YANA’S WORLD: Ambassador Roger Russell

| March 19, 2012

Dr Yana Johnson MBE


Roger has produced music for Spice Girls, Sugababes, Maxi Priest, So Solid Crew it’s no wonder that he has accolades of being nominated twice for a Grammy, holds a Dove Award and MOBO through his artists for his song writing.

The honour of Pubic Relations Ambassador of Korea has become his newest position which will use every skill and talent he has.  Roger is a serial entrepreneur and net worker.  Put him in a room full of people and he not only has friends, but business opportunities at the end of the evening.

I was introduced to Roger through Jigs the radio DJ on Choice FM.  Jigs liked my voice and instinctively knew there was something positive waiting to happen.

Roger and I met and after a while it was evident that we shared similar abilities and we began writing songs immediately.  We wanted to thank Jigs for the introduction and wrote the jingle as a reworked cover of Faith Evans, ‘Soon as I get home’.  To this day that jingle has gone down in urban radio jingle history as the best cover.  Even Faith Evans hearing it thought it was her singing.

Roger’s talents led many to write and record their demo’s, sealing deals for publishing and recording.  As Roger developed his gifts playing guitar and mastering the mixing desk and sound engineering, his interest for media production grew.

Roger is a quick and articulate musician who can translate the essence of a song in a very short space of time.  Once when we were on a Mission trip with a group in Brazil, Roger and I wrote and produced a documentary focusing on the needs of the community in Salvador.  We did it simply because we could.  Our interest in production and skill set and a camera was the natural catalyst to producing something.  When you put creative people together, they create without ever thinking about resources, capacity or ownership.

After celebrating with Roger and congratulating him on his recent title I interviewed him to share with you?

 What most surprised you about Korea?

The thing that surprised me most about Korea was the warmth and hospitality.  Even on flight right through to the Parliament.  Everyone was so friendly, making it their business to remember your name and something about you so that felt like this is not just another engagement but a moment you will honour and be honoured.

What do us as creative people have to offer that country?

We as creative people can offer that pool of creativity that brings new styles and influences to inspire, influence and shape cultures, that’s what we do!

Who were your biggest influences growing up?

Growing up my influences were Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Coleman Hawkins, Oscar Peterson, Take 6, Quincy Jones, Micheal Jackson, George Benson, Marvin Gaye, Keith Crouch, Ramsey Lewis, Earth Wind and Fire, Jeff Lorber, Grover Washington, Steeley Dan, The Crusaders, George Duke, Paul Jackson Jr, Donny Hathaway, Yellow Jackets, Joni Mitchell, Donald Byrd ,Freddie Hubbard ,Santana I could go on!…

How can our youth be the producers and voice of tomorrow?

Our youth should adopt the philosophy from which I started my own production company; “If we don’t start anything, there won’t be anything”

What’s your favourite City…and why?

That’s a tough one as I’ve been to many but São Paulo in Brazil holds a very special place in my heart as I have great friends there and the weather is great too!

What would you say to multi talented people who are usually very creative and dynamic, looking for a place for all of their gifts?

If you have a multi skill set I think you should just get out there.  The world is big but at the same time still very small, so keep doing and don’t be afraid to ask!

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Category: Business, Yana's World

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