Release date: 1st July 2013
Format: CD / Vinyl / Digital
The vocal duo is something of a rarity. There have been countless solo stars, trios, quartets and quintets, but the pairing of equally talented singers isn’t nearly as common. Sam and Dave, Ashford and Simpson, the Righteous Brothers and the Everly Brothers comprise a short list of standouts. Enter Myron & E.
Myron (Myron Glasper) was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, not far from the Nickerson Gardens housing projects, bordering Compton. He sang in choirs and played piano growing up, and was a star athlete in football and track, but found his calling as a dancer. Working with Rosie Perez landed him on the early ’90s sketch comedy show In Living Color. During those years, however, the streets of South Central were no place to foster creativity, so Myron moved to the Bay and began touring as a backup singer, which is where he met E (Eric “E da Boss” Cooke).
E, a native of Newark, New Jersey, was no more than 10 years old when he got his first taste of music by playing records during family card games and fish frys. As a teen, he began collecting records of his own and DJing, hanging at the Music Factory and Rock and Soul in New York City. After relocating to southwest Virginia, he graduated high school and began DJing parties, which allowed him to invest in an Ensoniq ASR-10 keyboard, two Technics turntables and an eight-track recorder.
Rural Virginia, however, was no place for a budding hip-hop producer. “If I’m going to deal with this in a professional manner,” he thought, “then I’m going to have to go somewhere where people are taking it in a professional light.” “Somewhere” was Oakland.
E was DJing in a local band and working in a call center with a co-worker, Tim Parker, who moonlighted as Gift of Gab, the rapping half of underground Bay Area duo Blackalicious. At Parker’s request, E joined Blackalicious as a DJ on tour in South Africa and later met Myron, who had entered the Blackalicious camp as a background singer. He and E began working together while on the road with Blackalicous, and shortly after, E released an independent record as E da Boss.
While touring in Finland behind his solo project, E found himself in an impromptu jam session with members of The Soul Investigators, whose work with singer Nicole Willis helped define them as one of Europe's foremost retro-soul bands. Investigators producer Didier Selin was impressed enough to leave Cooke with several unfinished tracks. Back in the Bay Area, E recruited Myron as a singing and songwriting team, and the collaboration was begun.
Myron, E and the Soul Investigators released a string of excellent funk 45s on the Timmion label, starting with “Cold Game”/”I Can’t Let You Get Away,” before signing with Stones Throw last year. Since then, Myron & E have been focused on building their live performance, which includes sold-out shows before even having a full-length release and a stellar showing at SXSW. “We showed up to show out and that’s what we did,” E says.
Myron & E are proud to be releasing their debut album, Broadway, this summer. For the album, the Soul Investigators provided demos from overseas with the duo stationed on the west coast writing the lyrics and singing all the vocals. E, in particular, has a practice of sending YouTube links of classic soul and R&B songs to the band to provide inspiration for recreating that vibe. One such link was to Edwin Starr’s “Running Back and Forth.” The Soul Investigators responded with “Everyday Love.”
“I don’t really think there’s anybody else that can do it as good as they can,” E says about the band. “They do it like none other.” As for the pair themselves, after more than a decade in the music business for each of them, they say the grind is just beginning, and just as the music recalls another time, so does their approach in their effort to write nothing but hits.
“It’s got to be one that’s undeniable, that’s going to grab everybody, 8 to 80, when they hear it,” E says. “Something that’s unmistakably good.”