Dr. Victor A. Buford
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Dr. Victor A. Buford

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"Dr. Victor A. Buford Video Interview with Enspire News"

Dr. Victor A. Buford is interviewed by Michele Harris, Editor and Publisher of ENSPIRE, the eNewsletter for Successful Entrepreneurs. - ENSPIRE, the eNewsletter for Successful Entrepreneurs


"Dr. Victor A. Buford Feature Article - Enspire News"



DR. VICTOR A BUFORD, Ph.D., QMHP
Musician, Songwriter, Producer and Arranger
CEO, Deity Records
President, Bass Angel of Love Productions


THE BASS ANGEL IS HERE - THE PRINCE OF MERCY!!!


Chicago native, Dr. Victor A. Buford, Ph.D., QMHP, nicknamed "The Bass Angel of Love – The Prince of Mercy”, is an accomplished bass player whose smooth, soulful, melodic sound makes his bass a strong, viable instrument which has the ability to reach various genres.

Dr. Buford has entertained at various venues amassing a number of fans and fine-tuning his unique sound. Throughout the years, Dr. Buford performed with local bands as well as artists throughout the U.S. He opened for legendary acts such as The Manhattans, Confunkshun, Alicia Myers and Chaka Khan.

In addition to playing the bass, Dr. Buford also plays Moog Bass, Piccolo Bass, Oboe, English Horn, Kalimba and Kora. Over the years, Dr. Buford gained a variety of experience playing assorted styles of Jazz, Funk, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Classical, Rock, Blues, East Indian, Afro-Cuban, African and World Music. He infused these elements into his mode of playing bass, focusing on utilizing his God given skills.

How does one become anointed with an amazingly awesome nickname such as “The Bass Angel of Love – The Prince of Mercy”? According to Dr. Buford, “My nickname was derived from a variety of things; first of all it was derived from the fact that I’m a bass player. It also came from my spiritual background. I grew up in the black church. I followed religion for several years. I was fascinated by angels and the role that angels play in helping people to overcome trials and tribulations and how they also blessed people with God’s goodness. That’s how I see myself not only as a bass player but also as an angel who has been placed on earth to help people deal with circumstances and to help people deal with their day-to-day problems which is reflected in my music as well. It is my hope that my music serves as a vessel to help others. I was blessed to have my own personal angel, my mother/grandmother Mrs. Bernice Buford. She was a God sent angel and special person who altruistically accepted the challenging role, but loving task of being my mother, friend, mentor, guru, oracle and spiritual advisor”.

“My early musical influences were the artists who came in the 1960’s. I was really into Motown. I listened to the Temptations, Miracles and the Supremes. However when music shifted during the 1970’s and became more funk oriented especially when Larry Graham branched off from Sly and Family Stone, I started getting into funk bass playing. There was another evolution for me when I started listening to jazz, specifically jazz funk. There was a connection between the two. I started listening to Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke. My journey has been influenced by other major artists such as Earth Wind and Fire, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Mingus, Louis Johnson, Ron Carter and even Louis Armstrong. I developed my own playing style as a result of listening to these great artists” said Dr. Buford.

“My personal musical influences were my family. Music was always played in my household. My mother/grandmother Mrs. Bernice Buford always played gospel music. Our radio stayed on WVON. My father was a musician as well. He played saxophone and played organ. I remember people gathering outside of the house around 2 – 3 pm in the afternoon to listen to him play. I saw the effect that music had on people as well as the effect that it had on me so I decided to pursue music as well” said Dr. Buford.

At the age of eight, in an effort to emulate his father, Dr. Buford learned to play the tenor sax. According to Dr. Buford “I wasn’t really good at it”. At the age of 10 he learned how to play the guitar. He honed his guitar skills when he met his friend Hank Crowley Jr. “One day a new family moved in. I saw that they had a boy around my age. The last thing he took out of the car was a guitar. I said to myself, wow he plays the guitar! Hank and I became fast friends and I learned from him. We even put a band together. We weren’t very good in the beginning but we continued to press on. We were very motivated and enthusiastic about becoming musicians. We used to put our instruments in a shopping cart and push the cart around to play at different schools. We played a lot of James Brown and Motown songs in those days. Hank and I both played guitar but we noticed that something wasn’t quite right. We were missing bass guitar”, said Dr. Buford.

At that point, Dr. Buford decided to switch from guitar and learn how to play bass. “I have always been fascinated with the bass guitar. The 1960’s was a great era for black music. Most of our music was driven by bass guitar. There was no way that I could listen to music without hearing the bass guitar. For some reason the bass guitar had a monumental effect on me. The bass guitar and its rhythm sort of reference the beat of my heart. It had that driving pulsation. It had a major influence on me in terms of my psyche and my emotional being. I said to myself that this is the instrument that I definitely want to play. The first time I picked up a bass I said wow. When I played the first note on the bass I knew that it was the instrument for me”, said Dr. Buford.

