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4th Annual San Diego Soul Music Festival feat. Charlie Wilson, Joe, after 7 & Monica
April 14, 2018 @ 8:00 PM
Some people might say that after notching eight No. 1 singles, 11 Grammy Award nominations, a best-selling memoir and ongoing sold-out, coast-to-coast arena tours, Charlie Wilson has proven his point….and he isn’t planning to slow down anytime soon.
“I’ve been in this game for many years,” reflects the Gap Band co-founder and solo star. “I’ve had some big hit records and sold a lot of records. But I need to still show people that I’m in it. It’s championship time.”
Wilson underscores that declaration with his latest album, In It to Win It (P Music Group/RCA, Feb. 17). The set boasts lead single “I’m Blessed” featuring T.I., currently top 10 Billboard and fastest rising top ten single this year on the Urban Adult Contemporary chart.
Coinciding with the new album’s arrival is Wilson’s In It to Win It national arena tour with Fantasia and Johnny Gill kicking off Feb. 8 in Norfolk, VA and will continue throughout the U.S
with 29 dates through the end of March.
“’I’m Blessed’ says exactly where I am in my life, blessed to still be making music that people want to hear,” says Wilson. “2016 was a tough year for so many people around the world, so I’m proud to release a song to remind us that we can all find some blessings in our lives. And having T.I. bring his flavor, sharing who he is and how his journey is filled with blessings, is an added bonus.”
Breaking away from the tradition of using his name in the album title, Wilson also recruited an A-Team of guest features for his seventh solo album. Joining T.I. as first-timers in that circle: Pitbull, Wiz Khalifa, Robin Thicke and Lalah Hathaway. Wilson, who executive produced the 13-track album along with long time manager, Michael Paran, reunited once again with The Cartoons (Emile Ghantous, Steve Daly and Keith Hetrick), Gregg Pagani and Wirlie Morris on the creative side. New to the mix this time around: fellow songwriter/producers J.R. Rotem (Jason Derulo, Gwen Stefani, Empire), Eric Hudson (Kanye West, John Legend) and Rob Knox (Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, T.I.).
“In addition to working with our talented core of producers, one of our goals was to add some new talent to the team,” stated Paran. “I was excited to bring in J.R. Rotem, Eric Hudson and Rob Knox to the project as they added an adrenaline shot to the recording process and really inspired Charlie to cut all kinds of music. I can truly say Charlie had a lot of fun recording this album and you can hear that reflected in the music.”
Together, the team crafted a package that fully encompasses Wilson’s unlimited reach. He explores the synergy between pop and R&B with Thicke on the mid-tempo “Smile for Me” (“You can’t tell our vocals apart sometimes,” says Wilson). Then he and Pitbull double-down on the party track “Good Time.” And who knew rapper Wiz Khalifa possesses an impressive singing voice, which he shows off on the noteworthy “Us Trust.” Another oh wow moment is the duet between Wilson and Lalah Hathaway on the scintillating “Made for Love.” Their what-took-so-long pairing calls to mind the magic conjured between Lalah’s late father/soul legend Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack.
“She’s definitely got her own spirit but I could see Donny’s aura as well,” notes Wilson of working with Lalah. “It just makes you feel good inside when you hear her sing. She nailed it.”
Never one to shortchange his fans, Wilson unleashes his powerful tenor on the uplifting title track, the inspirational “Amazing God” and romance songs “Precious Love” and “New Addiction.” To round out In It to Win It, Wilson reunites with “nephew” Snoop Dog for the sexy romp “Gold Rush.”
“Love is a powerful word and as men we need to let our women know that we love and respect them,” stated Wilson. “So, when guys bring their ladies to my show or have this album playing during a romantic dinner, they know I am speaking for them.”
Before launching his solo career in 2000, Wilson racked up a string of hits in the late ‘70s and ‘80s as front man with the Gap Band. The pioneering R&B/funk group charted such frequently sampled classics as “Outstanding,” “Yearning for Your Love,” “Burn Rubber on Me,” “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Early in the Morning.”
Wilson signed to Jive (now RCA) in 2004 after landing his first No. 1 Billboard Adult R&B hit in 2000, “Without You.” Since then, he’s released six solo albums and become a consistent chart presence. His tally of 19 hits boasts seven more Adult R&B No. 1s. Among them: “My Love Is All I Have,” “You Are” and “There Goes My Baby.” While garnering 11 Grammy nominations and other industry accolades, including BET’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, Wilson has stayed busy on the road, as he is a major concert draw, claiming the crown for top winter tour of 2015 with his Forever Charlie arena, or in the studio.
