Wednesday, August 7, 2019

New Song, "Chocolate Child," Empowers Black Youth

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Los Angeles, CA Times -- of arduous turmoil require songs of tremendous inspiration... especially for the young. Singer/ Songwriter/ Actor Phillip Brandon has written just such a much-needed work entitled "Chocolate Child."

Early buzz on this release is so strong that it is being launched with a premier on the R&B tastemaker website Soultracks as "Song of the Month" for August 2019. "Chocolate Child" from the artist's widely acclaimed debut album, The Story Begins, arrives on the heels of Phillip's inaugural single "Come On" which was a Top 20 charter on Billboard's Smooth Jazz Chart in a fantastic 12-week run.

"Chocolate Child" is a deep healing balm of inspiration for the young, gifted and Black in America today. Phillip felt it was time for a song such as this given the headlines in news media, the scarcity of positive songs on Black radio at the moment and the renaissance of illuminating film and television movies and documentaries centered around African Americans, including Ava Duvernay's When They See Us, I Am Not Your Negro, George Tillman's The Hate U Give, Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, and Marvel's Black Panther.

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"Chocolate Child" is words of spiritual nourishment for young Black American Kings and Queens - blessed with the bluesy tang of Phil Gates' guitar and Phillip's vocal delivery that channels the legendary Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as soul-jazz prophet Gregory Porter. "Mr. Porter gave me the most current inspiration to do what I do," Phillip confirms. "He once stated that it was his hope that he had opened a door for others to be unique." On the song, Phillip adds, "Understanding the importance of the seeds we plant early in the heads of our young, I'm telling them, 'You're magnificent! You come from royalty! Know that and live that!'"

"Chocolate Child" was the favorite song of Phillip's father who was so proud of his son's album before passing away recently. Phillip recalls, "It would bring tears to his eyes as he imagined how many young hearts would be touched inside of young people that looked like them. He understood the importance and meaning of the song right away without any preamble from me. When he praised it, I knew 'Chocolate Child' was on its way to accomplishing all it is intended to do."

When Phillip planned the video for his first single, "Come On," he shot it to showcase himself as a performer. The video for "Chocolate Child" moves in the opposite direction, revealing Brandon as a down-to-earth everyman. Director Anthony Bryce Graham brought a richly cinematic method that makes the music video look like a film short. The clip stars young actor DeCory Brown (representing a young Phillip Brandon), following him on a walk home through Los Angeles just after his teacher has given him an A+ grade on a paper. Playing against expectation for a video about a young black man in the city, our protagonist is not met with peril around every corner. Instead, the thoughtful young brother is shown slices of life that challenge his consciousness as he embarks upon his journey through life. All the while that he is taking in his surroundings, the messages of the song subliminally speak greatness into his life. Finally, he arrives at a park where he and the storyteller share some sacred space... but never meet.

"Anthony lived with my song for a couple weeks before we even had a meeting about him directing my video," Phillip shares. "When we finally came together, the pre-production took no time at all because we were already on the same page."

"Chocolate Child" is one of five selections that Phillip Brandon co-composed with highly prolific and immensely successful songwriter/producer Preston Glass (Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, George Benson). Glass produced seven of the songs on Phillip's The Story Begins. the signature sheen emanating from Glass' Platinum Garage workshop proving a brilliant no-brainer fit for Phillip. "The richness of Phillip's vocal cords provides him a charismatic advantage," Glass says of Phillip. "What sets him apart from others who possess similar richness (such as Will Downing) is his theatrical experience which he draws from liberally in his interpretation of a lyric." So impressed with how "Chocolate Child" turned out, Glass also included it on his own CD compilation, Preston Glass Presents Love & Compassion (Vol. 2). It is destined to touch hearts and minds around the globe.

Since the release of The Story Begins, Phillip Brandon has brought his dynamic stage show to Herb Alpert's supper club Vibrato Jazz Grille (Brentwood), opened for The Manhattan Transfer at The Saban Theater (Beverly Hills) and opened for a double bill of The Delfonics and Tierra at The Rose (Pasadena). He has been featured in "Born For This: The Musical" - the life story of Gospel legend BeBe Winans directed by Motown: The Musical's Charles Randolph-Wright with Donald Lawrence as Music Supervisor. And this fall will mark his 10th anniversary as "Narrator" on the renowned Winter Tours of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Presently, Phillip's focus is promoting "Chocolate Child" worldwide.

"I create songs from the heart and a spiritual space of hope," Phillip concludes.

For more information, contact Phil Davis at or (818) 533-8386

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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