Famous Soul music performer Carlton J. Smith is known for his magnificent stage presence and dynamic performances around the world for years, from the United States all the way to Europe and Asia. International Soul Man, Carlton J. Smith is a showman and songwriter very much in the grand tradition of James Brown, Al Green and The Temptations, just to name a few. A true aficionado of the genre and era, he has specifically dedicated his career to the legacy of Soul music.
When did you enter music and show business? What is your story?
CJS: I first fell in love with music and show business as child when I saw James Brown at the age of 8. I wanted to be like him and do the things he did onstage which was entertain an audience with a show that they would remember.
They call you International Soulman? What do you think about it?
CJS: I spread the religion of Soul Music through out the world and no matter what language someone speaks… Every one understands Soul music and how good it makes them feel. I am proud to be thought of as “THE INTERNATIONAL SOUL MAN”.
You had performances from America to Europe and Asia. Which country impressed you more?
CJS: I am impressed by all countries and cultures because there is something to be learned from them all. I have no favourites.…I love people all over the world!
Can you share us a memorable moment from your shows ?
CJS: The memory that I cannot forget is the look on a womans face when I had her husband come onstage and sing to her. He was not good but he was sincere. She told me afterwards that they had been married forty years and he had never sang to her. That is a blessing.
You follow the legacy of Soul masters James Brown, Al Green and The Temptations. Can you tell us something about this?
CJS: These artists were passionate about their music and their craft. They were not just doing it to be famous or to make money…THEY WANTED TO BE HEARD and that is why they continue to inspire me. As a creative spirit that is all I want as well.
They call you “New James Brown”. What do you think about this?
CJS: I appreciate it but I am more concerned with being “CARLTON J. SMITH”. James Brown can never be replaced but each day I can focus on being a better “CARLTON J. SMITH”.
You are in music and showbiz for long years and you are very successful and keeping on this success. What is the secret behind?
CJS: I PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND GUIDANCE! I was born to entertain and perform for people and I take that seriously so I pray about it.
You are a song writer at the same time. What are your main influences when you compose a song? How do these beautiful songs come out?
CJS: My songs come from observation. I watch everything around me, I listen to what people say and I create from that.Women and my love for them also inspires a lot of my songs. Women inspire the BEST ones.
Your stage performance is dynamic and always on the high level. How do you manage to keep up this tempo?
CJS: I go to the gym, I do not smoke or drink, I try to eat right (I don’t always do too good.I love food! I can eat an entire box of Turkish Delights!!!) But my energy comes from when the music hits and the audience is ready for me.
What does Soul Music means to you?
CJS: Soul music means EVERYTHING to me. My father died when I was a little boy and it was the music of my heroes…..Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, James Brown, and others…their music and their lyrics inspired me to be a good person and to have respect for everyone.
“SOUL is a feeling that you have throughout your entire body when you are doing something you are passionate about. It is the greatest feeling in the world.
You are an actor at the same time? What do you think about movie industry? Do you have any new projects?
CJS: I love acting and I love writing screenplays. I have recently written a stage play, another screenplay, some short stories and I am working on a book as well. And there is always the next song that I am going to write!
Does music and showbiz affect love life? Does it any impact on yours?
CJS: OF COURSE IT DOES! There is no way that it can’t have an impact. This existence is not reality and some people take it far too serious. It always has an impact on my love life…I am only a man and I am subject to the same temptations that are found through out the world but I try to remain true to the important people in my life.
Other than your own music what kind of other music styles you like to listen?
CJS: I will listen to anything that is good, especially if it has a good beat. I love hip hop and alternative, I love classic rock, I love top 40, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE funk, I adore soul music…there are only two kinds of music…GOOD AND BAD!!!
What of you do when you are not involved with music and shows? Any hobbies?
CJS: I love to watch movies and boxing as I am always writing!
What are your new plans and projects? What do you think about future?
CJS: I have a fantastic project that is a “music-expo”. I call it, “Hello Music”, which tells the story of Soul/RB Music through sight, sound and motion. I have just finished the script for a 4-part TV series on James Brown and his musical innovations.– I am also completing my book, which is entitled “A Lifetime of Life”, the story of my life told in a compilation of funny anecdotes. I’ve even written a theatrical play on the Kennedy conspiracy and I cannot wait for someone to be courageous enough to produce it!
What do you think about the world’s status and peace right now?
CJS: Just as at any point in history there is turmoil and we can only hope and pray that one day all mankind will learn to co exist and not just with each other but also with nature. We all need each other…we just don’t realise it yet. WE have more in common that we know.
Global warming, protecting natural environment, forests etc. are in our main agenda for a while. What do you think about it? Do you have any plans to work on this?
CJS: I think they are all worthy causes and incredibly important as we continue to take this planet and it’s resources for granted. If a worthy charity contacts me I would be willing to invest my time and efforts in what ever way they think I can be of service.
It’s your first concert in Turkey. What do you think? How do you feel about it?
CJS : I am looking forward to arriving in Turkey. I am very anxious to work with some local musicians and create a Turkish Soul project that we can release on CD in the future. I have written some songs with Turkish arrangements and I am looking forward to meeting all of the wonderful people and creating a new style of music that will inspire.
What do you think about Turkey?
CJS: I am sure that I will love it. I have met many Turkish people in Shanghai and they have treated me wonderfully
You will have a duet with Miss Seda Mete. She is an amazing talent and has a great voice. Two spectacular voices together. We are sure it’s going to be perfect. What do you think about it?
CJS: It is always an honour and a blessing to share a stage with someone else that is passionate about the music. I believe we will truly entertain the audiences. I hope to record with her also.
What are your recommendations for the people who see you as a role model?
CJS: If you mean children looking up to me as a role model I would tell them to try their best to not smoke or drink although I know these temptations come up with peer reassure and just dealing with life. I would ask of them to ALWAYS respect their parents and their elders. I would tell them that once they discover a true friend or a true love to cherish that person and always treat them with respect. I would tell them to always pray to the spirit inside them the spirit that watches over them.
I WISH EVERYONE MANY BLESSINGS AND I WILL SEE YOU ALL SOON.