Among a handful of the most innovative, original and influential artists of our time, Narada Michael Walden’s stature as an authentic musical renaissance man is a matter of record.
Producing Hits for Artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin (including the platinum “Freeway of Love.”), Steve Winwood, Ray Charles, Wynonna Judd, Whitney Houston, George Michael, Mariah Carey, Barbara Streisand, Lionel Ritchie, Lisa Fischer, Stevie Wonder, Tom Jones, Jeff Beck and The Temptations, the EMMY and multi-GRAMMY winner (Producer, Album and Song of The Year) has been at the helm of hit music that spans decades. His music flows freely from pop, rock and soul, to the rarified realms of jazz, fusion and world music. With Jeff Beck, Narada wrote and played drums on the seminal album “Wired” that earned them both their first Gold Album. Walden was an integral part of introducing Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey to millions of fans worldwide, producing and writing their breakthrough hits that first brought these divas to the spotlight. Billboard Magazine honored him as one of the Top Ten Producers of all time… Read more
As impressive a production and songwriting resume as Narada Michael Walden has assembled over the past thirty years and counting, he has earned equal acclaim as a recording and performing artist in his own right. Beginning as a drummer first with the pioneering Mahavishnu Orchestra following Bill Cobham at 21 years old), Narada also toured with Jeff Beck, Tommy Bolin, and Weather Report. Through eleven acclaimed solo recordings, along the way he has branched into a wide range of sonic arenas. Walden’s music includes groundbreaking soundtrack work on such blockbuster films as The Bodyguard, Free Willy, Beverly Hills Cops II, 9 ½ Weeks and Stuart Little to the EMMY-winning “One Moment In Time,” the theme to the 1988 Olympic Games.
The list goes on, but the artistry of Narada Michael Walden is about more than charts positions and record sales. There is a powerful spiritual component at the heart of everything this richly gifted artist undertakes, an attuned and intuitive approach with a deep appreciation for music’s transforming power. Simply put, the artistry of Narada Michael Walden gets to the heart of matter, about matters of the heart.
It’s a commitment that reaches into the philanthropic arena as well, where Walden consistently lends his time and talent to causes ranging from the Cancer Society to funding music programs in the nation’s schools through his own foundation. For over 7 years running he has served as Music Director for the Rainforest Foundation Concert at Carnegie Hall, the high profile conversancy benefit spearheaded by Sting and Trudie Styler that has featured the likes of Elton John, Billy Joel, Ravi Shankar, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Lada Gaga, Bruno Mars and, of course, Sting himself.
His “Narada Michael Walden Foundation” delivers its services through a network of non-profit organizations with proven records of success in youth education and community empowerment. The Foundation also endows scholarships for aspiring musicians and enables the stars of tomorrow by offering emerging young artists from around the world access to recording facilities, coaching and production support.
In 2010 Narada did a very successful two year world tour as Drummer with the Jeff Beck Band.In early February, of 2012 Narada Michael Walden returned from a well received 10 day stint of shows with his own band at the Blue Note in Tokyo and Nagoya to perform at the White House in an all star band for President Obama’s “Red, White and Blues” Concert with legends B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Trombone Shorty, Booker T Jones and more. In 2013, Narada established his own Independent Label, Tarpan Records and released 2 new solo projects, Thunder 2013 and Rising Sun. In spring 2014 Tarpan Records signed Cheyanne Elliott, the granddaughter of Dionne Warwick. Narada is busy producing Cheyanne’s EP to come out in the fall of 2014, which will include a stunning duet with Dionne Warwick.
Walden’s prodigious energies have consistently driven him to keep on the cutting edge of the music industry. Narada continues to perform, write & record new music. He is tireless in his work to develop and mentor young musicians. For over 25 years he has been independently busy producing and recording new Artists as well as working on his own solo projects at his Marin County-based Tarpan Studios recording studio.
Biography courtesy of The Official Website of Narada Michael Walden
01 – Whitney Houston – All The Man That I Need (I’m Your Baby Tonight, 1990)
02 – Mariah Carey – I Don’t Wanna Cry (Mariah Carey, 1990)
03 – George Benson – Teaser (While The City Sleeps, 1986)
04 – Howard Hewett – Save Your Sex For Me (Allegiance, 1992)
05 – Narada Michael Walden – Divine Emotions (Divine Emotions, 1988)
Background music during the interview:
Narada Michael Walden – Should’ve Loved Ya (Joey Negro Should´ve Dubbed Ya Mix), Mahavishnu Orchestra – Cosmic Strut, Stacy Lattisaw – Jump To The Beat, Aretha Franklin – Who’s Zooming Who, Narada Michael Walden – Garden Of Love Light, Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Whitney Houston – Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Aretha Franklin & George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting For Me, Usher – Can You Help Me