SJM: Your latest album “A Tribute to George Benson” is being considered for a Grammy in 6 categories with 10 entries. How does that make you feel?
U-NAM: It feels great. This is my first independent album and we’re doing everything ourselves as there is no real radio airplay.
SJM: Is there any one category that you feel is more meaningful to you than the other and if so why?
U-NAM: Well, the one I would love the most, we’re not considered for it. (Laughing)
SJM: (Laughing) Okay, what is that one?
U-NAM: It is Best Jazz Album. That is where my heart is. We did submit it but we have a lot of entries in R&B. But when you have entries in the R&B category you are competing with people like Rihanna, Usher and Chris Brown. But, to be realistic with what we have now, the best would be Best Improvised Solo for Jazz….that would be awesome.
SJM: When you told George Benson you were going to do a tribute album to him, what was his immediate reaction?
U-NAM: That’s a good question actually and I have a little story about it. George Benson and I have been friends for quite a while and I have so much respect for his music. I also have a respect for him as a human being because he is such a nice person and when we hang out we just talk about whatever because we have a great connection and that’s really nice. He loves what I do as well. I came to a point in my life where I had to do an album knowing some people may or may not like it but I had to do it first for myself. So, I said to myself, I have to call George first because I need his blessing and if I don’t get it, I’m not going to do it. I called him about two years ago and I said “I am going to start a George Benson tribute album and before I start any music, I would like to have your blessing.” I didn’t expect this answer but he said “well man, sure you have my blessing but whatever you do is going to sound fantastic.”
Read the full interview on Smooth Jazz Magazine.