schooling — all he has ever sacrificed is sleep from a radical drive that most would call crazy and, perhaps, even wonder how he is capable of functioning after being awake for so many hours.
When asked which title he most identifies with, this multifaceted musical force says that producing and composing are intertwined as one, so he’s somewhat of a chameleon when it comes to melodic and lyrical composition. The stimulation, he says, also comes from a poignant place within, so life, love and happiness (or even the lack thereof) boosts his imaginative energy. Hunter feels that he has gone through quite a bit in his young life, and that jaws would literally be dropping if he revealed details of the highs and lows he has encountered on his journey.
Every experience, he says, empties out what has accumulated inside of soul and finds a new home inside the expressive corridors of his musical compositions. His desire is to bring hope to others whom have gone through similar struggles, or ones all their own. His passion is wrought with sincerity and he driven to create relatable music for anyone to identify with. He feels that, instead of delving in destructive or nonproductive activities, there are those who’ll turn to music as an escape to be inspired or consoled and, again, that is what fuels his ambition. Andre believes that anyone can rise to their full potential and make their dreams happen as long as they stay progressively motivated and diligently focused in their efforts. Regardless of how broken someone’s spirit may be, with a little bit of cultivation and direction that person can rise from the ashes and soar beyond even their own expectations.
Hunter is currently an independent artist and the CEO of the entertainment company that he himself founded; which allows him the freedom to control his destiny and also cultivate other talent; however, when he finds the right management team he plans on negotiating a contract with a major recording company that will, in turn, open doors for not only him, but also the artists that he supports as well. Based on his observations about the business, there are too many talented people being overlooked and he is not someone interested in counting anyone out. This is the main reason why he pushes himself as hard as he does – handling the workload of an entire company, to prove that being multifaceted will allow one to create their own opportunities and set their own rules.
Point blank; if you want something bad enough you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.
In doing whatever it takes, Andre’s “Versatile” musicianship allows him to not only play keyboards, but also to utilize “every studio device known to man.” He went a step further by adding: “If I’m not familiar with it, give me a few days with it, and by the time you get back, I will be!” That versatility extends over to the genres of music he not only composes but also listens to. Some of his favorite singers and musical groups are: Ginuwine, Earth Wind & Fire, Freddie Jackson, Luther Vandross, Biggie, Tupac, Bow Wow, Usher, Jermaine Dupree, Jagged Edge, The Cranberries, Guns & Roses, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett, Jeffery Osborne, The Verge, Savage Garden…. This list goes on and on – hence the middle name “Versatile”.
His musical tastes may be vast, but his creative process is pretty simple: Hunter vibes to whatever it is he is creating. The mood of the music determines the aura within the studio – he generally likes feeding off of live interactions that encompasses everyone’s essence to make them a part of his creative process. In that creating music is somewhat of a spiritual process, he adds that he believes in both the Father of man and his Son, he humbly knows that no one is perfect and that we all fall short of the Glory of God.
His current musical project is entitled “Q. & A: Pt. 1” and he is also working on a soundtrack for his upcoming book. The innovative tour he is about to embark is the basis for this soundtrack and he is currently accepting submissions from artists worldwide. Those he deems as being the “Perfect Fit” will have the opportunity to tour with Hunter, covering geographic regions that include their own as well as others who will be touring also. The entire “Versatility” concept is to send a message that the performances are universal without limitations or locations.
The marketing avenues he uses to promote his music and projects are comprised of social networking, the distribution of CD’s, online stores, specialized fliers and posters with graphics designed by Hunter, the tried and true word-of-mouth method (family and friends), numerous media forums, established industry-relationships, as well as, performances and special appearances. His open-mindedness leaves room for any inside industry personnel to share their vast knowledge and insight to help deepen his footprint in the sands walked by many phenomenal artists in the competitive recording world. Youthful wisdom assures him that, in the beginning, no one will brand you better than you; however, those who are willing to help are welcomed assets on his ambitious musical endeavors. .
Andre “Versatile” Hunter’s star is on the rise; he states that he has rubbed shoulders with many well known names in the business, but the most memorable moment came when, after waiting so long, he finally met singer/actor Ginuwine. He remembers always being in his shadow, and even remembers how many folks swore that the two of them were related – they even said that his singing style mirrored Ginuwine’s, and Hunter confidently echoes their sentiments.
Hunter is a delightfully gifted young man on a marvelous musical mission, and is also a rising music mogul on the cusp of stellar success and longevity in the glamorous world of entertainment. The last question he was asked, is what he wants his current and future listeners to know about him, the artist. He pretty much says that the name fits the artist, and that with every piece of his work you will always have a part of him. He promises you that the music will consistently be real and that he isn’t out just to make a hit, he wants his music to be inspirational compositions for the heart and soul.
He wants everyone to know; established artists, as well as, producers and record labels – anyone that is looking to build bridges, a “Versatile” start is the way to go. He offers services in production, mixing, mastering, duplication, media & graphic design, DJ’ing on location, signature “Chopped & ReVerSatillized”, and most importantly, to express the fact that, any collaboration with Versatile & D-lux Entertainment will electrify any venue and bring the house down; “You will not be disappointed”.
In closing out this insightful interview, Andre was asked what his biggest thrill has been so far as a recording artist. He responded by saying that being accepted and embraced by radio personalities, athletes, magazines, local and overseas entertainment personalities, has been an extreme adrenaline rush and profound encouragement to him. The natural high you feel knowing that others are truly enjoying what you’ve created is, indeed, a humbling and sometimes overwhelming experience.
To purchase Andre “Versatile” Hunter’s music, visit any of the links below:
♪ Sound Engineer ♪ Producer ♪ Songwriter ♪ Singer ♪ DJ ♪ Graphic Designer ♪ Barber
André “Versatile” Hunter
Skype: DluxCEO or VersatileMusic
Versatile’s new cd “Q&A: Pt. 1” is now available on iTunes! Get your copy NOW!
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