Home Ground – The Wilroy Remixes
“The lyrics in particular were central to Home Ground and that each song was a new extension of its concept. So with the vocals already in place, I really wanted to give them a fresh world to inhabit.” (Wilroy)
Home Ground is an international award-winning humanitarian music project where composer / producer Stephen Emmer was joined by an array of artists who contributed to a collection of original soulful and spiritual songs, with orchestral compositions and a socially conscious lyrical style but with modern day production values.
“At first it was a bit daunting because the songs are already so fully realised. I find it more challenging remixing something that already sounds like something I would want to make. So how do I re-interpret something I already love?” (Wilroy)
The retro-soul album was released in 2017 and featured the likes of Chaka Khan, Patti Austin, Kendra Foster, Leon Ware, Frank McComb, Andy Bey, Dwight Trible, Mary Griffin and Ursula Rucker. The project itself hit a nerve with both media and audiences alike. It also honours the artists by representing their truest vocal talent, whilst addressing social issues of today, about a world that is constantly in conflict over land, religion and race.
The Wilroy remix EP came about after Emmer was listening in to Mary Anne Hobbs radio show on 6 music, she played an abstract soul track by a talented Canadian born artist called Wilroy. The experimental music made such a wonderful and everlasting impression on Stephen, that he decided to reach out and ask Wilroy if he would be interested in re-working six tracks from his Home Ground album.
“The incredible remix has offered a radical change harmonically. I believe Wilroy is the best remixer of today!” (Stephen Emmer)
“I used a lot of the gear that’s migrated with me over the years. Lots of re-amping things through pedals & using different percussion instruments. My mom was in Peru recently and she brought back some different shakers and a thunder tube that I used.” (Wilroy)
Wilroy was recently selected by Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Music talent discovery initiative Future Bubblers, his track 4F3D63 Hex is featured on the latest compilation. Talking to Clash Magazine he said “Prince was a huge inspiration to the track and I incorporated many elements that are considered hallmarks of his mid-80s output”. Wilroy’s music has also been played on BBC Radio 6, 1Xtra, Worldwide FM & Bandcamp Weekly.
“Molten, abstracted soul music” is what Mary Anne Hobbs quoted about Wilroy’s contemporary and cutting edge style of music.
Featuring Chaka Khan, Patti Austin, Leon Ware, Kendra Foster, Frank McComb, Andy Bey, Dwight Trible, Ursula Rucker, Andy Bey and Mary Griffin
Stephen Emmer’s latest musical offering addresses contemporary concerns within the timeless musical excellence of classic soul combined with the sonic impact of the 21st century. The Home Ground songs are vocally performed by a careful selection of musical icons from the last 5 decades.
The main lyrical thrust of Home Ground is the world that is in constant conflict or war, whether over land, religion or race; this is not just black against white, it’s also poor against rich, justice against injustice, and the myriad other ongoing conflicts that beset our world.
Independent Music Awards
This easter-weekend Dutch renowned music-composer/artist Stephen Emmer received both the voxpop as the professionally judged award in the category Best Spoken Word Song for his song called Soil featuring Ursula Rucker ( The Roots,King Britt a.o.) at the 16th annual anniversary of the Independent Music Awards (the IMA’s) at an event being held in the Lincoln Center in New York Cit
Earlier this year he already received two other awards by the Global Music Awards organisation in Los Angeles for his current album Home Ground in the categories Best Humanitarian Music project and Best Album.
This now brings a total of four awards for this socially engaged anti-war music project, which now makes it the first time ever that a Dutch composer/artist has been granted so many awards from American music organisations.
Thus far in the past only the world famous Dutch classical music conductor Bernard Haitink received 3 USA awards. Ursula Rucker, who is from Philadelphia, is widely seen as an authority on spoken word and has so far never before won an award in her own country and is delighted with this recognition.
