Desi has the amazing & seemingly effortless ability to sing amongst the crowd,at times spontaneously changing lyrics to relate to an ongoing situation,all whilst perfectly keeping to the melody.He possesses a unique vocal range that can go from a beautiful falsetto to a deep soulful baritone. His repertoire seamlessly blends Jazz vocal standards,Reggae,Soul classics,Funk,R&B and popular modern hits together into a must see show that leaves audiences worldwide enthralled.
My journey through music has always and continues to be as exciting,and inspiring,even after proudly being a professional singer/songwriter for over 30 years.
I’d always wanted to be a singer as a young boy,and wrote my first song aged 7,but it wasn’t until i turned 20 that my career blossmed.
I’d moved to Sheffield as I’d outgrown my home town of Derby,and London just seemed to me a cliched,and if I’m honest a daunting move.
The music scene in Sheffield was vibrant and on the rise and within 2 months of moving there i was in a band with ex members of ABC.We rehearsed on the top floor of my flat,and so drums and the odd guitar were left overnight,so i started to learn,experiment and write songs.
My bible at that time was a music magazine called Smash Hits,which i read weekly dreaming of one day maybe gracing it’s cover.
In this mag was a request for singer song writers wanted to form a new vocal group.I had maybe 6 of my own songs very roughly recorded,and so sent them off to the magazine.
About 2 weeks later i received a hand written letter,that I still have today from none other than Paul Weller,saying it was himself that had placed the add,and that he could here potential in my songs ,and also liked my voice,and was i interested in coming down to London.
I met up with Paul at his Respond Records Studio,along with the other singers he’d also assembled,2 male and one female,and so we began recording and writing more of my songs with a view to possibly releasing something through the label.
Paul was very much involved with his band The Style Council at the time,they were just about to release Long Hot Summer,and to my surprise he asked me and another singer from the vocal group,now named Soul Survivors to sing backing vocals,as they had a few TV shows lined up to promote the single.
So,there i was,this kid from Derby singing with one of my hero’s live on TV, living the dream.
I was commuting between Sheffield and London on a weekly basis, and all the TV exposure led to me being head hunted by a local band called Floy Joy,who were signed to Virgin Records.
After a few months,the Soul Survivors thing kind of desolved,for no particular reason,it just wasn’t working,and so I decided to join Floy Joy permanantly as their backing singer/percussionist.
Again,i was performing on TV shows like the legendary Whistle Test,The Tube and The Switch and soon was elevated to lead singer for the bands second album.
That album like the first was recorded in Detroit,home of Motown,where i got to sing along side Aretha Franklin,Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops and The Staples Singers as part of a campaign for the Mayor’s election.I’m proud to have sung the original version of the Alison Moyet hit Weak In The Presence Of Beauty,and got to hang out and learn from the Was vocalists, Mr Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens.
I also worked with Don Was,the producer of both Floy Joy albums,and the Hall and Oates guitarist G E Smith,Steve Ferrone from The Average White Band,David McMurray,Louis Resto and Lenny Castro amongst many other influential musicians.
After the band disolved i moved to Los Angeles at the request of Don to become a member of Was[Not Was] and recorded the album What Up Dog as part of the band.
After living in LA for 2 years,i had written a bunch of my own songs and so decided to move back to Sheffield to form the band Everyday People,who were soon signed to SBK/EMI Records and went on to tour with Lisa Stansfield,promoting the album You Wash I’ll Dry,I also got to write with the legendary Lamont Dozier,and worked with Hugh Masekela,Stewart Levine the producer of the Everyday People album,Larry Williams,Aaron Zigman,and the string arranger of mostly all the Motown hits we know and love, Mr Paul Riser.
I toured Japan as the band had won the prestigious Battle Of The Bands competition, I also toured the USA and throughout Europe extensively for months on end,particularly in Germany where we went on to have 3 hit singles.
After that band,I worked with Errol Brown in Hot Chocolate and went on to work in the band Blu Dog formed by Henry Priestman and Russell Christian, from the Liverpool band The Christians who were soon signed to Gut Records.
That’s 3 major labels I’ve been signed to,quite an acheivement for a working class boy from a small town.
I’ve sung on many other artists recordings and have worked with so many inspirational people.
I now write,record,produce and release my own material,and perform all over the world and still have all the energy,dedication and love for music as I did all those years ago.
I hope to see some of you at one of my shows soon.
Contact me for your function,I look forward to hearing from you.