There’s one thing Emmy-winning entertainer Wayne Brady wants people to know about his debut album, “A Long Time Coming” (Peak Records/Concord Music Group, Sept. 16). It’s not a vanity project.
“This isn’t like [comedian] Carrot Top doing a rap collaboration,” says Brady. The comedian/TV host won two Emmys for his self-titled syndicated talk show and another for his work on TV’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
“[Music] is where my heart was before television,” he continues. “God gave me acting as a way to get back to this place. I’d just like people to give it an unbiased listen before judging me.”
Mid-tempo lead single “Ordinary” – about the simple joys of romance – is already eliciting positive buzz. After five weeks on the Adult R&B chart, the song sits at No. 20 with a bullet on the Adult R&B chart and entered the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart this week at No. 98.
Eleven more tracks round out the album’s soulful direction. Covers of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do” and the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” give way to original songs co-written by Brady and others including production trio the Heavyweights (Jamie Jones, Jack Kugell and Jason Pennock), who produced and arranged the album. Among the original songs are the Marvin Gaye-influenced “F.W.B.” and “I Ain’t Movin,” which Brady describes as Motown meets Amy Winehouse meets OutKast.
“I’m known as a variety performer, so people might think I’d do a Sammy Davis standards thing,” says Brady. “My doing a soul album will catch people sideways. But this is what I grew up with and love.”
Brady recently co-hosted and performed at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s annual Pioneer Awards (Sept. 9). And he also performs on the United Negro College Fund’s forthcoming special, “An Evening of Stars Tribute to Patti LaBelle,” airing Jan. 24-25, 2009. Heading out on spot dates in Chicago and other markets, Brady plans to formally hit the road next January or February.
In the meantime, Brady hopes to tape a video soon for “Ordinary” as he maintains a weekly Thursday-Monday stint on his Las Vegas Show “Making It Up” and gears up for another season as host of Fox TV’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.”
“This is like having a child,” says Brady. “I’m an excited, nervous and proud papa. I hope everyone likes my kid.”