YOU SHOULD BE DANCING
A Spotlite on Musician SPACE CAPONE
By Tyler Malone
“I Just Wanna Dance,” Space Capone’s infectious new groove, will get even the shiest of wallflowers feeling like they should shake their groove thangs. Whether or not they get up off the wall is another issue altogether, but as Space Capone told me: “Unless you’re a complete square, you should be dancing.”
And you should be. As esteemed writer and thinker Samuel Beckett famously wrote, “Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.” That philosophy underlines the music of Space Capone, whose debut album will be released later this year. Space Capone is a breath of fresh air in the current mainstream corporate pop/rap/dance music scene. He’s pure funky music, in the vein of Prince, Michael Jackson, Rick James, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Heatwave. He goes back to the old sounds to tease out something new. When everything on the radio is sounding the same, pop in some Space Capone and dance to the beat of a different drum (or drum machine).
Tyler Malone: How did you get into music? Did you always know this was what you wanted to do?
Space Capone: My father played the guitar. There was always one lying around the house. I didn’t pick it up until middle school. The bug struck quickly though. It took me going to college to find out that music was what I wanted to do. Once I realized I didn’t need a diploma to achieve my goals, I hit the road.
TM: I hear a lot of soul and funk in your sound, and particularly a lot of Prince influence. Maybe that’s just my take away, being a huge Prince fan myself. Is that off base?
SC: Not off base at all. His songs are inside all of mine.
TM: I’m curious what your favorite Prince album and/or favorite Prince song is?
SC: My favorite song is one that Chaka actually made famous: “I Feel For You.” That early self-titled record Prince did was hot. He had something to prove and you can hear it. Lots of great tracks came off that record, like “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover.”
TM: Who are some of the other musicians who have most influenced you?
SC: Heatwave, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, Ohio Players, Parliament, Rick James, Bob James, Jamiroquai, Bread, Al Jarreau, Bobby Caldwell, Jermaine Jackson, Pleasure, Chicago, and Steely Dan.
TM: What is your favorite aspect of all this? Crafting songs for an album and creating that art or getting out and playing the songs on stage in front of an audience?
SC: Nothing competes with performing the songs live. If something were to come close, it would be the moment you realize you’ve written a song that will stick. There’s something spiritual about sitting down in a chair and having a melody fall in your lap.
TM: What’s your songwriting process?
SC: I’ve got a 1958 Martin parlor guitar that never leaves my house. It’s helped me pen lots of tunes. I’ll push play on a programmed drum track and hit the ground running. I find that writing along to an established drum beat provides you with a more polished sound as you’re writing.
TM: Tell us a bit about your debut album.
SC: The songs on this album were written over a span of a couple years. John “JR” Robinson (Michael Jackson, Chaka Kahn, Earth Wind & Fire) played some of the drums. Jerry Hey (Michael Jackson, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire) arranged horns on “Back to the House.” So we made sure to include some of my influences in developing the sound. It’s not intended to be played and not listened to. I think the songs demand the listener’s attention. And unless you’re a complete square, you should be dancing.
TM: Yeah, speaking of Robinson and Hey, you work with some awesome people on this album, but I wonder is there one musician you’d love to work with that you haven’t yet had the opportunity to do so?
SC: I’d like to work with Rod Temperton. He’s easily one of the best songwriters of our time. He’s played a huge roll in the careers of Michael Jackson and Heatwave, which are two of my favorites. The big pond is currently keeping us from working together. I’m sure he’s got a cozy pad in the UK somewhere. I won’t bug him until the time is right.
TM: So when should we expect to be able to purchase the album?
SC: You’ll be able to purchase the album later this year. As for right now, you can find the single “I Just Wanna Dance” on iTunes.
Space Capone is Aaron Winters. The Nashville-based musician will release his self-titled debut album–a collection of horn-laden soul-funk dance floor rockers and silky R&B jams on AVJ Records in early 2012 and is currently on tour.
Space Capone interviewed by Tyler Malone
Written by Tyler Malone
Photography Courtesy of Corey Manuel / Susan Blond, Inc.
Design by Marie Havens
Space Capone, Photography Courtesy of Corey Manuel / Susan Blond, Inc.