"I decided to make this album to tell my story. I composed it with rage and passion, with all my heart and my soul. This album is really me! And it was time ... "
Wayne Beckford knows what he’s talking about, he who for ten years have written and produced for the cream of international artists in the shadow of American studios, doing countless prestigious collaborations from Akon to the Black Eyed Peas, from Rihanna, Gnarls Barkley, Outkast, Seal or UB40. Everyone knows songs by Wayne Beckford, without necessarily knowing they are of him. He could have continued like that for long, tailor-making hits for stars. The goose that lays golden albums calibrated. But one day he finally decided to expose his talent to the spotlight.
The result is this amazing album, entitled "Alpha Omega". The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, but also the symbol of a beginning and an end. The beginning of a new life, that of a complete artist, who knows the music to his fingertips, feeling the depths of the guts. An album that blends soul, funk, R&B, jazz, hip hop and reggae, but with one leg inimitable personal touch, at once respectful and fiercely modern classic. Decidedly different.
Just like "Dynamite," the first single, a real bomb in the rhythmic line of the best productions of James Brown or Prince. Or "Talking Trash", tender mockery of girls who spend their days on the phone with girlfriends. In "Go mama," Wayne wanted to recreate the atmosphere of musicals of 20s, the era of Untouchables and the Depression, while "We're in need of love," a gorgeous ballad written in London by his parents, evokes the nostalgia of its origins face the harshness of life. An eclectic album, filled with movements and feelings as varied as the self-portrait of an artist to journey as turbulent as passionate. All shouted in a voice at once harsh and sweet, worthy of the greatest soul singers.
The story really begins in the early 90s in the suburbs south of London. Born of Jamaican parents who immigrated to England, little Wayne is passionate about music, initiated by a cousin, a great lover of new trends of the time, drum'n'bass or jungle. One day in 1993, the cousin was killed during a brawl.
"I could have gone wrong, get a gun to try to avenge him”, said Wayne, “but my uncle decided to send me to Sweden for me to safety. "
Here the young music lover will complete his education, he who can read and write music, has studied both Mozart, soul of the sixties, learned to play all the instruments that pass between the hands - drums, bass, guitar or piano. He spends most of his time to peel his record collection, from Sammy Davis Jr. to Stevie Wonder, from Ray Charles, Donny Hathaway, Jimmy Cliff and Toots & the Maytals:
"I was able to stay three months locked in my room, trying to understand how the harmonies were built to analyze chord structures, rhythms, vocal arrangements. People around me thought I was crazy ... "
Mad yes, but for music. No wonder, he could be found in Atlanta some years later, hired by the production company founded by Akon, the multiplatinum R&B singer. His job is writing songs and producing records for major artists, he who is able to compose in all styles to accommodate all personalities.
"I am sometimes asked to write a hit in half an hour ... or they would call me at four o'clock in the morning to help finish recording or running a voice session. I earned a good living, but there was a hectic and stressful."
Until one day, between two recording sessions, Wayne decides to take a break. To abandon the business of custom productions for some time, to pass on the other side of the microphone, the other side of the curtain. History finally shows what he is really capable...
When you see Wayne Beckford on stage, it's impossible not to think of legendary figures of De La Soul music: James Brown for the pace, Otis Redding for the Energy, Marvin Gaye for the Sensuality. Except that Beckford is Wayne himself. An escapee from the "Planet Soul" (a title of the album), sensual crooner showman and hectic, but who has swallowed and transcended all genres to forge his own musical identity, both melodic and energetic, generous and explosive. Dynamite in a pure state.