Rare Essence – Cups To The Floor
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) How did the band get their name?
A) The name came from our drummer, Quentin “Footz” Davidson. He reversed the name of one of his mom’s perfumes and he just flipped the name. The perfume was Essence Rare and he flipped it to Rare Essence.
Q) Who are some of your musical influences?
A) Well, of course all of the bands of the 70’s like Earth, Wind & Fire and Parliament/Funkadelic. That’s part of the reason why the band is so big and self contained with having a keyboard section, percussion section and horn section. The main musical influence had to be Chuck Brown from Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers because of the way he played his set, which was as soon as he finished one song he went straight into the next song. We asked him why he did that and he said, “Because it is hard to get people up on the dance floor. So, once you get them up there, you don’t want to let them go. Keep them dancing.”
Q) You’ll be performing at SXSW. What can fans expect from a live Rare Essence performance?
A) Well, it’s going to be a lot of energy and we’re packing a lot of songs into the set that we have. It’s going to be a really good time. The first time people that are going to be seeing us will enjoy it because it is going to be something different than the way they usually see a show. Most of the time you see a show the artist will play a song, stop and the audience will clap. Then, they’ll play another song, stop and the audience will clap. We’re going to play a few songs back to back to back before we even stop. Normally, we don’t stop until the end of the set. If we’re playing an hour set, we start and then we finish sixty minutes later. We’re going to break it up for this purpose, but it is going to be great!
Q) What are some of your favorite songs to perform?
A) The audience always likes when we do “Overnight Scenario,” “Locket,” “Work the Walls,” “Hey Buddy Buddy,” “Rock This Party” and “You’re Not Ready.” All of those are really high energy songs and they audience interactive songs. So, the audience plays a part in the song a lot of the times.
Q) What is it about your new song “Cups To The Floor” that fans are really connecting with?
A) It’s another high energy song and we’re just mirroring what we see. Usually when we are at performances we see people dancing and they have their cups in the air just having a good time. We just cast the line off of that. It’s a good dance party song so they are relating to it.
Q) How did you get to work with Killa Cal on the song?
A) Cal is the latest member of the group. He’s been with us for about three years now. That hook was his idea and we just kind of fed everything else on it. Cal is a great guy to work with. He is very energetic, creative, positive and he’s just a flat out very good rapper. Very good!
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A) They are all on social media and even at the shows we see them with their cell phones and they are tweeting, on Facebook and Instagram. So, since they are there, that’s where we should be in order to connect with them. A lot of times they are tweeting out stuff about us like, “They just played this song,” or “They’re on break and are about to come back.” We felt like it was important. Plus, we’ve always connected with our audience. It’s always been more of a verbal thing before social media because we see a lot of the same people night after night with us working three or four nights a week in our area. We always connected with them verbally so it only makes sense for us to connect with them through social media as well.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your music?
A) We would like to say thank you for all of the years of the support. We appreciate you continuing to support us, especially with this effort of us going to SXSW. The whole point of that is to try to get in front of a bigger audience so we can hopefully do some of the festivals. That is what we really love to do. We’d like to get on Coachella, Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza festivals in front of bigger and more diverse audiences because we believe they would enjoy the music as well. So, we’d like to say thank you to all the die hard go-go Rare Essence fans for supporting us for all of these years.
All Questions Answered By Andre “Whiteboy” Johnson