There was a time when popular music was created by artists because they had something to say, not by business people who had something to gain. When the term ‘singer/songwriter’ didn’t exist because the singer was the songwriter and often the producer, not just a piece in a larger production chain. When the lyrics and melody of a song could give you chills because you knew it came straight from the soul of another human being, not a corporate focus group. If you find yourself remembering those days with fondness, then you are probably in the same creative space as Millennium. Stryker, composer, singer and producer for Millennium, recounts the days as a child when music could transport you to a different place and the longevity of a song was not measured in weeks but over many decades. The Illinois-native grew weary of the trend away from real artistry in music in recent years. He now brings an uncompromising standard of songwriting and musicianship to every song he creates. The result is a sound that has potential mainstream appeal, but reflects a rich musical tradition from the funk of the 70s, melody of the 80s, flavor of the 90s, to the tight production quality of the modern era.
Millennium consists of Stryker, Sapphire and K-King on vocals, Brad Dawson (drums), Gaku Murata (guitars), Nathan York (bass), Fred Smith (keys) and Adonis (alien). The group has been hard at work on their self-titled debut album for nearly two years. They believe that good things take time, another sentiment at odds with the current ethos in music. Their album is due to land in stores July 1, 2013 and is a collection of songs capturing a range of emotions and experiences. A tour is currently in the works to promote the upcoming debut album. The first single off the album ‘Roll’ is a song about having the person you love walk out on you and coping with the aftermath. It is song born out of Stryker’s personal experience and has all the makings of an adult contemporary hit. The song is underwritten by lush vocals and meticulous rhythm, guitar and keys.
Stryker draws much of his inspiration from legendary 80s artists such as Phil Collins, Hall & Oats, Starship and others. He is no hand-picked glamour boy from American Idol or X Factor. Stryker doesn’t have the best voice in the world, sort of an average tenor with a decent range. Yet his voice is surprisingly distinct and reflects a sincerity and earnestness through his music. ‘I write songs because I need to express the feelings I’ve accumulated throughout my life,’ explains Stryker. Whether it’s feelings of regret (evident in songs such as Roll and Goodbye), feelings of powerlessness (My Heart), feelings of despair (Wings), feelings of overconfidence (Get Ready, You Can’t Stop Us) or feelings of general discontent (Dreams, Be About Something) the sincerity of his experiences are unmistakable. The combination of Stryker’s unique voice, Sapphire’s sweet vocals and K-King’s soulful tenor, backed by an ensemble of talented musicians, gives Millennium a vibrant and natural acoustic sound similar to groups like Coldplay, Maroon 5 or Linkin Park.
The members of Millennium not only share the stage with one another but also a decade long friendship and rich history together. This has allowed them to grow together as artists and performers even when the money was not there to support their musical aspirations. Their friendship and love of music has been, and will continue to be, their sole motivation. Finding the magic in music again simply requires one to journey back to what inspired us in the first place. We hope that you will join Millennium on that journey.