Born March 29, 1955, is a singer-songwriter and producer. Like many other black singer/songwriters, he began performing gospel music in church settings as a youngster and then moved into the secular field as a lyricist, producer, and singer. An active recording artist since the 1970s, Clayton’s career has endured almost 40 years and has spanned a repertoire in the styles of R&B, soul, and gospel. Birthed into an era of soul and R&B legends, a time when music was pure, lyrics had meaning, and artists had pronounceable names, Willie Clayton is now one of the few working artists of his contemporaries. Since the 1970’s he’s been crooning with the likes of Ron Isley, Bobby Womack, Sam Cooke, and Marvin Gaye, yet now he stands nearly alone, facing a new generation.
Born in the Deep South (Indianola, Mississippi) one of 11 siblings, during the days of segregation, Clayton, unable to find proper management or the success he sought moved to Chicago in 1971.
Considered by critics and fans alike to be one of the last great “Soul” men, Clayton continues to record and perform and has maintained a devoted following throughout the world.
Born Robert Smith, Bigg Robb began his journey in the music industry as a teenage disc jockey at a small radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio in the late '70s. Through the early '80s he stayed in radio, focusing on soul and funk artists such as Bootsy Collins, Midnight Star, Zapp & Roger, and other greats of the era, often interviewing these artists on his shows. Eventually he fell in with a circle of soul and funk stars, hanging out in recording studios with them and ultimately coming under the mentorship of Roger Troutman, who enlisted Smith as his driver, then as a member of his band Zapp, all the while encouraging Smith to record his own original music. After Troutman's death in 1999, Smith took on the Bigg Robb moniker and set out on a solo career with the 2002 album Grown Folk's Muzic. Embracing Midwest funk, Southern soul, and gospel alike, Bigg Robb's catalog grew at a prolific rate as he offered up new music nonstop for the years that followed. He went on to release multiple albums of his spirited R&B-infused sounds, including highlights like 2009's Jerri Curl Muzic, 2012's Juke Joint Music, and 2015's Showtime.
Born and raised in Jackson in the heart of Mississippi, Zac Harmon is a true extension of the music that came from the city’s historic Farish Street district, the home of blues legend Elmore James. A guitarist, organist, singer, and songwriter, Harmon's distinctive style combines the best of old-school soul-blues artists like Z.Z. Hill and Dorothy Moore with modern lyrics and themes that allow the blues to breathe in the new millennium. His live performances combine elements of everything that influenced him: soul-blues, gospel, reggae, and modern blues-rock.
Harmon played guitar for Hill and Moore, as well as Sam Myers and McKinley Mitchell when they passed through on their regional tours, and he finally moved to L.A. in the early '80s to take a real shot at this music business. He began as a session musician and then established himself as a writer and producer as well. He wrote songs for the likes of Evelyn "Champagne" King, Freddie Jackson, the Whispers, K-Ci & Jo Jo, and the O'Jays, and produced songs for reggae band Black Uhuru's Mystical Truth album, which received a Grammy nomination in 1994.
As a songwriter, singer, guitarist, bandleader, producer, and impresario, Harmon has embodied all that blues music can become in the second decade of the new millennium.
Castro Coleman aka Mr. Sipp The Mississippi Blues Child is a native of McComb. Castro was born in the small town of McComb, Mississippi to Johnell and the late Vera Coleman. He is a husband and father of four daughters. He has been around music all of his life. His parents and aunt had a quartet group. He was influenced by BB King at the age of 6 which is when he started playing the guitar.
In 2014 Castro was the winner of the International Blues Challenge (Band), the Albert King Gibson Guitar award, BMA Best New Artist Album winner 2016, The Spirit of Little Walter Award 2016. In 2016, Castro was the first blues artist to have his handprint inducted into the Wall of Fame in Fredrikshavn Denmark. In 2014, Castro was given the Bobby Rush Entertainer of the Year Award by the Jus' Blues Foundation. In 2015, he won several Jackson Music Awards including International Male Blues Artist, Blues Artist of the Year, Entertainer of the year.
Castro started out playing the gospel with his aunt Grace Cain. Then he later started his own group The True Believers which launched them in the gospel industry with their album In This Place. After The True Believers, Castro joined the Williams Brothers.
Currently, Castro has and is touring all over the world. He has brought the blues to Hong Kong, Brazil, Denmark, Spain Switzerland, Belgium, France, Scotland, and The Netherlands just to name a few.
Lafayette, Louisiana-born R&B vocalist Bryson Bernard, popularly known as Cupid, began to sing in his church choir, encouraged by his pastor father. Despite his enrolling at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a full athletic scholarship in track and field, his real passion was music. He left the track team to form a singing group and eventually dropped out of college. The dissolution of the group didn't interfere with Bernard's pursuit of a singing career -- he went solo immediately afterward. He sang at every type of venue he could, including talent shows, weddings, and funerals. Bernard earned the name Cupid during this time for his impressive performance of the late-'90s 112 hit single "Cupid." The singer first enjoyed radio airplay in 2001 with his single "Do Ya Thing," which appeared on his self-pressed, eponymous debut the following year.
Cupid's gospel-tinged vocals began to attract local promoters and rappers alike. He was tapped to open for blues artists as well as to record background vocals for various rap albums. In late 2006, Cupid was finally discovered by major-label Atlantic due to the buzz surrounding his local single at the time, "Cupid Shuffle." He signed with the label the following January, and soon his dance record was standing its ground in the Top 30 of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for several weeks.
Although "Cupid Shuffle" was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA, Cupid didn't release a second major-label album. He continued to record, however, for Lafayette's Hub City label, where he released the albums Feel Good Music, Positopia, and Dance Fever during the first half of the 2010s. An unsuccessful blind audition during the third season of the singing competition The Voice left him undaunted.
LJ Echols grew up in a small town in Mississippi called Bassfield right outside of Hattiesburg. LJ Echols started out in a gospel group called the “The Echols Family”
After the success of the gospel album, LJ decided moved to Dallas, TX in August of 1999 to endeavor into the R&B (Rhythm & Blues) style of music. This is when LJ decided to come up with a grouped called the 4- Sho Band which consisted of three brothers and a cousin. LJ Echols-bass player and background singer, Demertic Echols- Lead Singer, Sedrick Echols- drum player, Carlos McLoud- second lead singer and background singer. The 4-Sho Band all shared a part of playing, singing, and writing their own music.
In the summer of 2004, LJ Echols started a solo singing career as a Southern Soul Blues Artist. LJ is very talented and versatile when it comes to music. LJ Echols plays, writes, produce, and sings his own music.
LJ Echols was up for nomination for the Best New Blues Artist of the Year at the 2006 Jus Blues Music Awards that was held in Atlanta.
LJ Echols has so many goals and has accomplished so much in the past couple of years such as starting his own record label called NECKBONE RECORDS.