Go-Go Jazz Musician Wes Watkin’s ‘Got My Own Sound’ Band Hits Number One on iTunes Jazz Chart – The Hype Magazine
Published on May 28th, 2021 | by Crystal Willis
Musician and Author Wes Watkins’ recently released album Moonshine Music hit number one on the iTunes Jazz Chart. Wes has carved his place in the musical landscape of the Washington, D.C. area by playing for R&B, Gospel, Rock, Jazz, Neo Soul, Hip- Hop, Blues and legendary Go-Go bands. Born in Baltimore and raised in Severn Md. Watkins, Former Drummer and Musical Director for Grammy Nominated artist Carolyn Malachi, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and drummer for Got My Own Sound, Sirius Company (Scooby and Ms. Kim), What? Band and Walker Redds Project, was inspired by watching and imitating the awe-inspiring dexterity of his father’s drum style. He recalls tossing his drumsticks in the air and watching drum videos as a kid, perfecting his performance as well as his sound. By age 7, Watkins was noticed by Richard Smallwood and asked to play for his Gospel choir and music workshops. At this time, Watkins realized music was his passion and what he wanted to spend his life pursuing. Watkins was heavily influenced by Go-Go– a style of music established in Washington, D.C., heavy in percussion where the drummer drives the beat with the conga player.
Wes has had the pleasure of working with many artists in the Washington, D.C. area. Greats like Carolyn Malachi, Recording Jazz artist Marcus Johnson, Eric Marner and Brave New World, Earl Carter, Frank Sirius, Temika Moore, He has toured Internationally with Carolyn Malachi and with The Fabulous Thunderbirds to Europe and throughout the entire U.S. Thunderbirds are an American blues rock band formed in Texas 1974 and they have been touring since their start to the present after acquiring Watkins as the full time drummer back in January of 2016. We got Wes to answer a few questions for The Hype Magazine:
What was the inspiration behind your album Moonshine Music?
The inspiration behind Moonshine Music was wanting people to feel good. We started recording vocals for the album around the time George Floyd was murdered and not to mention the Pandemic. The goal was to put out feel good music and be intentional about the message and make people think of love and having a great time. Bringing that feel good cookout music we all love to hear and two step too.
What would you attribute the iTunes chart success of your album to?
I believe the chart success of the album can be attributed to hard work and being consistent. As an independent artist with a band I don’t have the financial backing or marketing of major companies. This was the first time I invested so much financially into getting artist to feature on the album, shooting content and marketing. Everything fell on my shoulders but it was well worth the investment. Coming in at No.1 on opening day was an amazing feeling.
How has your upbringing as a second generation musician impacted your career?
My upbringing impacted my career as a second generation in a major way. Growing up I remember playing at church and going to gigs with my dad and watching his band practice or have jam sessions in the basement. By the time I was 14yrs old I was doing my own gigs.My parents and older brother always gave me the push, confidence and support I needed to make it where I am now.
Tell us what other exciting things you have coming up and where folks can follow your success?
I have a few exciting things coming up that I am very happy about. Being a drummer I have the opportunity to endorse so many different products, I decided to create my own. Did some research and investing to start my own Drums Stick Company “GMOS Drumsticks”(Got My Own Sound). This summer I will release my first children’s book “Why Black Fathers Need Their Kids & Kids Need Their Black Fathers”. Me and my business partner Eric Lowery who is the owner of Connexion Clothing are also releasing a children’s book together titled “I Just Want To Be Myself”. We are also working on our wine which will likely be available towards the beginning of 2022. The last exciting thing I have coming up is my line of Fedora Brim hats. Everyone can follow me on ig @wesgotmyownsound, @gotmyownsound_ or checkout my website gotmyownsound.com.