Music duo Tru-Skoo took some time off from recording to chop it with Reviews & Dunn.
Reviews & Dunn – How did you two meet?
Carmelo Jenkins – It was in the year 2009 that I met Diggy Fontaine (aka Jazz Digga) at a local music event that we both performed at, as solo artists in Seattle. I remember that we both had much respect for each other’s performances and he had performed one of his songs that reminded me of “Let Me Be the One” by the group Intro. I mentioned that to him after the show and from there, we instantly became close friends and recognized how much we have in common musically and in general. The idea of us doing an album together actually began basically 10 years ago and with life continuing to happen for us both, it wasn’t until last year that we were able to finish writing and recording what is now the debut album, “Jukebox”. Diggy is extended family, no doubt.
Diggy Fontaine – I concur, yo.
Reviews & Dunn – Diggy, Who were some of your early musical influences?
DF – Wooow…that’s HEAVY, especially since music was all around me my WHOLE LIFE!! But New Edition’s “Candy Girl” made me want to sing in the first place…then I started to pay attention to Michael, Stevie, & Marvin (the vocal trifecta). The gospel groups The Winans, Commissioned, Dawkins & Dawkins, Take 6 and The Clark Sisters quickly molded my vocal skill. While New Edition, Boyz II Men, Jodeci & SWV molded my style…absolutely.
Reviews & Dunn – Caramello, what is the hardest part of writing a song?
CJ – For me, the hardest part of writing a song is at times the concept of the song, also the beginning and ending. While what’s being said and written in the middle is the meat of the song, it’s important to have a beginning that’s very solid and catches the listener’s attention, continue with the middle, and then take it home with a strong ending.
Reviews & Dunn – If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are five Hip Hop albums you must have with you to pass the time?
DF – Ooh wee!! This is a rough one, Derrick!! Too many classics to name, but I’d have to say:
- Illmatic – Nas
- The Main Ingredient – Pete Rock & CL Smooth
- Muddy Waters – Redman
- Fantastic, Vol. II – Slum Village
- The Listening – Little Brother
Reviews & Dunn – In your opinion, what are five albums that every aspiring singer should hear to learn about bridges and song structure?
CJ – Wow, that’s tough to narrow down to only 5, but I will say in no particular order:
Lost In Time – Eric Benet
FourFront – Zo!
Justified – Justin Timberlake
Heartbreak – New Edition
Johnny Gill (1990 release) – Johnny Gill
Reviews & Dunn – What would be your ideal video concept for the song “Steppers Delight”?
CJ – This may sound crazy, but it would be dope to have the legendary Hype Williams direct it, or Chris Robinson. But, my man, Diggy, came up with what would be a dope concept.
DF – Word up…so there would be multiple scenes of couples at home groovin’ to the song while getting dressed up to go out dancing for Date Night. Only to end up in their living room that has since transformed into their own version of the ‘club’ since we’re all quarantined to our homes. It would be like a steppin’ frenzy for couples to just get their groove on even if they’re just home.
Reviews & Dunn – What was the inspiration behind the album title Jukebox?
CJ – The inspiration behind the title “Jukebox”, is offering the listeners different selections or songs to choose from on one album. Similar to when someone goes to an actual jukebox and can choose from a variety of songs from different artists. Also, there’s an acronym that I like to use for the word ‘jukebox’ and the album, which is: Just Us Kings Equipped Bringing out Xcellence.
DF – I see it as a throwback to a good time where cats were premeditating a feeling the music was gonna give ’em. Think about it…cats would go to the jukebox & search for a JAM that was either gonna make ’em groove or grind on the dancefloor, which is the feeling we wanted to give.
Reviews & Dunn – You open a show up for Babyface and after the show he tells you that he’s working on an R&B version of Mamma Mia featuring his music. He wants to know what 3 songs he should include. What are your choices?
CJ – I would have to include songs he’s written and/or produced for others as well as for himself:
1) “End of the Road” – Boyz II Men
2) “Can We Talk” – Tevin Campbell
3) “When Can I See You” – Babyface
Reviews & Dunn – Given the chance, would you rather be in a cipher with the Black Hippy Crew or the G.O.O.D. Music crew?
DF – I’d probably have to go with the G.O.O.D. Music crew…even though I feel the Black Hippy Crew is more skilled lyrically, them other cats is more my speed. That’s no diss, I’m just sayin’.
Reviews & Dunn – Where can fans find you on social media and what are your post COVID plans in 2021?
CJ – On Instagram, I am under @keithrburroughs; On Facebook, I am under Keith Burroughs
DF – On Instagram, I am under @jazzdigga; On Facebook, I am under Deland Wilson For Tru-Skoo, we can be reached at email@example.com. Post COVID plans will be to continue creating new music, performances and push the “Jukebox” album. We also want to thank Reviews & Dunn for this dope interview, we truly appreciate the love.
To read my review of the Tru-Skoo album click here : https://reviewsanddunn.net/album-review-tru-skoo-jukebox/
To hear my Podcast Episode with Tru-Skoo click here : https://anchor.fm/reviewsanddunn/episodes/Flashback-Album-Review-Lionel-Richie–Cant-Slow-Down-with-guests-Tru-Skoo-eoucij