In Final Interview, Maurice White Reflects on Earth, Wind & Fire’s History and His Vision: ‘Music Was Playing In My Head’

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With the news of Earth, Wind & Fire co-founder Maurice White‘s passing today, Billboard has quickly released a brand new interview, one of his last, which they conducted with him via e-mail last month surrounding the announcement of the groups Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

White was unable to grant a full interview due to his Parkinson’s, but he did answer a few questions about the founding of the group, commercial breakthrough, winning his first Grammy Award, if he hears his influence in contemporary R&B and more.

Check out some excerpts below.


ON FOUNDING THE GROUP: “I started EWF because I had a vision and music was playing in my head that I wanted to bring through. What I had in mind was exactly what Earth, Wind & Fire became.”

THE EVOLUTION OF THE GROUPS SOUND: “There was an evolution and as time went on, the sound was developed by the musicians I brought into the group.”

FINDING LARGE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS: “Strong, driving rhythm and easily remembered hooks. Plus a new way of combining a lot of diverse elements so everyone found something they could relate to.”

WINNING HIS FIRST GRAMMY: “I was so excited. The validation by the industry was gratifying. It felt like my position in the chain of musical history was being acknowledged.”

INFLUENCE ON CONTEMPORARY R&B: “I don’t really listen to contemporary R&B with an ear for hearing my influence. Music is a spirit unto itself and all of us musicians influence each other all along the chain.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE



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