By Deardra Shuler
There are some folks born with the creative gene. It’s as if the cosmos connected them to the wellspring of music and it flows through them like an endless stream. There is no doubt that Big Bub is endowed with an infinite river of talent whether via writing, arranging, producing, or singing.
Formerly with the Gents, Big Bub was discovered by Motown’s Andre Harrell, who signed him to the music giant. Presently promoting his new CD “Tug of War,” Bub talked about Side “A” and “B.” “The R&B side is entitled “Living in the Flesh,” the gospel side is called “Died of the Flesh.” My CD mirrors the spiritual tug of war with the secular world and the gospel world that is going on within me right now” explained Big Bub.
Raised by an evangelist mother who could also sing, Big Bub started singing in Church at 5. His father and brother were also musically inclined. At age 17, in 1988, he began performing with the group Today. Today had 2, #1 hits, which sold nearly 2 million records. “I started my career 5 months after I graduated high school. I was already playing Madison Square Garden at 17. I was overwhelmed. Everything was a blur because the success came so fast for us. We actually changed the whole music era in the late1980s. We did the first Keith Sweat album, Al B. Sure‘s album and then I wrote “My Prerogative” for Bobbie Brown and “Gotta Believe” for Mary J. Blige and the list goes on. It was amazing!” remarked the prolific songwriter/arranger and composer.
Big Bub went solo recording with Sylvia Roane for East West Records and also appearing in a Dr. Dre film entitled “Who’s the Man.”
At 24, Big Bub became Vice President of Motown for 4 years. “I was with Motown as an artist initially, left them, and then returned as VP. I started writing for Mary J. Blige, Blackstreet, Boy George, The Jacksons, Horace Brown, Johnny Gil, et al. Almost everyone I wrote for had a hit. I even wrote for Tom Jones. That white man has soul! It’s been a long road, occasionally a hard road but a fun road for sure” commented Bub.
Big Bub has a unique way of writing lyrics. He simply shows up at the recording studio and writes the music while recording. “The words just come to me. I occasionally have writers block but 75 to 80% of the time lyrics and melodies just pop into my head. I hear the melody in my head, have the producer play it and it’s a go” stated Big Bub concerning his creativity. “I love and have a passion for music. In fact, I am planning on touring with my CD TUG OF WAR soon” claimed the singer.
“I took a rest for a time. Folks haven’t seen me for awhile so they want to me to perform. I’m a performer too although I have been writing a lot. People say I have been cheating them of my vocal skills since I had been writing for various artists and sitting behind a corporate desk. I have been told its time for my own album” said BB who responded with TUG OF WAR.
Big Bub created more than 56 records as the VP of A&R at Motown and traveled often. “I was away from my family a lot. I am married with children. I try to be with them as much as possible but my job often takes me away. I met my wife at Chaz & Wilson in Virginia Beach. I just saw her and she was nice and quiet and so we became friends. In fact, we were friends for a year before we became romantic. Folks said find a girl who could sing but I said whatever God had in store for me would be the woman I marry, even if she worked at Winkie Dinkie Dogs,” laughed Big Bub. “I lived in Greenwich, Ct for years but now I live in South Carolina with my wife and kids.
“I am still writing for different artists. I write for the artists on my music label, Drake Web. Now that I have artists on my label, I have to give them some of that hotness, too. I have an artist named Valerie Wit who is an R&B artist and another singer Philip Bryant who is gospel. Another of my gospel artists, Izzy, is doing well on Billboard. He is presently No. 22. I am also looking for a country group and a Rock group. I want to keep my label diverse and universal,” says Big Bub who writes music for every musical genre and even the occasional jingle.
“I can hear music in my head. When you are creative like that, you are in a zone. I sometimes take the music to bed with me. I will be in bed and my wife will ask ‘Boy, what record are you doing?’ I’m practically creating music in my sleep” laughed the inexhaustible talent.
“Sometimes, my fans get overly enthusiastic. I remember once at Great Adventure in New Jersey, people ran up to me and nearly stampeded me. It got kind of scary. Sometimes, folks look up to artists as if they are Gods and I don’t play that. It got crazy and I decided it was time to take a respite. I was about to sign a major million dollar contract but I walked away from it. People couldn’t understand that. I heard God so ever clear. I felt him in my heart for real. He was in my ear, heart, and mind. He was ever present and it just blew me away. So, I took time off and spent some time with God. My new CD is the result. I think folks will love the blend of R&B and gospel. It works!”