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    Internationally Renowned Saxophonist, Mike Phillips, Releases New Single: City Lights

    Internationally Renowned Saxophonist, Mike Phillips, Releases New Single: City Lights

    “City Lights” was written by Claude Villani and produced by Hamilton Hardin.

    “I had the melody for City Lights in my head for years and one day I played it for Mike and he really connected with it and well, the rest is history,” mentions Claude Villani. “It always reminds me of a summer day when I hear it,” he adds. “The CEO of SRG who is a musician and who went to Berklee College of Music and who takes music seriously, has a keen understanding and love for music and I’m honored to take a song that he wrote over 40 years ago and bring it to life with the assistance of producer Hamilton Hardin,” shares Mike Phillips.

    “City Lights” is globally available now on all platforms, via the SRG-ILS Group label imprint. The single is lifted from Mike Phillips upcoming new album, due later this Summer.

    Mike Phillips recently announced his new partnership with SRG-ILS Group, and launched his Jazz record label, “Keep It Moving Music” (KIMM). Keep It Moving Music will serve as a platform for young jazz artists that are extremely intentional about their musical growth, willing to work hard and want to learn the dynamics of the business. Artists that partner with KIMM will be developed, educated, mentored, and will potentially be exposed to working with other established artists on the SRG roster such as Brian McKnight, Raheem DeVaughn, After 7, and many more. Where radio was once the main avenue to share new music, KIMM will work with their artists to utilize social media, curated playlist, NFT platforms and other cutting-edge technology to market their product.

    About Mike Phillips

    If there’s one particular word which comes to mind while both describing critically hailed saxophonist Mike phillips and an ongoing theme of his illustrious music career within the jazz, R&B and even hip-hop worlds, it would be “authentic.” Phillips’ unusually high appreciation for music since early childhood, which manifested into everything from absorbing and learning musical instruments and immersing himself into all things music – his widely-noted, soulfully warm saxophone-driven sound sonically and melodically personifies the term.

    Phillips latest groove-driven smooth-jazz musical offering, Pulling Off The Covers, cleverly turns out to be not only the soundtrack of his life but many of ours as well. “When you’re doing a cover, you do it your way…you do it how you do it,” Phillips explains of both the title and overall approach to his multi-influenced new set. “The song has to have swag and personality, and a harmonic or melodic outlook on something that already exists. The secondary meaning is you’re getting deeper into the song from an instrumental standpoint and maybe pulling off a layer. My perspective is getting deeper into songs.”

    Born and raised in (“Money-Earnin’) Mount Vernon, New York (hometown to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Al B. Sure and Heavy D) during the onset of the hip-hop generation to parents who fully encouraged his affinity for music, young Mike sampled multiple instruments before officially embracing the saxophone by the second grade. Yet it was a particular gift from his mother during this time which he says signaled an opening of musical floodgates for him. “After my mother gave me a record player, there was this jazz station, 89U I used to keep my radio on,” recalls Mike. “Then I would put the radio dial all the way up on the other end of the dial on Friday or Saturday nights to listen to Mr. Magic (popular early rap radio show). I was all over the place, but jazz was a big part of everything. This dual musical upbringing of sorts – which ranged from street corner rhyming and beat-boxing to honing his musicianship chops – prompted the decision to play professionally by the age of 16.

    Hence, after making an impromptu debut at New York City’s Wilson’s nightclub in 1993, it came as no surprise when Mike Phillips not only became a regular presence at various open-mic jam sessions in Manhattan’s live music scene, but soon thereafter found himself scoring sessions and sideman work within jazz, R&B and hip-hop circles. Brought to the attention of the owners of Hidden Beach recordings, who quickly signed him and put him on the road opening for then label-mate Jill Scott in 2001. With noted, successful releases like 2002’s You Have Reached Mike Phillips, 2005’s Uncommon Denominator and M.P.3 (2010), received well by music critics and audiences alike, Mike simultaneously found himself amidst musical greatness when he was entrusted and embraced as saxophonist for the one and only music icon, Prince. “I played with him from 2004 to 2012,” recalls Mike. “He didn’t keep people that long, but I rocked with him from Musicology all the way up to those L.A. Forum shows. Loaded with valuable lessons and experiences, Mike Phillips never ceased carving his own music destiny and identity, as his just-released Pulling Off The Covers signals not only the commencement of the ownership of his masters (via his deal with new label home SRG-ILS /Universal Music Group), but finds him musically moving forward… always, with hyper-creative authenticity.

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    by The Editors Of The Fox Magazine Time to read this article: 12 min