In the years between the Gap Band’s heyday and his solo success, Wilson survived drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and prostate cancer. He chronicled his odds-defying life and career in his 2015 best-selling autobiography, I Am Charlie Wilson. Sober now for 22 years, the singer says, “I wouldn’t have believed I’d be where I am right now. That’s why I shout every night because I thank God for allowing me to be here.”
“I’m looking forward to reaching a new swath of fans on this tour and with the release of my new album,” pledges Wilson. “And, I’m not stopping because I Am In It To Win It.”
In retrospect of looking back over the past twenty years, R&B superstar JOE Thomas crosses BRIDGES. The crooner’s new Album clearly defines his new outlook on life’s relationships and where they have taken him. Why “BRIDGES”?
– “ We build them, cross them, burn them, then soon realize how much we need them” – JOE
“Relationships are Bridges and at some point in life we must take full responsibility for where we have allowed those relationships to take us. Most important, what relationships or BRIDGES are we building, crossing into or burning?”
The Album is described as therapeutic and open. “I must confess I’ve had my share of girls in my lifetime – honestly I’ve been on the wildest rides and maybe I should slow it down” are the opening lines of the Album’s introduction single – ‘LOVE & SEX’ PT. 2 which features the beautiful KELLY ROWLAND of Destiny’s Child and X-Factor fame. The single is widely and well received at Urban AC radio and video (directed by veteran director Bille Woodruff) with a strong reminiscence of the SOS Band days. Part one featured American Idol Fantasia and was featured on the singer’s 2013 Album release Double Back, (Evolution of R&B) which debuted #1 on the Billboard R&B charts and #6 on Billboard Top 200.
When asked why the choice of Kelly over Fantasia, the R&B singer is very adamant that there is and never was a choice per say or comparison in his mind between the two. “Both are equally talented and beautiful”. If I had to describe in keeping with the concept of BRIDGES, (think of it this way), every major bridge has different levels or entrances when going across them. Your choice depends on the direction your going in. Both Kelly and Fantasia were necessary because I needed to go into two different directions for this particular song.
I won’t call it a journey. That is for people to decide. I will say that it is heartfelt and relatable to past or present circumstances for any listener who embarks on BRIDGES. It is uplifting, fun and thought provoking. The biggest comment for those that I have played Bridges for is that one, you never feel like you have to skip over a particular song and that each song is enjoyable or as they say, “it reminds me of when I ….” That blank has been filled in some pretty amazing things.
Songs like “Sex Ain’t A Weapon” hits hard with its strong ¾ shuffle beat reminiscent of Marvin keeps you grooving on the subject matter for the woman who chooses to hold back or deprive her man lovin’ when she feels like playing the mute game of making it easy to turn off her desire or quench his thirst for sex. Joe charismatically states “A queen B should never hold back the Honey…not later but sooner girl you’ll hear the rumor that other fish been swimming around in your sea. That’s why You Can’t Use Sex As a Weapon”.
Then there’s the album’s new single, the sure fire nostalgic Ballad entitled, “If You Lose Her”. I mean what would a JOE album be without one or several ballads (which he has not and never fails to deliver). On the thought-provoking ballad “If You Lose Her,” Joe cautions men about neglecting or taking a good woman for granted. “If you lose her, there’ll be a hole in your soul… no grave deep enough to bury the pain.” Other noteworthy songs include the anthem “First Lady,” the party-driven “Take It to the House” and another soul-stirring ballad, “The Rope Gives Way.”
Manager/partner Isaac views BRIDGES as a way to connect Joe with a wider audience. “Joe is one of the few artists left who can step into any genre,” says Isaac. “Already mainstream R&B and urban AC staples, Joe’s hits are still played on top 40 and rhythmic stations. Listening to BRIDGES, people will hear that Joe’s music isn’t a hard bridge to cross.”
A self-described “country boy” born in South Georgia and raised in Alabama, Joe often accompanied his traveling evangelist father on the road. Growing up, he also learned to play the guitar and piano while developing his vocal skills in church. Joe’s dream of attending Dillard University in New Orleans to study business and law took a backseat when he opted to relocate to New Jersey in pursuit of a musical career. After notching his first R&B top 10 for Mercury Records in 1993 with “I’m in Luv,” Joe began hitting his stride in the mid-‘90s with the R&B and pop crossover smash “All the Things (Your Man Won’t Do).”
