Hotline: Earth, Wind and Fire

In this time of many Zoom calls and Facetime hangs, have you ever wished you could hop on a video chat with your favorite artists? That's what happens in the Hotline series, and today we have the genre-spanning icons from Earth, Wind and Fire. Watch as Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson answer fan questions about motivation, music as an equalizer and recording stolen moments. Check it out:
Hotline: Earth, Wind & Fire
Q. What would your advice be to your fans in terms of how to transport themselves to a better place, or a higher elevation through music?
Philip Bailey: I would say, don't be afraid to embrace what you love. You know, no matter what, no matter what. You might be, you know, a person in the hood, that loves country. Embrace that, listen, enjoy it, and let it love you.
Ralph Johnson: We get a lot of sensory input. What we see, what we hear. Sometimes, you gotta take a break. Quiet yourself, turn off all of it. The television, the radio. Just settle, and you have to go within. And just sit there, and be quiet, and just breathe.
Verdine White: And keep it simple. There's a lot going on out there as Ralph said. So you gotta keep it simple, and as Philip said, embrace what you love.

Q. You know, with hits that kind of span the decades, and all different kind of generations, how do you all keep your music so fresh?And why do you all think it keeps appealing to such younger generations?
Philip: Music is that one equalizer, you know? It either connects or it doesn't. Maurice had a really lofty vision of really making music for the people. I really do believe for that reason, the music has become a lot bigger than we are. But we're very privileged to now continue to take, take that legacy on, you know, for now almost 50 years.
Ralph: First off, it was God's plan. But Earth, Wind & Fire was the right band, at the right time, with the right music. We were chosen. Hand-picked by Maurice, to go on this mission with him, because this is, all this came out of his brain. This was his concept. Me on a personal note, I was just blessed to be a part of it.
As it turns out, Earth, Wind & Fire music is played around the world every 1 minute and 38 seconds. And there are only two other artists that could make that kind of claim, and that would be Elvis and The Beatles.

Q. What advice would you give me, to not to give up easily, to achieve my goals in college, and, and life in general?
Ralph: It's very important to have a dream, to have a plan. You know, it is said, if you put, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So you gotta have a plan. But the other important thing is, surround yourself with people that think like you think. That are trying to achieve and get things done. Don't let anyone spoil your dreams or rob you of your dreams. You stay focused on your plan, stay on your path. Keep moving forward.

Q. My question is regarding the interludes, as far as, how does that come about, and also, how come you didn't really let 'em go a little longer?
Ralph: That's a good question. We never really get precious about interludes, so that's a good one.
Verdine: You know, the one thing about it is we had so much material, we couldn't get everything on the albums. That was always, it's a good problem to have. We wouldn't have been able to get the record done (chuckling) if we had kept the interludes long, you know.
Ralph: The interludes are just short little statements, little short musical pieces. So it's really not about length, with an interlude.
Philip: Yeah, we were just kinda like tying things together, tying one song to the other. And you know, in the studio, a lot of things happen. You know, like sometimes you're just recording everything. And you might just be doodling. You know, you go, let's just put that somewhere. You know, that's how it happens. We're just recording stolen moments.
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Last updated: 8 Mar 2021, 16:11 Etc/UTC