J.Erika interviews Artist friends.

Who are you? Aaron Starr (A*). At least for now... from Greenwich, London.

What is your Art Hustle? Music

What have you been up to? I put out a small gospel EP called Champion a little while ago which continues to get some airplay on a couple of radio stations. I've been writing a lot and hope to record again in 2010. Also been doing a lot of work with the church choir which has been fun.

Many of the times we hear of artists being rooted in the church. I think that as a kid, if you're from a church-going family, most of your early musical experiences are gonna be from the church. Also, in the church setting you see for yourself the power of music. Even in scripture you see how music always preceded a major event etc. So it doesn't surprise me to hear that a lot of theses musicians started in church.

What are your main instruments you play?I play piano. Classical guitar was actually my first instrument when I was 7 years old. But then the piano kinda took over by about 12 years. I started playing by ear, took a few lessons, and then back to playing by ear again! I’ll still strum a chord every now and then but that’s pretty much it!

When did you know that Music was your way forward? I’ve always had a strong connection with music. Even my toys as a child were musical instruments and playing them at a young age just made me feel good. Even today I can just play for hours and not get bored. I guess the first time I really knew that I wanted to do it professionally was when I did a concert back at my school that I staged from scratch – the buzz from being on stage sharing the small talent I had just felt right. Recently however I find myself going into more of a songwriting/production direction. I like to perform, but I’m yet to convince myself it’s my forte!

What are your inspirations/thing that you love?I'm easily inspired. Real talent gets me giddy! I enjoy listening to a variety of musicians, both contemporary and traditional. Lyrically I get inspired from day to day experiences and the Bible. I tend to get new ideas anywhere I go... on the train to work, in the park, or just at home...

Have you been to see any musicians, bands lately that you thought were top notch?A few concerts this year gave me some additional desire to get back into the music game. Seeing Kirk Franklin live is always enjoyable, and I admired the way Mary Mary made their set flow.

Is there a specific genre of music that you love and drawn to? I guess gospel is my forte, but even within gospel there are a variety of sub-genres like soul, blues and R&B. I’m influenced by a lot of artists but I guess the main ones musically would be Kirk Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Andrae Crouch and Donny Hathaway. I grew up on gospel and church music which would obviously explain the strong connection there.

Your a Stevie fan as well? I learnt a lot from his Music, I was mostly influenced by his 70s albums what are your fave albums of his? Songs in the Key of Life is the album of Stevie that just made so much sense. The issues he spoke on were so relevant. Love's in need of Love Today is probably one the favourite from there... not to forget Sir Duke, and Knocks Me Off My Feet. I llke it when artists can speak on romantic love in a clean way... and Knocks Me Off My Feet is a good example of that.

What do you most like about what you do? The end result. Whether it be a beautiful melody or just someone telling me they were blessed by what they heard, it always makes the effort feel worth it.

What do you want people to know about you and your Music?The main thing I would want people to know about my music is not the music itself but again the message in my music. Like Lauryn said on the Miseducation album, “music is supposed to inspire so how come we ain’t gettin’ no higher”. I wanna write songs that uplift, inspire and empower people not only to be better Christians but better people all around. Inspirational lyrics and gospel music are probably the only genres that can do that at a spiritual level. Music is spiritual I think. What else can make you both cry and dance?

Lauryn hill, im listening to her now, have you heard her unplugged album? when did you first hear the miseducation of lauryn hill, what do u like most about her and her music?I've heard Lauryn's Unplugged... I think what I love most about her is her voice. She could do it all. I think I first heard the Miseducation back in school. I fully understand why that album musically pretty much always makes the Greatest Albums of all time lists. It was chart friendly without being overtly commercial.

Where can we check you out at? My MySpace page at and they can also follow me on Twitter at

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