RESPECT. Interview: The Grammy Nominated Duo of Louis York
Louis York is a Grammy-nominated production/songwriting duo that consists of Chuck Harmony and Claude Kelly. They have been featured in an assortment of different platforms such as FADER, Billboard, BET, and The LA Times. They have also worked with the likes of Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, MJB, Brittany Spears, Jazmine Sullivan, Tori Kelly and more. Some of their hit songs include “Clair Huxtable,” “Things I Should Have Said,”and “Slow Motion.” With that being said the Grammy-nominated group recently sat down with RESPECT. to discuss their recent release of Masterpiece Theater- Act II, how they got their starts as musicians and what is next up on their agenda. Check out the interview below.
RESPECT.: You have worked with countless artists. What inspires you to create these masterpieces?
Our desire has always been to be the best we can be as artists and we have been lucky enough to run with such talents artists such as Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Bruno Mars, MJB, Brittany Spears, Jazmine Sullivan, Tori Kelly. In addition, when we are writing music and recreating with the Piano or guitar we are composing the material to the best of our abilities.
RESPECT.: How did you get your start as musicians?
Claude: Both of us have taken a completely different path to start our music careers. I started when I was two and a half and I come from more of a classical background and always knew this what I wanted to do at a youthful age. Being that I was always performing and studying the musical artistry.
Chuck: I started really young as well and it became a natural progression and I have able to carry out my passion for the art to where I am today.
RESPECT.: Can you take us through the writing process when you are coming up with content for the radio compared to just writing to release material?
That is a heavy question because there is a real big difference! Making a song for a radio mostly everyone thinks it’s so mild that a first grader can exactly come up with some of the concepts, but is more complex than that. You exactly, must sit down and recollect about that this going to be circulated worldwide. This cannot be answered in one sitting and it is very time-consuming, plus you must account for the editing process for both song and for the radio itself. When you don’t stop perfecting the course, those are the ones that get the hits. That is the difference in the writing process for radio singles and songs that you want to place on the album or EP. On the production side of affairs, you are really trying to work the complex content into the something that can be simply for the public.
RESPECT.: You recently released the second installment of the ‘Masterpiece Theater.’ Can you tell us how long it took to finish and what is your favorite single off the project?
Masterpiece Theater is composed of a body of work! Initially, we started writing and recording about a yr and a half ago and we have been fine-tuning the material. We kind of knew it was coming, but we wanted to make sure this how we wanted to publish it. Favorite song has been Hipster because it’s symbolic of how long we been creating music and it is not about conforming to trends. It also, aligned with what our company is “Weirdo Workshop” mission statement is in regards to personality and who we are spiritually.
RESPECT.: Can you tell us how you have been able to navigate through the music industry and kept up with the times this long?
The whole thing about music is that it is always contently changing and a lot of individuals are not looking to make music for a lifetime in the industry they just that one hit. Chuck and I really do our diligence and our homework before we made our first hit single. We took the approach of we are brand new students every day and there is always something that we can learn to improve our craft. The diversity of your material is what helps make fans keep wanting to follow your career. This helps you have longevity throughout your career.
RESPECT.: What is the message that you always want the fans to take from your craft?
Chuck: I want the fans to know that we are not doing this for money even though it is a good thing this is something that I enjoy and allows me to create excellent content. In addition, letting people know it is cool to play an instrument, being a nerd, and to follow your dreams. This is not just music message, it is an overall message that I want to help deliver to the public.
Claude: We have started a company grounded on that statement said and we pride ourselves as weirdos and that is why our company is called “Weirdo Workshop” and it will allow weirdos such as us to be creative in their music and allows them to be themselves. In addition, it provides a platform to allow for personal development. So, it is a lesson, to be ourselves and everyone else to be yourselves and follow your dreams.
RESPECT.: Chuck, you are from East St. Louis, did you grow up listening to a lot of Ike and Tina Turner?
I love Ike and Tina Turner being that we are all from East St. Louis their music was always playing at home.
RESPECT.: Claude, can you tell us who you grew up on as well?
My family is Jamaican and with that being said, I grew up on a lot of Bob Marley, Ray Charles, Jewel, Bad Boy Records, Mase, TLC and things of that nature.
RESPECT.: Claude being that you a native New York native are you more of a Knicks or a Yankees fan?
Technically, I am a Yankees fan being from New York, but I am more of a Giants fan.
RESPECT.: Chuck, who are your favorite teams?
The Cowboys they are my father’s favorite team any are who I grew up watching and The Los Angeles Lakers. So shout to Dak Prescott
RESPECT.: Are there any of the newer artists you are currently working or want to work with in the future?
We are currently working with Masha, Kes, and The Shindellas.
RESPECT.: What is some advice you give someone looking to pursue a career in the music industry?
Follow your dreams and keep moving, strive for excellence, and do not be afraid to be different!
RESPECT.: Finally, what are some other aspirations you both would like to pursue away from the entertainment business?
Weirdo workshop is something we don’t want to just limit to a record company and that’s is where we mentioned about the creativity portion the of things we would have to see what we can create as far as things outside the entertainment business.