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Gospel twins in tune with Beijing

2014-09-12 14:28:24

(China Dailiy) By Belle Taylor


Scharod 'Danger' Jackson. Photo provided to China Daily

The brothers were performing in Singapore when they first were presented with an offer to travel to China. Initially reluctant, they decided to take a risk and found themselves happily surprised. A residency at Beijing's Lan club led to further opportunities and they have since made the city their base.

"We played at the wedding of a celebrity, we didn't know who the celebrity is, and then it just led to other things," Preach says. "We are quite business orientated, so we spoke to the owners (of Lan) and we said, 'if you want to be successful here, if you want to pack this place out with high-end customers we need to go outside at least once a month,' ... so every month we went out and did some big TV show and that brought in clients."

The brothers are from Atlanta and started singing gospel in the church with their sisters, also twins, when they were children. "But they were a little bit tone deaf," Preach says of his sisters, waving his hand in a mockingly dismissive gesture.

He says, the brothers though had the perfect pitch when they were aged 8 or 9, and easily got their way. "In our family we have 17 sets of twins and we were the only boys."

Gospel led to singing R&B, and in 1991 they ventured overseas for the first time-to Japan where they found themselves playing at a venue that specialized in Motown music. The genre-soul music infused with pop, and inspired by the American motor town of Detroit-was unfamiliar to the brothers, but they quickly adapted, and credit the experience for broadening their repertoire.

"You gotta know the crowd," Preach says. "We can change our style. When we were (at) Gary's Motown in Japan we knew nothing about Motown. It's the 1930s, sometimes 1920s music."

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