Stephen Emmer: ‘ I am very grateful that my current work has been picked up so well through all these awards and much critical acclaim in your country and because of this I now get serious response from all over the world, from Japan via Europe to South America next to America!’
Global Music Awards
The 2018 award goes to Stephen Emmer for his contribution to peace and justice for displaced people from around the world.
Stephen would herewith like to dedicate the award to War Child, for their relentless dedication in trying to make this world a better place by helping ‘our’ children – the best cornerstone imaginable for a future world at peace.
Global Music Awards asked Mr. Emmer about his work.
GMA: We know you are concerned about the conflicts and division in the world. What goes through your mind when you think of the wars and all the displaced people?
SE: I have ambivalent thoughts about this, as this has been going on for centuries by now, and that is no reason for direct optimism. Yet, I am hopeful that slowly, through various developments in the fields of information technology, media distribution and new human insights, changes might help accelerate some sort of universal insight that we can only run this planet together.
GMA: Your album, Home Ground, gives voice to all of us worried about the world and proves that music can be a powerful tool in the fight against oppression. It reminds us of our common humanity and promotes freedom and human rights. Tell us about your album. Why this selection of lyrics and artists?
SE: In the Obama years of not so long ago, the general social climate was perhaps more steering towards a more emancipated, liberated society, at least in the United States. But I was slightly surprised to notice that around that time there was not that much urgent music around with socially engaged lyrics. That made me wonder why not act on this myself? I started conceptualizing. Meanwhile, I saw the world changing fast: America got a new president, the Middle East situation escalated even further, and in Europe the refugee situation became rather urgent. So suddenly I realized that my lyrical content should try to address or incorporate those issues. I started to think about what artists I could invite to collaborate; great artistical talent but also who had a certain social consciousness. I started searching and I was lucky to find them. It took almost a year to be able to make the full line up for the album.
Noted composer and performer Stephen Emmer — who scored a hit with SoulTracks readers earlier this year — has won the prestigious golden Global Music Award for his latest album, Home Ground. With this he becomes the first Dutch composer who has won this international award.
On the Home Ground album Stephen is joined by an all-star cast of legendary and world famous vocalists such as Chaka Khan, Patti Austin and the late Leon Ware. The Global Music Awards honors submissions from all over the world and judges the work for its musical originality, quality and craftsmanship.
Stephen Emmer has now released four albums, all of which were met with great critical acclaim from the international press in publications like The Times, Modern Vinyl, De Telegraaf, Pitchfork, Okayplayer, Huffington Post, Der Spiegel, Rolling Stone, Mojo, and Q Magazine. Home Ground is his most recent work, and combines cinematic soul with social awareness lyrics, and has also been recently mentioned by the USA’s leading, authorative website on soul-music SoulTracks.com as “one of the most important albums of the year.”
— On Spotify —
Esther from Anchor FM talks to Wilroy about his remix project for the Home Ground album by Stephen Emmer....
Dutch composer, arranger and artist Stephen Emmer has been busy collaborating with Canadian artist Wilroy, remixing tracks from his...
The Wayne Boucaud Radio Show, Blackin3D Presents… In Conversation with Producer/Remixer Wilroy. Talking his work on the Stephen Emmer...
I last spoke to Stephen Emmer at the time of the release of his critically acclaimed album, Home Ground. I…
This easter-weekend Dutch renowned music-composer/artist Stephen Emmer received both the voxpop as the professionally judged award in the category Best...
Stephen Emmer among this year’s most exceptional music projects nominated twice In the 16th annual Independent Music Awards. Emmer...
The original is a dreamy, lush and soulful affair. Chaka’s distinctive voice is draped in funky bass guitar, horns,...
Each year Global Music Awards honors a composer/artist/musician with its annual Humanitarian Award for music dedicated to social justice,...
Conversation Morgan Enos from ‘North Of The Internet’ had with Stephen Emmer about the spiritual connection between classic and modern music,...
Upon demand here’s a list with links where to best buy your copy of the Home Ground album on...
