As told to us by Gavin Christopher
I was born in Chicago where i started out playing music at a very early age.where i came to the attention of a Mr Lawrence Simmons who took me to my first major audition for a show by Oscar Brown, Jr. After being schooled by the likes of Oscar Brown, Jr., Donny Hathaway and later on Curtis Mayfield, I honed my writing and singing skills and set out on my musical journey.
I later hooked up with Chaka Khan in a band called "lyfe" that we started. Chaka then left and joined a band called "Rufus." At that point, I was in another band called "High Voltage" with Bobby Watson, Tony Maiden and Lalomie Washburn, who later joined Rufus with Chaka. I had written some songs which were recorded by Rufus, including "Dance Wit Me, " "Fool's Paradise" and "Once You Get Started," and they instantly became their biggest hits. I also wrote "Have a Good Time," which was recently sampled by Missy Elliot in a song called "It's Real."
I decided it was time to leave Chicago and moved to Los Angeles, where I was signed to my first deal with Island Records. I later moved back to Chicago to record and work with Curtis Mayfield on the Curtom/RSO Label. Then I got a call from Herbie Hancock to write and sing for his projects. I wrote and sang several songs on several albums with Herbie Hancock and penned the classic "Stars in Your Eyes."
Following a move to New York, I signed with EMI Manhattan, and had a couple of singles, "One Step Closer to You" and "You are Who You Love." I also produced various artists, such as Grandmaster Flash (who was just inducted into the ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME), Afrika Bambatta and the Ritchie Family. I was heavily involved in the early Hip-Hop scene, writing such hits as "Girls Love the Way He Spins," "Sign of the Time," "We Gonna Rock America" and "All Night All Right."
I am currently living in Los Angeles and working on several projects with Lee Curreri, Craig Williams, Steve Harvey and Quincy Jones.