Presenters of the Day: John Roberts & Aiyisha Obafemi
One of the most sought after Jazz and R&B Drummers of his generation, John “Lil’ John” Roberts has maintained his status in the industry as the ultimate heartbeat. A native of Philadelphia, John quickly became noted as a child prodigy, playing alongside Christian McBride and Joey Defranceso at the age of 16. Collectively, the trio was also a part of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, a project created and directed by Wynton Marsalis, composed of 22 of the countries best young jazz musicians. His list of credits also include many of the industries greatest such as: Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Prince, Sheila E, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Al Green, BB King, Paula Abdul, Yolanda Adams, Ne-Yo, Bruce Parham, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Patti Labelle, Juanita Bynum, India.Arie, Queen Latifah, Joss Stone, Raphael Saadiq, Lucy Pearl, Musiq Soulchild (Musical Director), Jill Scott, Kindred, Bilal, Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dog, The Time, Frank McComb, Mos Def, Common, Earth, Wind and Fire, again, and a host of others.
After writing producing with various Jazz and Funk Artists such as Walter Beasley, Rachelle Ferrelle, as well as his band “The Chronicle” and completing records with Anita Baker and Kirk Whalum, John has concentrated his efforts on his debut album, Heartbeat, released in June 2014. Heartbeat features friends of Lil’ John such as Stokley of Mint Condition, Eric Roberson, Robert Glasper, Anthony David and a number of up and coming artists.
Aiyisha Obafemi comes from a family with a love of music. As a toddler, Aiyisha traveled the world with her mother who sang with Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone.
On a professional level, Aiyisha has been in the Music & Entertainment Industry since 1990. She started as an Executive for the socially conscious rap group X-Clan’s production company, Scratch Me Productions. Aiyisha was an integral part of the BLACKWATCH organization, as the National Spokesperson and toured with X-Clan to promote the philanthropic organization. Currently handling a variety of positions for Disturbing Tha Peace Records including C.O.O., Marketing Director, and Video Commissioner, she has been a solid part of the label’s success. Aiyisha is also an instrumental part of the management team for Ebony Son Entertainment of which Ludacris is the marquee client. Now as the CEO of her own company, The Blue Nile Group, she ties together all of her skill sets. She will consult others as it pertains to achieving their companies’ goals. Aiyisha will always represent a lineage of strong and intelligent women. She has raised her twin daughters, her greatest accomplishments, to do the same.
Coaches of the Day: Sarah & Charlotte Command
Born and raised in small town Alberta, Canada - the Command Sisters have been singing and picking together for over 10 years. The sisters honed their craft with a country background, which led them to their first publishing/production deal at the ripe age of 12 and 15 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Co-managed by now Tim McGraw manager Scott Siman.) This opportunity took the sisters on wild ride with 4 showcases at the famed Bluebird Cafe, a tour in Shanghai, China, a John Lennon Songwriting Contest award, a performance for Yoko Ono during John Lennon’s 75th birthday celebration, and a personal invite to meet Prince William and Kate back in the spring of 2013. In recent years, the buzz from their acoustic shows has led them to perform tributes to Chaka Khan, Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes, and The B52’s at the She Rocks Awards in Los Angeles. These performances secured sponsorship affiliations with Martin Guitar, PRS Guitars, and Marshall Amps. Songwriters at heart with a love for harmony driven, guitar-lickin' pop music, as they grew older the sisters knew their music had to change with them. Now residing in Toronto, Canada the Command Sisters debut pop album is on the way with a cross-Canada radio tour on the horizon. Through work with organizations such as MusiCounts, TEMPO Educates, and The Stollery Children's Hospital, and recently The Gretsch Foundation, they strive to inspire young girls (and boys) to pick up the guitar regardless of the fear that comes with learning something new.