Orange pants by Landlord @landlordnewyork. Shoes by Finishoes @finishoes. Black/Gold japan coat by Hiromi Asai @hiromi.asai.

JUNIOR GISCOMBE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY IRIS BROSCH
STYLED BY HAMMER MCCLEOD
PRODUCED BY IBBS PRODUCTION



Norman Washington “Junior” Giscombe (born 1957) is one of the first British R&B artists to have achieved success in the USA. He is best known for his hits “Mama Used To Say” “Too Late” “Another Step” with Kim Wilde and “Do You Really Want My Love” from the album “Beverly Hills Cops” to date selling over 100 million copies.

Imagista: Where are you Born?

Junior Giscombe: I was born in Balham South London where I lived until I was 21. At 14 I went to Jamaica for the first time and fell in love with the Island. I spent the next 7 years going to Secondary school later on to college and achieved a City and Guilds in computer programming.

Rain Coat by Arthur Avellamo @arthur_avellano. Pullover by Landlord @landlordnewyork.

Imagista: Do you have any sisters and brothers?

Junior Giscombe: Yes.. four Sisters, two brothers. Unfortunately my two older brothers and two of my sisters passed away. Now I’m left with three sisters and myself.

Jeans by Andrea Crews @andrea_crews. Wool sweater by Andrea Crews @andrea_crews. Cap by Arthur Avellano @arthur_avellano.

Imagista: What inspired you to become a musician?

Junior Giscombe: With 6 years I went to church with my aunt. I was fascinated by the singing and dance of the  people around me, which were all so happy. I loved the singing and dancing and the way that the sermon brought smiles to everybody’s face. By the time I was seventeen/ eighteen I’d put together my first band Atlantis, on bass George Anderson who went on to play for Shakatak, guitar Paul Gandler who went on to be a part of Modern Romance, Cleveland Watkiss who has become a huge jazz singer. Our band was very talented, so it came that everybody moved in other things and became successful. Like me too.

Imagista: What are your influences ?

Junior Giscombe: As a child the church gives me the kick to start dreaming about music. Reggae music in my early days was very important to me. I also got influenced by one of my sisters who lived in America for a while and started sending us albums and singles.  Because of this I heard for the first time in my life James Brown „Money won’t change you“ and I knew what I wanted to do. Aside from that my dad loved Jazz… Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery were always playing in the house all day long. My Mother loved gospel from Jim Reeves to Mahalia Jackson to Ella Fitzgerald and Lady Day. Supplemental we had a regular Radio in which I heard The Beatles, The Stones, etc. So my ears heard too much music, I would say I’m influenced by all of them, not just one. 

I Love Stevie Wonder, Marvin Graye, Sarah Vaughan… I just love great musicians, writers, producers, arrangers… in one sentence – I just love music!

Suit by Narifuri Japan @narifuri_japan. Shoes by Fini Shoes @finishoes.

Wool sweater by Andrea Crews @andrea_crews. Sunglasses are Vintage.

Imagista: What’s your top three favorite songs from your catalog?

Junior Giscombe: IF EVER on the Album Sophisticated Street (1988), MORNING WILL COME on the Album Stand Strong (1990) and of course MAMA USED TO SAY (1982) on my first album.

Colored pants by D’Amour @damurfashion. Orange pants by Landlord @landlordnewyork. Shoes by Finishoes @finishoes. Black japan coat by Hiromi Asai @hiromi.asai.

Rain Coat by Arthur Avellamo @arthur_avellano. Pullover by Landlord @landlordnewyork.

Imagista: How do you feel about digital technology and its influence on music?

Junior Giscombe: I think the digital age is here. We can’t get away from it. I like a band, I like to play live to feel the energy of the public on stage. Sometimes I use the digital technology for backing track, which is an audio recording from the instrumental I sing over. A lot of people who are into producing music just use old samples or backing tracks from the 80s to put new lyrics or melodies on top. Which doesn’t move the music forward, it’s actually stagnating it,  because of technology. I wouldn’t say that this way of producing is not creative, it’s great to cut different tracks in pieces and put them in different ways together again and maybe add some melody. But it’s not like in the old days when you were sitting at home with your piano or guitar and your voice creating a complete new melody. In a lot of ways technology harmed music, but not actually moved the music forward. Musicians move the music forwards, writers move the music forwards… a lot of children today have a missing music education. A young man sent me a demo and as usual I listened to it very carefully and answered the young man that these are The Isley Brothers. That young man told me that he never heard about this band. (laughs)

In this digital age, the people are scared of telling the truth and express themself, so they copy the popular singers.. which becomes boring. I prefer to sound like Junior and not like somebody else. Young people should find himself before copying other artists. 

Black/Gold japan coat by Hiromi Asai @hiromi.asai.

Imagista: How do you get inspired or relax?

Junior Giscombe: I watch a lot of Football. I like to swim. I have an exercise program, because of a car accident nearly 20 years ago. I broke my back and the doctor told me I will never be able to walk  again. I did the whole rehab and relearned to walk. Actually my relaxation is being on stage where I can be totally Junior. Otherwise, when I’m at home there are always things to do… Relaxation for me is also watching the kids playing football and just enjoying life.

Grey jacket with striped shirt by Hiromi Asai @hiromi.asai. Pullover by Landlord @landlordnewyork. Cap by Arthur Avellano @arthur_avellano.

Imagista: What’s your most memorable performance and why ?

Junior Giscombe: Wow… I can name three that I would say are the best concerts I have ever been to.

Earth, Wind and Fire, at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1976 and 

Barry White at  Finsbury Park in 1975.

Bob Marly at the Venue in London. Remember back in the days I was  really lucky because I had the chance to meet Bob Marly personally at a very young age. My brother knows him very well. So I was able to listen to their rehearsal before they were going on stage. And then later the reaction of the audience. That totally blew me away.

Imagista: Do you think music and feminism go together ?

Junior Giscombe: When you are in touch with your family, then the woman in the family becomes incredibly important to your well being to move forward. My mother is very revering of that life and has been my approach to life as well. When I was young I used to rush… I wanted to be 21, I’m 17. I wanna be 25, I wanna be 30 because you put happenings on these ages. So my mother used to say: “You’re young, live life, experience it to the fullest because you’re young for a very short time, but you’re gonna be old for very long time“

Imagista:Do you think music can change this World ?

Junior Giscombe: YES, very much so. I have seen it. I´ve seen it with various artist´s who have come alone, who have had an approach to life. And people go along with it. When I was growing up there was a guy coming up called SLICE FUNK, the mixture of music he did was funky, but I could have been pop, jazz, rock…  he influenced me as a writer. He gravitated to huge different kinds of people. When I later went into doing Red Wedge (music collective, grounded in 1985 adding their support to the Labor Party campaign for the elections 1987), we realized how we could gravitated young people to relook at what the adults, who were the politicians of the day were saying. It was fantastic, we were playing everywhere in England, each concert was sold out. We told the young people to  gravitate and fight for their right for better buses and roads in their communities. And we were lucky enough to watch this happen.

PLEASE FOLLOW OUR CONTRIBUTORS!
PHOTO & FILM by IRIS BROSCH @irisbrosch @irisbrosch_art
www.irisbrosch.com
Styling by @hamermcleod
Musician JUNIOR GISCOMBE @juniorgiscombe_
Band @echosof.official
Produced by IBBS Production
Assistant Frederic Troehler @mozart_vonwelten
Special thanks to Etienne @atn_dupuy & Nina @cholet.nina
Junior Giscombe’s Management – Boualem Safy @djsafy
Location NEW MORNING PARIS @newmorningparis