An ensuing string of hits—“All That I Am,” “I Wanna Know,” “No One Comes Close”—sealed Joe’s reputation in the 2000s as an R&B superstar. And the seven-time Grammy nominee’s memorable collaborations with Mariah Carey (“Thank God I Found You”), Big Pun (“Still Not a Player”) and G-Unit (“Wanna Get to Know You”) further underscored his musical versatility.
Joe’s flexibility offstage extends beyond cooking to sports (“I’m very competitive when it comes to basketball, bowling and shooting pool”). He’d love to return to school and get his degree. But right now, it’s all about connecting with BRIDGES.
“I’d love to be remembered in the same league as a Marvin Gaye,” says Joe. “And I’ve got time. That’s the beauty of R&B. It’s a classy genre — and class always lasts.”
Kevon Edmonds, one of six brothers, formed the group After 7 with his brother Melvin and classmate Keith Mitchell while attending Indiana University in 1988.
Jason joined the group replacing his father Melvin in 2004.
Beep, beep, beep – An alarm sounds. Lights flash. Everyone is on alert. Emergency protocol in effect. It’s a Code Red state of emergency. Soul music is in trouble and one of the greatest R&B singers of a generation is sounding the alarm. Whispered voices have been expressing their concern for some time. Industry insiders talk of a change in the musical direction at radio. Critics blame millenials. Millenials blame the music. Artists blame each other. And everyone blames the Internet. But that’s not the whole story. Soul music is alive and well and “people love it when introduced to it properly,” R&B/Pop icon Monica explains. However, concerned about the future of the genre she loves so much, Monica returns with her seventh studio album appropriately titled Code Red.
“As an artist and real genuine soul/R&B lover, I felt that it’s a state of emergency for the music. Its important for this generation to know and understand how important the music was and is to the world and we are best when we can bridge the sound between the old and the new,” Monica says. The Grammy Award winning singer knows this better than anyone.
Monica will inarguably be remembered in music as one of the most iconic soul singers of a generation. Her enviable resume detailing extraordinary musical contributions that started professionally at the tenderfoot age of 12 when her first major label deal was signed.
Monica’s musical journey started in College Park, Ga., when she began performing with a traveling gospel choir, following in her mother’s footsteps, an incredible church singer herself. While honing her craft competing in as many local talent shows she could find, Monica was discovered by hitmaker Dallas Austin, signed to Arista Records’ distributed label, Rowdy Records and by thirteen became the youngest artist ever to score two back-to-back Billboard #1 chart-topping hit records with “Don’t Take it Personal” (Just one of dem Days) and “Before you Walk Out of My Life.” By the end of 1995, she had taken the world by storm with her unstoppable debut album, “Miss Thang.” Her next album, the 1998 record-breaker “The Boy Is Mine,” was a crossover pop juggernaut as the result of her duet with Brandy; the Rodney Jerkins produced song of the same name. The single spent thirteen weeks at #1 on the coveted Billboard chart, earning Monica her first Grammy Award to add to her already growing collection of Billboard, American Music and Soul Train awards. “The Boy Is Mine” album would feature two more Billboard #1 hits –“Angel of Mine” and “The First Night”– and would establish Monica as a bona-fide superstar and one of most successful artists of the entire decade. Over the next ten years Monica would release four more Billboard chart-toppingalbums “After the Storm,”“The Makings of Me,”“Still Standing,” and “New Life.” In all, she has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and she holds the record as the first artist to top the U.S. Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart with No.1 songs over the span of three consecutive decades (1990s, 2000s and 2010s), which puts her in the elite company of history-making superstars such as Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, James Brown and Marvin Gaye, all sharing similar accomplishments. She’s acted on stage and in feature films, contributed to the hit NBC show, “The Voice,” and witnessed her life documented in the BET reality show, “Monica: Still Standing.” And in 2010, Billboard Magazine listed Monica at No. 24 on it’s list of the Top 50 R&B and Hip Hop Artists of the past 25 years.
So what’s left to prove and why now? The answers are extraordinarily simple: Nothing and it was time. After a few years off from recording and touring, Monica felt that her family life had reached a point where it could sustain the rigors and demands of her career. “My family takes precedence over everything. Once I really got everybody comfortable – Kids in school, prepping for the days they had whether it be with sports or all the different activities that they love and my daughter was walking and talking, that’s when I really started working on the album,” Monica recalls. “My children didn’t ask to be the children of an entertainer so never do I want them to feel secondary to it…In the midst of me being a mom and a wife, there’s so much more substance there when I do come back as an artist.”