Following earlier release parties in Amsterdam and New York Stephen Emmer now presents his Global Music Award winning Home...
This week we’re celebrating Stephen Emmer’s Golden Global Music Award with our fans and friends. This is your chance...
— WHERE TO GET YOUR COPY ? —
With Home Ground, producer Stephen Emmer has collaborated with a diverse group of vocalists to create a record that is theatrical to its core. However, if you are looking to connect the music on Home Ground to a musical, you might not have a lot of luck. This record is not a soundtrack to a film, nor are these tunes a part of some major Broadway production. One way to view Home Ground is as a soundtrack for the play unfolding before us daily on television, laptop, smart phone and tablet screens as well as in newspapers. That unfolding drama details mass migrations of people seeking to find a new start over after chased out of their homelands by war, environmental disaster, or by crises that while being far more personal and intimate are no less existential.
From the standpoint of the immigration debate taking place in this country, this album seeks to give a voice to those looking to carve a piece of home in a place that is not their homeland, and asks the listener to try to walk in the shoes of those who have been pushed or pulled away from all that was familiar.
That call for empathy comes through strongly in the urgent “Everybody’s Movin”, a track driven by Dwight Trible’s emotive and theatrical baritone. Trible sings from the standpoint of a person who is a part of one of those mass flows of people seeking to escape inhumane warfare while also having his humanity recognized by the voices talking about immigration on TV. “What we need is not what we’re fighting for/And we all need something/To have or dreams and live our lives in love”, stands as a plea to those in the chattering classes to remember that people – regardless of where they hail from – want the same things.
'Anti-war album project sparks retro-activism'
[Socially Sparked News]
'An eloquent and entertaining rebuttal to the voices of nativism and intolerance'
[Howard Dukes - SoulTracks]
'We can do better than this. Take care of the children, they are our futurelationship'
'One of the most important albums of 2017 is Home Ground'
'Dutch master’s soulful meditation on the effects of war'
'I love this initiative'
And last but certainly not least we proudly present no one less than the legendary 10-time Grammy Award winning...
Home Ground also features Leon Ware, another soul legend who unfortunately passed away, on 23 February 2017, the same...
Allow us to proudly announce Patti Austin, another Grammy Award winning vocalist and the goddaughter of Quincy Jones and...
We’re proud to present Frank McComb, a formidable soul singer and keyboardist. Frank recorded 2 songs for Home Ground...
The album also features 2 songs by Mary Griffin, who showcases her vocal prowess, attitude and range of a...
Home Ground also features the lovely Kendra Foster, a recent Grammy Award winning co-writer/singer for D’Angelo’s latest album and a...
Home Ground featuring Ursula Rucker. Meet American spoken word recording artist Ursula Rucker. She garnered a reputation for unique...
Home Ground featuring Andy Bey. Andy Bey is an American jazz singer and pianist hailing from Newark, who has a...
Beeple is Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Appleton, Wisconsin (USA) who delivered 4 amazing pieces of art for...
Home Ground features Dwight Trible Dwight is a singer who combines the best of vocal virtuosity with musicianship and...
Home Ground got mixed in New York by the legendary Bob Power who studied music theory at Webster College....
Ferry Maat [Soulshow]
'Wat een helden staan er op de tracklist Chaka, Patti, Leon en Frank
om een paar van mijn persoonlijke favorieten te noemen.’
Guuz Hoogaerts [Pauw & TVBV]
'Een collectie stemmen en strijkers die de gaten in je ziel met liefde bepleisteren.’
Tjeerd Oosterhuis [Total Touch]
‘Het is mooi te zien dat er nog steeds producers zijn die diep en echt voor de eer gaan. Deze artiesten op dit album bij elkaar krijgen is ook een prestatie op zich, en dat verdient een groot compliment!‘
Leo Blokhuis [What The World Needs Now]
‘Er staan echt een paar pareltjes op.’