Garnet Walters is a skillful and versatile musician, arranger and producer who has a passion for music and it shows in his playing and in his compositions. The KingdomSoldNYC Family knows him as one of NY's finest musicians who has played for many artist such as James Hall, Maurette Brown- Clark, David Bratton, Tyrone Birkett and Reggie Young. He has released two projects- A Christmas Ep and more recently The Foundation. Be sure to check it out on Itunes. We caught up with Garnet, let's see what he had to say...
KingdomSoldNYC: Garnet, Thank You again for this opportunity to talk with you. We've heard the name Garnet Walkers ring through out NYC. We know you've worked with a group called Praise Xpressed along with many other artist and groups. Tell us about yourself, you stated in your bio that you started playing from the tender age of 5, tell us about your musical journey.
Garnet: I started playing at the age of 5.(laughs) I remember I was in kindergarten at the time and I heard piano music. It was playing while we were taking a nap but I couldn't sleep. I remember thinking "what is this, this is crazy". So after nap time, there was this upright piano and every chance I got from that day forward, I went to the piano. My teacher recognized it and told my parents that I kept going to the piano so I must be interested. They got me a little Casio keyboard to get started. From there I took lessons as well as catching things by ear too. That's how I got started.
KingdomSoldNYC; Alright that's cool! Garnet, In 2011 you released a Christmas EP and recently you released "The Foundation", What inspired this project?
Garnet: Um, The Christmas CD I had a lot of ideas for Christmas music that people can chill and listen to. I did it and figured let me put it out there and it did pretty well. People liked it. The Foundation Album is more of a personal album. I've always heard "You need to do an album", " You need to do a solo album, do something". I never thought I would really do it but I took the leap of faith and recorded the album and so...here it is!
KingdomSoldNYC: Besides your love for the instrument and music, what has been your motivation to push and learn more- even the creativity; what inspires all of that?
Garnet: Other than the love and creativity. I base it off of those things. As musicians we can kind of get stuck in the status quo and we think we are alright then all of a sudden we hear something. It can be musical or non musical and your back in. So it's the love and then I don't like doing the same things twice, I like to switch it up a bit. A friend of mine, Sean Murray said "God made music like himself, Infinite & inexhaustible". God made music, then these qualities need to be in the music whenever anyone is playing. I take that into consideration especially with what you see with my videos on Instagram or Facebook- Everything is spirit driven but at the same time it's a lot of going with the moment and taping into the flow. The structure is there in the sense that you know the song but then you switch to audible depending on the flow of the Holy Spirit and it turns into another thing. It's not doing a great arrangement just for the sake of doing a great arrangement- just tap into the Holy Spirit and let him flow through you.
KingdomSoldNYC: You play at Mt.Moriah AME located in Queens, NY. What is your quick tip for musicians?
Garnet; Wow there's a lot! (laughs) Take time to learn your craft, Sometimes it will get frustrating but for me my love for it helps me get through it and brings me back. Practice everything slowly, it's better to have control over what your playing rather than playing it fast and it just comes out weird. Take your time with your craft. Don't use your craft to destroy anybody else- competition, Nah. That's horrible. If I play to compete it takes away from what music is about. Some people thrive off of that but I believe it's a matter of doing it for the love and camaraderie because people sense that. So do it for love, take time with your craft, listen to a lot of music! Sometimes "Church" music has this bubble which is alright but God is bigger than that- if you get a chance go out and listen to live music. Lastly, View music as a language. Often times there can be cases where the musician is really good with the ear but the theory is lacking. Sometimes the person knows theory really well but the ear is lacking. Just like we are having a conversation we are using a language, I understand what your saying and you understand what I'm saying. The theory is automatic because you know what a noun is, verb is and what an adjective is. Music is a language, learn the language, know how to use the word, the meaning of the word and where to place the word. Musicians may have great ideas but sometimes they want to use that one word in like everything. The word has to be used in the right context.
KingdomSoldNYC: Quick tip for worship teams
Garnet: Spend time with God first- worship team and musicians this is the foundation for everything. He'll give you a song, it will be on your heart the whole week and come Sunday you realize why. Journal it if you have to.
KingdomSoldNYC: Anything else you would like to say from promo, shout out's or an encouraging word?
Garnet: First I want to give honor to God (laughs) for the opportunity to be able to do what I am doing- I'm grateful. To my lovely wife Sasha & my daughter Olivia, hello. My people at Mt. Moriah- what's going on? The band out there Bryant Wilder, Andre Johnson, Andrea Brown and the music team- Rashad McPherson and Latasha Jordan. . Of course my Pastor- Rev. Robert Lowe. I'd like to give a shout out to The Gathering In Stamford, CT which is from Stanwich Congregational Church in Greenwich CT I got to give a shout out to Katie, Scott, Johnathan, Mikal, Mark, Tommy, John Z and Mike who does the sound and Pastor Chuck Davis and the staff out there. I would like to give a shout out to my family, My mother, my sister Satoya, Jason, Zoe, Romane, Sherian, Richard, Issac and of course my father in law. My music teachers Nancy Nagy Sen, Joan Forsyth, Pete Mallinverni. Charles Blenzig and Hai Glaper. If I forgot anybody charge it to my head and not my heart. A word of encouragement: God is accessable to everybody so just ask Him and He will show you. He will teach you- The Holy Spirit will be your teacher. Have your own identity, have it in Christ and trust him while you be you. We don't want carbon copies, everybody has a gift and a specific sound and you don;t have to sound like the next person to be considered great so be yourself. You can be influenced by who you listen to but take that and create you own voice. Again if you ask God He will show you stuff.
To the musicians that will listen to this- keep doing what your doing. Keep grinding, keep practicing, keep on being creative and play for the audience of one- which is Christ!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.