Atlanta’s mind-bending electric violin virtuoso Ken Ford is back in full force with State of Mind, a seven-song studio EP premiering five brand new songs plus a pair of pure Ford vintage classics -- "Strung Out" (from 2009's Right Now) and "Moments in Love" (from 2009's Right Now) -- as bonus tracks for fans and newbies alike.
The inaugural release from the Twelve Music Group label, State of Mind is an evocative, soul-stirring statement of musical purpose from Ken Ford, the first artist to be signed to the blossoming independent. Ford’s talents have brought him on stage and into the recording studio with a range of superstar artists including Bruno Mars, Jill Scott, Wyclef Jean, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, Brian Culbertson, the late Barry White, Cee-Lo Green, Erykah Badu and more.
"People want to hear what they get when they come to my shows," says the Atlanta-based artist and producer regarding his current State of Mind, an eclectic high-energy blend of R&B, hip-hop, jazz and Ford's signature sounds. From the sweet and later fervent opening strains on the first track "Guttaville" to the driving hip-hop melody on the title track (and first single) "State of Mind", State of Mind delivers on Ford's consciousness-raising promise that "Each song gives you a ride."
Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer, writer and composer Colin "Sharloboy" Morrison (The Temptations, Chanté Moore), SweatBox Productions (Killer Mike, Jay West), and Ken Ford in Georgia, State of Mind is a seven-song cavalcade of Ford's talents as a performer and composer featuring songwriting by Ford, as well as Morrison and Jennifer "Jenny Lee" Nelson, with all live instruments from a full band and Ford improvising all his violin solos. "I want all my solos to be fresh and new, natural," he says, "so I don’t write out the solo part, just playing what I feel."
Adds Dina Marto, President of Twelve Music Group, "I am very excited for the world to hear Ken’s new project. I am proud that we have captured the energy, passion, and magic of Ken’s live performance in a brilliantly recorded body of work. To be able to showcase this to Ken’s fans, both old and new, represents quite an achievement. Twelve Music Group is fortunate to be working with such a dynamic talent and captivating entertainer."
State of Mind debuts five new Ken Ford studio recordings: "Guttaville", "Free Fall" featuring Algebra Blessett, "Turn It Up", "Kiran" and the title track "State of Mind" (the first single).
About Ken Ford
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Ken Ford grew up with the diverse sounds of jazz, blues, and R&B. His family moved to Detroit before settling down permanently in Atlanta. One night, his parents, hearing him play along with an Al Green record note-for-note on a toy keyboard, recognized their son's natural gifts. By the time he'd turned nine, Ken Ford had found his heart and soul in the strings of a violin, training himself to play by ear riffing on the pop sounds on the radio. A founding member of the DeKalb Youth Pops Orchestra, Ford went on to join the African American Philharmonic Orchestra (AAPO) where he had the rare opportunity of performing background orchestral styling for the late great Barry White, eventually becoming Concert Master of the AAPO. His years playing in Atlanta jam sessions and local events have garnered a loyal local fanbase large enough to draw national and international attention, with national accolades including a standing ovation from over 20,000 people at the Sea Breeze Jazz Festival. He's played alongside such contemporary jazz, soul and R&B greats as Ledisi, Wayman Tisdale, Wyclef Jean, and Lalah Hathaway. He's recorded three successful albums (Burnt Toast, Chevelle Lane and Right Now) and is especially passionate about music education which he champions through the Ken Ford Foundation he founded.
About Twelve Music Group
Founded in January 2011 by business mogul Simon G. and music entrepreneur Dina Marto, Twelve Music Group is an Atlanta-based boutique label and publishing entity. The company seeks to discover, nurture, and develop long-term careers for recording artists, songwriters, and producers. Twelve's mission is to support creative talent and provide opportunities to fulfill the dreams of those willing to take a leap of faith. Contemporary jazz violinist Ken Ford is the label's first artist and release. Also, signed to Twelve Publishing is newcomer Jennifer “Jenny Lee” Nelson and R&B producer Rondeau “Duke” Williams (Bobby V., Hamilton Park).