Ken Ford recently released his 4th CD, State of Mind
. He continues to impress audiences and grow his fan base with his exhilarating blend of jazz and R&B music, all set to the electric violin. Smoothviews first chatted with Ken two years ago at the release of Right Now.
We take the opportunity now to catch up with him and discuss the new CD, his Ken Ford Foundation, and other things happening for this talented musician.
SmoothViews (SV): The last time you interviewed with Smoothviews was almost 2-1/2 years ago when Right Now was your current offering. When we chatted, you were just getting your foundation up and running. Since that time, things have taken off for the Ken Ford Foundation. Tell me about what’s been happening with it and where it’s headed.
Ken Ford (KF): OMG, The Ken Ford Foundation is rapidly moving forward….we are partnering with a well known restaurant here in Atlanta and we are having a family fun day which will include young aspiring string players. We also have a ‘donate your old instrument’ drive going on AND auditions for the “Ken Ford Symphony” will be starting the first of the year! So KFF is doing just fine J
SV: You have a devoted following which continues to grow with each new release or live performance. Can you tell me about some of the challenges, or innovations, to getting your music out there and heard these days?
KF: You know, there’s always challenges that we are faced with on a daily basis, i.e. radio airplay, placement, etc…so we have to be creative….target commercials, movies, iPhones, internet…..I am committed to staying innovative and current with my music, especially with this growing technology.
SV: Let’s talk about your latest release, State of Mind, which released in early August. So far, it’s been well received. I really like the first song, “Guttaville.” It kind of just hits you, bam, and pulls you right in. It comes at you full force. Can you tell us a little about that song?
KF: Funny you asked about Guttaville….That song does exactly what our minds do all the time; Go in and out of the Gutter!!J When you hear you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
SV: How did you hook up with Algebra Blessett for “Free Fall?” Was it an Atlanta thing?
KF: Actually, Algebra and I have known each other for quite some time, just coming up on the Atlanta scene. We just never got a chance to do something on an album together. Well, “Free Fall” finally gave us that opportunity.
SV: The song “Kiran,” is a lovely ballad. This is the softer side of Ken Ford. Can you tell us a little about that one?
KF: “Kiran” was written by one of the producers of the CD, Colin Morrison….and that song came to him in a dream and that’s what ‘kiran’ means “dream”….what language, I don’t know.
SV: I’ve noticed that you included “Prelude in C-Minor/Strung Out” and the live version of “Moments in Love” from your last album as bonus tracks. “Moments in Love” has become your signature song. Has “Prelude” been adopted by your fans as another Ken Ford classic as well?
KF: Oh most definitely! And that’s exactly why I decided to include that one as well….that song has always reminded me of my string students in my foundation.
SV: I think this album showcases the versatility of not only the violin, but the violinist as well. I think there are still a lot of misconceptions about the violin and what it can sound like. It’s not just country and classical. You are one of several contemporary musicians that are changing the way the violin is perceived. You are taking it beyond its country and classical roots. I saw Karen Briggs at Berks this year. I’ve not seen them yet, but I’ve heard of Nuttin’ But Stringz, the two brothers from Queens, NY. Are you just a guy making music, or is it more than that?
KF: It’s definitely more than that….I have come to realize that when I play I actually inspire individuals to do what it is that they love to do! And that in itself is a gift and blessing from GOD!
SV: We look forward to hearing more innovative music from you, and hope to catch your live show again soon. Thank you for chatting with me this evening. Look forward to seeing you soon.