If you need a dose of inspiration or need to feel uplifted through this craziness and trauma that we are experiencing look no further than rising new Pop Soul artist, Major. Within a few seconds of listening to the artist who is a blend of Maxwell, John Legend and Bruno Mars, I was moved and you will be too. With his debut single, “Why I love You” trending on the Urban AC Chart and a memorable soulful performance this week on “The Preachers” daytime talk show, we had to connect with music’s most-buzzed about artist for a little Pynk inspiration. Pynk Girl, Zain-Minkah Murdock had an in-depth interview and conversation with Major and we concluded he is definitely here to stay. Check out her interview below.
He’s one of ten children. They nicknamed him “little Martin Luther King” growing up. He likes to call himself the bridge between old-school and new school. He’s written songs for the likes of Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes. You could probably catch him listening to Michael Jackson and Kendrick Lamar. He’s an extroverted introvert, but he walks with an undeniably confident stride, with a black fedora on his head and a microphone in hand. He is unapologetically cool.
His name is MAJOR. And his very first EP drops this Friday, July 22.
“The music speaks for itself,” he began. “You know at first I was like, ‘Man, I wish I could put it out sooner’, but the timing is perfect, the conversation I’m having in my music is about love, about relationships, about self-worth, about coming together and doing it together and winning. People need to understand the love within themselves first, so that they can then understand the necessity of how to get it.”
“I had a dream, no pun intended, that Martin Luther King came and told me I was next. He said, “What I did for civil rights, you will do for hope. You’re going to do it around this world.” And that was when I think I fully accepted the call to doing this music thing for more than just myself.”
But first, the pop-soul recording artist had to face rejection. “Moving to LA, I definitely got to experience rejection in the industry more than I had experienced in my life,” he admitted.
“When you’re used to being the big fish in the pond that you grew up in, and you come out here and it’s an ocean, that big fish is just like a goldfish swimming with a whole bunch of other goldfish. So, I definitely would say that my faith has been what informs me, my faith has told me to hold on and never stop, don’t quit, and it’s proved me well. It’s just a testament of not giving up on that which you believe in. I’m holding true to that and making sure that I put that message in the music as well.”
MAJOR. has always been a man of faith, humility, and confidence. However, it was the knowledge and appreciation of his name that put his confidence over the top.
“One of the turning points was when my mom told me the meaning behind my name,” he recalled. “When she named me, she was in college, she was embarrassed she was having another child out of wedlock, and she considered abortion. And both times, she was on her way to the abortion clinic, the tire went flat. The tire busted the second time and she was like, ‘Okay, I can take the sign, God, I’m supposed to have this child. But, I pray that if I name him ‘MAJOR.’, that he makes a major impact on the world.’ And so once I realized that, I was like, ‘Listen. I wish you would’ve told me that earlier in grade school, I wouldn’t have hated my name all this time!’”
“So I committed myself to make sure that that’s what I communicated to every person in the moment to share with me. Own you. Own how you do it. And just be your fullest without apology.”
Recently, MAJOR collaborated with former Glee actor, Amber Riley to record #ChangeRightNow, a song inspired by the recent racial injustices across America. The song features a clip of President Obama’s speech on the anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march. “Young people, eight years old and down, only know a black president, think about it,” he said. “And so, he’s very relevant to someone that they can admire. It was actually eerie because we were working on this all in one day from 9:00 into eight in the morning. It’s crazy but the speech fit perfectly in the spot, the clip that I wanted even ended right before the song did.”
He also gave a quick lesson on legislative politics and social justice, inspired by America’s response to the devastating shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.
“Bills don’t turn over in one day,” said MAJOR.
“He [Obama] could fight all day long on the day that you’re enraged, but at the end of the day, it’s going to take time to see the change that you’re expecting. People spectating and giving their commentary without contributing–all that’s going to do is slow down the process. I’ve been in politics, I’ve seen it,” he explained.
“I think every community needs a better understanding of politics. They need to get a better understanding of the law, the Constitution, what it is that we’re voting for…We’re getting so hung up on the wrong things and at the end of the day, voting–we need to know what are some of the laws that need to be changed. Educate your community.”
When it comes to handling ignorance, MAJOR. advises remaining patient and educating those who don’t know. “It’s a love thing. It’s an empathy thing,” he said. “You have the duty to let them know. Now, ignorance and stupidity are two different things. Stupidity is when you know and you choose not to do better. Ignorance is when you just don’t know. I had a show at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood and I went into a remix of Alright by Kendrick Lamar. And then I said [he sings], ‘Black lives matter too’. I think that’s what they need to realize. Because people are angry, it comes off as militant and disconnected from the heart of other people. But at the end of the day, the conversation is, we matter too. Judgement comes from a place of misunderstanding, or the lack of understanding.”
As for the future, MAJOR. hopes to follow in succession with some of his favorites: Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, the Rat Pack, and most of all, Michael Jackson.
“We have lots of different ideas but you know, Michael had this thing called, ‘budget’,’ he laughed. “But I’m grateful to have a lot of creative people around me that just want to see me win. When I win, we all win. Let’s do it together, right?”
Follow MAJOR. on:
Instagram, YouTube, & Twitter- @nowthatsmajor
Interviewed and reported by: Zain-Minkah Murdock