Due in-stores and online later this year, Code Redis indeed a jubilant return to form for the iconic star. The lead single, produced by hitmaker Polow Da Don is an updated take on a Smokey Robinson and the Miracles classic (Much Better Off); “Just Right For Me,”featuring Lil’ Wayne, serves as a perfect introduction to the album and is a bridge between Monica’s love of classic soul music, 90’s R&B and the sound of today. Another standout on the album is the uber-personal tune, “I Miss Music.” It is somewhat of a tribute to the memorable music of the 80’s and 90’s and the rare artists that created it. “I Miss Music,” is an infectious record. It was an instantaneous attraction for Monica. “I was born in the midst of the most incredible age of music. This song speaks to that era and reflects on how important the music was to me,” Monica explains. When I mention Whitney’s name in the song, I still get chills through my body. She wasn’t only my mentor. She was my friend. This song is all about substance and feel and that’s what means the most to me.”
“The song ‘Hustler’s Ambition,’ featuring Akon, is one of my absolute favorite records that I have ever recorded,” Monica details. The record captures the feeling of missing someone but keeping the emotional fire burning while he’s away. Surely a parallel for Monica and her husband, NBA player Shannon Brown and their intense opposing work schedules.
Missy Elliott returns to Monica’s musical journey on the supremely matched title track, “Code Red.” The tempo driven, high energy, effervescent, and lyrically captivating record couldn’t be a more unexpected yet perfect union for these music icons whom are also true friends.
“This album is about my journey. As a person I’m complete. I’m a complete woman now. I’m complete as a mom. I see my children happy, enjoying their lives, living and learning. I’m complete as a wife. I understand who I am. I know my shortcomings and I accept those just as much as I accept my strengths. As an artist, I’m a lot more seasoned and comfortable in my own skin. I understand there are artists that will do different things than me. They make take different paths in promoting and creating but there’s only one Monica.
Indeed since her dominant debut in 1995, there’s always only been one Monica.
- Group sales available
- Military groups save up to $7 off tickets
- Group Sales Contact: JDC Group Marketing
- Group Email: Jen@JDCgroupmarketing.com
- Group Phone: 619-363-5330
ADA Seating: For questions regarding disabled or accessible seating please call 619-224-4171 x322 or visit our Box Office, Monday thru Friday 11am – 5:30pm.
No refunds or exchanges.
Will Call is available at our venue 2 hours before the start of the event on the day of the show only. Photo ID required for pick-up.
Bag Policy: All persons and bags are subject to search. Clear tote bags (including handbags/purses) that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12” will be admitted inside after inspection. One-gallon clear plastic freezer or storage bags are also permitted. Small clutch bags or wallets that do not exceed 4.5” x 6.5 “, with or without a handle or strap, may be carried into the venue along with one of the clear bag options (clear tote or storage bag). Oversized bags (i.e. backpacks, suitcases, beach bags, laptop bags, etc.) are prohibited. Pechanga Arena San Diego does not provide a general area to check bags, coats or any other personal belongings. For a list of other prohibited items, click here.
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|Floor D-F, G, J // Lower Level 11-12, 2, 13 (rows 1-2), 1 (rows 1-2)||$114|
|Floor A-C (rows 5-19)||$154|
|Lower Level 1 (rows 2-8), 13 (rows 2-8), 14, 24 // Loge 11-14, 24, 2-3 // Wheelchair Access: Loge 11, 3||$103.50|
|Lower Level 15, 17-18, 20-21, 23 // Loge 15 (rows 1-3), 23 (rows 1-3)||$93.50|
|Loge 15 (rows 4-9), 23 (rows 4-9), 16-17B, 21A-22, 18A-20B (rows 1-4) // Wheelchair Access: Loge 14, 24||$83.50|
|Loge 18A-20B (rows 5-9) // Terrace 11-12, 2-3 (rows 1-8) // Wheelchair Access: Loge 18A, 20B||$73.50|
|Terrace 11-12 (rows 9-19), 2-3 (rows 9-18), 13-16 (rows1-12), 22B-1 (rows1-12) // Wheelchair Access: Loge 17A, 21B||$63.50|
|Terrace 13-16A (rows 13-18), 22B-24 (rows 13-18)||$46|
The North, West and South entrances will be open