October 12, 2012 was one of the most exciting days of my life. I was back in New York City to play a return engagement that night at the Sugar Bar in Manhattan which would also serve as the pre-release of my new album "A Wonderful Love". Well, what also made that day so special was that was the day my debut single "Something to Remember" officially hit the airwaves in my hometown of Cleveland OH. I was on Cloud 9 when I got a text saying it was playing on the radio!!
That wasn't the first time my music had ever played on the radio, but the fact it was the first time for anything off the new album was just as special. The station 107.3 FM WAVE and it's programming director Mark Ribbins has kept the song in constant rotation since that time and the response has been incredible. From there the song crossed seas over into the UK where it landed on the UK Soul Chart's Top 30 at #26 and eventually landed at #11 in just a few weeks!! It didn't stop there. Before long it was receiving airplay in Germany, Japan, S. Africa & Switzerland!!
In the midst of all of that, I was planning to do a music video for the single but didn't have a videographer to film it. I was approached by a friend who offered but was unable due to scheduling and he referred another friend, Richard Hampton who had previous music video experience with the quality I was looking for. He understood my vision right away and took to preparing himself just as fast. I was so excited and nervous about it being my first music video and directorial debut onscreen. Rich, being aware of the quality and caliber I was looking for enlisted the assistance of a good friend & mentor of his Curtis Shaw who was flying in from Japan to work on the shoot. So now I had to make it happen. No more procrastinating.
I immediately got on the phone to make some calls to assemble actors and extras with only 48 hours to bring it all together. Thank God for good relationships with great friends! Special thank you to Mariama Whyte, Terri Dillard, Sabrina McPherson, Dawn Kelly & the owners of Opus restaurant.
Within 2 days we were on location for the first night of shooting. We filmed 2 days back to back in 2 different locations. I loved directing the scenes and the actors. Rich & Curt knew how to give me what I was looking for. The main filming was done, right?...not quite. We realized that after reviewing the footage we didn't have enough to complete the video. The greater challenge was that Cassandra lived out of town and was having difficulties getting back to Cleveland to shoot the remaining scenes. Things weren't looking to good.
Rich had the hindsight to suggest we hit the road film the remainder of the video in Cassandra's city of residence, Columbus. I called Cass to inform her of the plan and to see if she knew of some locations for us to shoot per my ideas. She did and we completed the filming there a week later. I decided that prior to us hitting the road that we shouldn't focus on trying to film in conjunction with the previous footage. I wanted the feeling of love and togetherness to of course be the focalpoint, but approach it as a whole new shoot.
That was the best turn of events that could have happened with that. We had the same vision and it formed a great partnership for future productions. We premiered the video Tuesday March 12 @ 1pm amidst high anticipation and the reviews have been incredible!!
I'm seeing so many of dreams realized at this place in my life... I know God is with me.