Bobby Porter


With his original new single ‘Uptown’ rapidly climbing the charts, Bobby Porter and his unique brand of well-honed jazz is rapidly becoming a musical success story thanks in large part to his impeccable melodic instincts.

Like jazz? Many do, perhaps in yearning for a return to great musicianship and melody. Here is an artist that ably serves the sentiment. Originating from Bellwood, Illinois, Bobby Porter has quickly risen on the strength of his new award-winning single ‘Uptown’. Recently, the critics had this to say about his work: ‘Bobby Porter delivers nothing but smooth jazz sugar on his album Comin At You with captivating melodies and exceptional guitar work.’ With his new single steadily climbing the charts, Bobby Porter seems destined for the global limelight. Reporter Lauren Thompson recently caught up with the talented artist to learn more about what inspires him to create his unique brand of jazz music and what we can expect from Bobby Porter in the near future.

LAUREN: Let's just get this out in the open- What is the craziest thing that has happened to you in your music career?
BOBBY PORTER: I was playing at a Fund Raiser for Cancer Research and there was a guy in the audience who was just watching me play, never saying if he enjoyed my music or if I was good, etc. After I stopped playing, he slipped me a note that said, "Can you play Take Five by Dave Brubeck"? I thought that was hilarious!

LAUREN: Your song’Uptown’is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
BOBBY PORTER: My initial reaction was extreme excitement that my music was finally being heard! It was about to hit the radio air waves for all to hear!

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
BOBBY PORTER: My inspiration was that if I can bring somebody something good by means of my song, "Uptown", or my entire album for that matter, then there could be no better reward.

LAUREN: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
BOBBY PORTER: Speaking for myself and hopefully for others (artists) there are always experiences that are difficult but can be the catalyst or fuel to inspire creative music. For example, when you were in love with someone and the pain that you experienced from the hurt of a break-up or the love you come to have for people because you can see that they are hurting. Or even when having hard times in life, music can bring comfort and consolation. That's what I'm trying to do with my gift, to share because everyone should have a measure of joy in life and music can do just that.

LAUREN: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
BOBBY PORTER: As a musician I am down to earth. I try to get along with everyone. I am also fun-loving, I like to have a good time, and enjoy life. I smile a lot, as a matter of fact, one of my nicknames is "Laughing Man". I can also go "deep", and enjoy conversations about life itself, humanitarian issues, etc. A lot of my music comes from my deep thoughts and concerns for mankind in general.


LAUREN: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
BOBBY PORTER: Actually, I am a team player, this is necessary when you are trying to reach a common goal, like a successful sound. I have years of experience in playing with a band and that was one of the main ingredients to success. At the present time though, I am on the team of Bobby Porter, a solo jazz guitarist.

LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
BOBBY PORTER: Well, I did not come from a musical background per se, but I love to sing and all of my siblings can sing too. I remember my older sister and her friends formed a group that received a recording contract. However, one of the girl's parents would not give their consent. But wow, did they have a sound - very similar to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Also, as a child I have fond memories of my mother singing around the house while cleaning up. She also was very talented, she would make beautiful floral centerpieces, etc. I am sure the talent gene was passed along to me through her.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
BOBBY PORTER: The most rewarding thing has been the response of people to my music, not knowing what to expect from me as an artist. The look on the faces of people when they hear my music is pure joy especially when they hear me play live realizing that it sounds just as good as the CD! What I find challenging is always maintaining the high standard I have for always bringing my best even when you may not be at your best. This happens when the stresses of everyday life try to crowd out my creativity. The end result though is always worth the challenge, a song or musical composition that I can always be proud of.

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
BOBBY PORTER: Oh there are many, but those that have had a huge impact on me are Wes Montgomery, Marvin Gaye, Bob James, Curtis Mayfield, Santana, The Isley Brothers, and Al Green.

LAUREN: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
BOBBY PORTER: While I was still with my band, I was asked to perform at a jazz event, a huge yard "jazz in the grass" concert. I knew a lot of the people at the event who were so excited with the band's performance that they could not believe it was for free. It was funny that they were asking my wife where I was at because they knew I was a music man. When she told them that I was on stage as the lead guitar player with the band, they could not believe it! Needless to say, I became an "overnight sensation".

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
BOBBY PORTER: To aspiring artists I would say to never, ever give up no matter how long it may take. Try to attain as much knowledge as you can from others and remember to stay humble even after you make it "big".

LAUREN: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
BOBBY PORTER: I do have a new single in the works (album), that is full of smooth jazzy music that is creative and it will keep you mellow and wanting more. So be on the look-out for the new release in June 2016, the title is "Out the Box".

LAUREN: Wonderful! Thank you sharing some insights into what makes you the artist that you are. I wish you continued success in your career.

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