He doesn’t really walk off the edge of the high rise; it just looks that way.
A dramatic still shot of R&B recording artist D. Edward stepping out into the air high above Van Ness Avenue and Jackson Street in San Francisco not only made for an exhilarating cover photo for his new single “Love Is” it also set a viral number of fingers a twittering recently on social media.
“The concept is: Love is a leap of faith,” D. Edward says of how the photo came to be.
But, there’s more to the story.
D. Edward’s artistic director for the project, Daniel Garcia offered a few options for the cover photo, and at first the air step idea sounded “amazing,” to D. Edward; however, that was before he spent time in a local REI store learning what it would really mean to be strapped by a single rope, clip, and rock climbing harness.
“I thought we’d use Photoshop or something,” D. Edward says, adding, he has “a slight fear of heights.”
For insurance reasons, the store salesman told D. Edward he couldn’t assist in tying a knot on the rope, but, after reading a book he bought there… “Which says the leading cause of death in rock climbing is improper tying of knots…” Edward tied it himself and was on his way – soon walking the one-quarter block ledge four stories above the sidewalk.
“Every step I took, the wooden boards (on the ledge) would shake and I’d look down thinking, if I fall I’m going to hit the sidewalk,” he recalls.
Garcia, who was shooting the event from above, on top of a billboard sign, called out to D. Edward: “It’d be great if you could look up, spread your arms out and put your leg out.”
Being a dedicated musician and a trooper, D. Edward took the direction with only a slight hesitation – “I thought, I can’t even move right now, and you want me to step out into nothing?” – and the rest is history.
Well, except for those who have seen the photo, and whose tongues keep wagging and fingers keep typing: “It must be photo-shopped,”… “It’s gotta be.”
Growing up in Oakland, D. Edward has been studying music since elementary school and writing and performing music since high school.
He began taking piano, trumpet and clarinet as a small child but convinced his mom to buy him congas while he was in high school, where he became a percussionist in the jazz band and in Afro-Haitian dance classes.
He credits his older brother with his love of R&B music, and his father for taking him to hear the Temptations, the Spinners, and other artists when he was a youth. “I came from a family of people who enjoyed an eclectic mix of music,” he says, explaining that his brothers loved R&B, Pop and Jazz, and artists such as Al Green and Earth, Wind & Fire, but he was the only one to enjoy making music.
His mother’s love of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole and his stepfather’s enjoyment of classic country musicians such as Johnny Cash and Hank Williams also added to his appreciation of a variety of genres.
He played in bands outside of school and eventually became a percussionist for the popular 1980s group Con Funk Shun.
Though he’d sung background vocals and written songs for other artists, it wasn’t until a few years ago that a friend and fellow musician suggested he had “a good voice” and should sing his own tunes, and he gave it a try. The result: three songs and his “Love Is” album submitted for GRAMMY nominations.
He recently signed a publishing contract, and performed this past month at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. He’s currently moving to Los Angeles from Oakland. “L.A. is where the music industry is and that’s where I need to be,” he says.
For D. Edward, Southern California is where “Love Is.”
For information or an interview, contact Bud Anderson, Del Oro Music Publicity, at: Bud@deloromusic.com or visit http://www.dedwardmusic.com/