KS: After graduation you returned to NY?
DB: Yes. I was living in Miami hustling the scene. But there really wasn’t a scene for me there. It was very club heavy. Very Latin Band. There really wasn’t the cultural scene for what I did. So being from Long Island, I decided to come back home because it was better for what I had decided to do.
KS: So who are your musical influences? I can guess just by listening to your first set list, but I want to hear from you.
DB: No…no I want to hear who you think.
KS: Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie…maybe Ella….who am I missing?
DB: No you did great…in fact the list goes on and on. When I was younger, when I was 13 or 14 and all my friends were listening to Back Street Boys, I was listening to Miles Davis and Mel Torme. I was an anomaly. I wanted to be the next Harry Connick Jr. Harry Connick Jr. was someone I listened to an it’s funny how when you grow up you emulate artists and you are trying to figure out your sounds, I emulated Harry Connick Jr. Then I got into Stevie Wonder. I was like oh my God, that was like great. I wanted to sing like that. But do it in jazz. I kinda had this soul and Motown meets jazz. In fact my second set of my act features Stevie Wonder. It’s a part one and part two kind of show.
KS: Well I have to say, you blew me away with part one of the show. You sang one of my all time favorites songs, “Nature Boy”. And I loved your jazzy soulful rendition of it. Normally it’s a really slow song, but you breathed a new life into it.
DB: Oh good, and that’s really what’s happening to me in New York where I’m carving a new niche of jazz singing even the standards. Where I’m taking all these traditional songs and turning them on their heads giving them a younger hipper sound.
KS: Do you see a younger crowd coming to your shows? Tonight you have a mix of 30’s, 40’s, 50’s all here appreciating your music. Do you find you audiences getting younger?
DB: Absolutely, I have been headlining a club down in NYC called the Metropolitan. It’s off-Broadway, so being off Broadway there are a lot of cabaret singers and I’m very different. I’m not a cabaret singer, I’m straight jazz and pianist. But I sing a lot of the same songs they sing. We all sing “My Funny Valentine”, we all sing “Nature Boy”, and the Gershwin tunes, but no one sings them the way I do. I did a show at Lincoln Center and it was a show with a lot of cabaret singers. I came out and sang “Fly Me To The Moon”. And all 1,200 people were like…. It’s been really exciting to be able to do music that I love and to be able to keep it alive and give it this fresh facelift.
KS: Do you have any projects going on? Don’t you have a new album you’re working on?
DB: Yes, yes I do and I’m glad you want to hear about it, because I love talking about it. It’s an album called Shaken Not Stirred. Now I wanted to develop a concept that brought back the art of the LP which is a full album. So many people are making mixed tapes of just single songs and whatnot. I wanted to create something that was not just a collaboration of single songs. So I wrote this album to tell a story from beginning to end. I wrote and produced every composition, and I wrote it cinematically so that you are almost listening to a movie. It takes you through this epic love story about a crooner/night club singer, that meets this mysterious woman and goes on this search to find her. After searching for her he finally finds her and asks her to surrender to loving him. They get together only to discover there’s the opposite side of the love where he finds out she’s not exactly everything he had imagined. Then the torment begins. It goes through this element of I want it all or nothing at all. I actually throw the song All of Nothing At All in there where it goes through that part; the addiction of love and how you need it. Then you go through the ultimatum where it’s me or nothing, and then ultimately the last song is about coming to the realization of his destiny. A lot of it is based on Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist in the sense of how it focuses on finding your destiny. The moral of it is, whatever love it is you are pursuing, never give up and follow your destiny. There is a lot of layers to it, but ultimately when you listen to it from beginning to end, it’s this love story with beautiful arrangements, and again it’s got this cinematic style.