Imagine having the chance to hand out glossy posters, topped by the words: "Flawless Entertainment Presents" … and emblazoned with photos of yourself. That's just what Santore Bracey, 24, gets to do to promote his budding recording career.
The 2000 graduate of Forest Hill High School started singing solos and in the church choir when he was 7. He's sung background for bluesman Willie Clayton and opened for R&B singer Dave Hollister. In 2004, Bracey traveled to Chicago where he attended R. Kelly's "Chocolate Factory Conference," a workshop for those interested in getting into the music business. "The main thing I got from that conference was that it's 90 percent business and 10 percent talent," Bracey said. He believes that comes as a surprise to most people who think that if you've got the talent, then that's it.
Bracey draws from life experiences in his songwriting. He's grateful to God for those experiences, especially for being the father of 5-month-old Kyla. "She's my inspiration; she makes me want to do more," he said softly; his latest song tells of her impact on his life.
When he's performing live, Bracey watches the audience, gauging what he should do next. "If I see them having fun, it makes me want to sing a longer set sometimes. I can break it down to sing about love or to get people up on their feet to do the wang-dang-doodle," he said, chuckling and shaking his head a bit, no doubt at some of the things he's seen.
A network of friends and family surrounds every effort Bracey makes musically. He's working on his first CD; that's where Flawless Entertainment comes in. He and friends Maurice Collins and LaCorie Williams formed their company to promote and produce music, from photography to posters to production. Bracey has seven of the planned 13 songs laid down for "Finally," while the other six are written, but the music still needs to come. Friends and fellow musicians Howard Loving and Rufus Gavin do the music tracks for Bracey. When Bracey performs live, he's backed by Calvin Wilson on keyboard, and background singers Jessica, Sherry and Montel.
I talked to Bracey the morning after we had met, asking him how his latest live performance went at 88 Keys in the Metro. "I really showed out," Bracey said, laughing, "and I'm hoarse now." I had one final question for him: When you make it big, will you give back to your home?
Without any hesitation, he answered: "If I come up, Mississippi comes up. That's it, point blank."
another great write by Lynette Hanson, and I hate to say that I haven't heard of this gentlemen before. It is so encouraging to see those who who aspire to greatness to be achieving it at various degrees in their lives.
- c a webb