Evolution Of A Hit

Evolution Of A Hit
By Wendy Loomis

January 2017, San Francisco. After the election I felt the great anger
and ensuing malaise that surrounded folks in the Bay Area - like the fog itself.
Not one to stay depressed too long, I sat down at my keyboard and began to play.
From the power of the Most High came a complete song. Sometimes it comes in
small bits that need to be developed. And sometimes – like this time – it comes
as one complete unit: song structure, chorus lyrics and melody, rhythms, transitions, ending.

Steady for justice
Ready for peace
Steady for justice
united we are.

It was an anthem – to hope, to belief, to peace through justice. Excited I shared it with my long-time creative/business/co-founding partner, Royal Kent, and he was excited as well. Inspired he sat down and wrote an amazing poem filled with the COPUS theme from the beginning: Creation Of Peace Under Stars. The band began to rehearse the piece. Although we mourned the loss of our beautiful flute player, Monica Williams (who had decided to move on from COPUS to other pursuits), we welcomed the newly-arrived singer Amorelle Applin who brought a vital energy and eagerness to COPUS. Veteran bass player Patrick Mahon was thrilled with the power of “Steady for Justice” and he jumped into amping up the arrangement at full force.

Very soon I knew we had a hit. Royal and I talked about needing to bring COPUS to the next level and decided to record the single, but this time with an ace producer. Searching online I found New York-based, GRAMMY-nominated producer Yaron Fuchs who had produced tracks for a long list of folks including John Meyer, Sting, Herbie Hancock, to name a few. After many great phone conversations and plans, we set up a recording session at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco. We hired drummer Robbie Hammett and guitarist Vito Gregoli (whom Royal and I had met in Hollywood at a GRAMMY weekend Indie Collaborative event).

Photo session was held at Café International in front of the incredible mural by Kemet that depicts beautiful people from the world’s cultures. Royal and I met at an open mic years ago at the Café. He walked up to me after hearing me perform a wild, atonal improvisation on keyboard with a cellist and said: “We should work together!” – and handed me his business card. The rest, they say, is history.

We collectively chose to call the single “We All Bleed Red (Steady for Justice)”. In Royal’s poem he says: “We all bleed red, but we’re all unique.” And now the single is ready to be released August 4. On August 9 we will submit the single for ‘best rap song’ consideration for the 2018 GRAMMY Awards. A pre-release review of the song came out today. “Through the new single ‘We All Bleed Red’ you get the full picture of their ambition as they look to help heal the growing divide between the people and remind us of the values that are most important in this world we share. .. Through ace musicianship and a wild, bright & bold sound, they capture the magic they’re seeking to create on “We All Bleed Red” – it’s like a combination of Quincy Jones meets Baz Luhrmann…theatrical & dramatic in nature with great storytelling, set in an old-school setting that incorporates modern-day movement in the structure and reflecting on the current state of the world lyrically. “ (JER, SleepingBagStudios.com)

Give thanks for transformation from negative to positive, for the humility of visions transmitted, for the powerful combination of “ambition and intent”.

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