You can’t categorize MAJOR.’s sound by genre, the B.O.E. Music Group artist’s influences are too vast. The Berklee College of Music grad who released his Harmony Samuels-produced debut album, I Am MAJOR., on Friday culls from jazz, gospel, folk, soul, big band, and hip hop. If you must put him in a category, he would be have to be grouped with artists who define their own styles.
When I recently sat down with the Houston native for an interview, he broke down his ever evolving sound. “I thought it needed to be kept in the category of gospel and church in order to really have the fullness of what it really was,” explained the artist who has worked with the likes of Ariana Grande and La’Porsha Renae. “But I realized the power of that glory really came from me stepping out of the traditional walls of a church to speak to people in conversations that were relatable and were very very relevant to the times.”
The artist who received critical acclaim for putting inspirational spins on Far East Movement’s “Like a G6,” Adele’s “Hello,” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” keeps his messages clear in his music as well. I Am MAJOR.’s “Hit the Road” with Mali Music speaks to turning around bad situations. “#ChangeRightNow” featuring Amber Riley calls for resolve during a social divide between police and the Black community. On “Way of the World” he uses his gift to calm listeners struggling to cope with societal ills.
“I understood to a degree what I offered the world,” he said. “I know that I’ve always kinda lived as the one that brings people together and ideas together and empowers people.”
But this hope dealer doesn’t only sing about heavy subjects. In May, MAJOR. had the packed crowd at WorldArts going wild when he sang his falsetto ballad “Why I Love You” at a showcase. Midway through the song, he shifted gears and segued into a cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” He was humbled by the response. “To have that moment of connectivity from everybody … it was real powerful,” he reflected.
The momentum created the perfect setup for I Am MAJOR. “I’ve learned that pace is grace through this journey I’ve learned to not be weary in well doing cause in due season …” he said. “I’ve worked and served a lot of people behind the scenes. I’ve kinda accepted that you serve in the place you want to eventually want be. I learned to serve as much as possible.”
MAJOR., your work has paid off.
Filmming and Video Editing: Christopher G. Contreras