Throughout history, the vibrations, melodies, and harmonies of music have signaled times of change, and listeners often find truth between those notes. That’s precisely what VFerg delivers on his appropriately titled 2016 independent full-length album, Higher Level Music.
The multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, performer, and humanitarian unlocks the power to make audiences sing, dance, and even think.
“I want to challenge people to use music in a responsible way,” he declares. “That’s the idea of Higher Level Music. There’s an extra element of thought and awareness, but it’s also meant to be a good time.”
He’s the perfect man to bridge that gap. By night, you can typically find him hosting lively underground New York City jams as part of his Creative Public Offering collective, performing to packed crowds at hot spots like SOBs, and recording endless amounts of music. During the day, he works as an “Illuminator,” educating sixth and seventh graders on matters of Social Justice.
This delicate balancing act remains second nature for VFerg. He spent his formative years on a U.S. military base in Germany before his family settled in Evans, GA. Inspired by Soundgarden, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz, and Stone Temple Pilots, he jammed in local rock bands throughout middle school and high school. Eventually, he headed to Morehouse College in order to study finance. While working on Wall Street post-graduation, he started to land high-profile placements for his music on FX and TNT programs such as Blue Mountain State, Franklin & Bash, and more.
Tirelessly honing his craft behind the board and in front of crowds, he left the stock exchange and suit-and-tie behind and embarked on a new path. Along the way, he’s jammed alongside the likes of Eykah Badu and shared stages with Girl Talk, MC Hammer, and many more. Playing bass, guitar, keys, and more, he bobs and weaves between rock, hip-hop, and R&B, landing a knockout each time he takes the stage.
“Imagine if The Roots and N.E.R.D. were having a jam session on a rooftop in Harlem, it’s that vibe,” he smiles. “There’s a sense of danger whether I’m playing live or in the studio. I love that.”
Higher Level Music’s first single “Birds of a Feather” [feat. Wes Vector] takes flight on a funky bass line and anthemic hook before spiraling out into a searing solo. Its infectious chant belies a deep message encased in impressive and intricate instrumentation.
“It asks the question, ‘Who’s your crew?’,” explains VFerg. “I heard the phrase ‘Birds of a Feather’ again on The 4-Hour Workweek author Tim Ferriss’s podcast. There’s some gold in that on a deeper level. I have a great deal of appreciation for who my crew is. Everyone’s just working with a vibe of positivity around them. What those around you do and believe does rub off though, so you want to make sure it’s always love.”
VFerg’s music hints at something much bigger, echoing the rumblings of a much larger and more significant movement.
“Each song has a slightly hidden theme,” he leaves off. “The higher level is that positive message. That’s what I want to share with everybody at the end of the day.”