Hank and Dr. Buford ended up going in different directions when they decided to attend different high schools. Dr. Buford chose to attend Chicago Vocational High School (CVS) because CVS had the only music major program in the city of Chicago.

At Chicago Vocational High School (CVS), Dr. Buford honed his bass skills and received formal training on two additional instruments: Oboe and English horn. He was a member of the award winning Chicago Vocational High School Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Joseph L. Miller. He continued playing music during his college years. He was a member of the marching band and the symphonic band at Mississippi Valley State University, in Itta Bena, MS.

Dr. Buford earned a BA Degree in Political Science from Chicago State University; a MA Degree in Intercultural Studies from Governors State University and a Ph.D. in Human Services from Walden University. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. by way of Nu Delta Chapter. He is also a member of the Prince Hall Affiliation Masons, North Star Lodge, Royal Arch, Royal and Select, Knights Templar, 32nd Degree, and the Shriners.

For 25 years, Dr. Buford served as a mental health professional working with emotionally disturbed adolescents and multi-problem families. Dr. Buford is also the Founder and Executive Director of BVJ Intervention Mental and Behavioral Heath Care Services, a non-profit, multidisciplinary behavioral health care practice whose focus is to provide cost-effective, quality mental health services to various communities in the Chicago Metropolitan area.

Although providing mental health services and performing music may seem like they have nothing in common, Dr. Buford explains that there is a direct correlation between the two. “My mental health background allowed me to gain insight into the psyche of people which allowed me to write songs which serve as music therapy allowing music and mental health to become a cross discipline” said Dr. Buford.

However, Dr. Buford’s first love has always been music. “Music is a dream that chases you. You don’t chase it but eventually the dream will catch up with you. It’s similar to the voice of God when you hear it, you have to hark into it. It’s also similar to Apostle Paul when he heard God’s voice he was so smitten by it, that he fell off his donkey" said Dr. Buford.

"Creative people are never meant to live inside of a box. This creates closed spaces which prevent them from being creative or free. Think about how a bird is captured and enslaved in a cage. Creative people are like birds with wings. They were meant to fly. However when birds have been captured in a cage for so long, when the door is opened, oftentimes they will stay inside the cage as opposed to flying out because they have been spiritually broken, they lost their dream and they forgot what it means to be free” said Dr. Buford.

“At this time, I have decided to take a hiatus from the mental health field to focus on my music and to develop the Deity Records label. Deity allows me to be able to focus on the business side of the music industry and not just the music and performing side. My future plans are to add more artists to the Deity Records label” said Dr. Buford.

Dr. Buford spoke frankly about how people do not understand why musicians are so passionate about their music. How they are oftentimes misunderstood by others who just don’t get it or understand what it is that drives them. He spoke about how there are so many talented musicians who never got a chance to shine because they gave up their dream in order to fit into a mold that others felt that they should be in.

According to Dr. Buford, “You should never give up the essence of who you are in order to be the person that others want you to be. If you do so, this will leave a void in your heart. It will leave you feeling empty inside and unfulfilled. You end up going through the motion of trying to be someone that another person wants you to be. In the process you lose the essence of who you are. You lose your soul, you give up hope and sometimes you can never make it back to the path that God has prepared for you. Other people may try to enforce their reality on you, but their reality differs for your reality”.

Dr. Buford furthered added, “The goal is to align yourself with people that understand your dream, that support your dream and bring positive energy into your life. Everyone has a God given talent. How would the world be if Dr. King was told that he couldn’t or shouldn’t do something? He had a dream and he pursued his dream. Why is it that some people are outstanding athletes, exceptional singers and other talented individuals, while others are not? It’s because God has a purpose for all of us and we must first understand what his purpose is and what it means for us individually. God’s purpose for me may not be God’s purpose for you therefore we should not impose our values and beliefs upon others. Instead we should use this energy in a more positive manner to support each other, our dreams, our passion, our aspirations. We have to live our life and pursue our dreams and walk in the path which God has prepared for us”.

Dr. Buford offers the following words of encouragement to aspiring musicians, “Follow your dream and never let anyone detour you from it. Remember to always keep God first”. Dr. Buford “walks the walk” and “talks the talk” with these words because although he put his musical dreams on hold for a number of years, he is releasing his debut CD “You Saved Me” this month. “It is never too late to dream and to achieve your dream with God’s graces” said Dr. Buford.

“This is a special cd that is near and dear to my heart. The title of the CD “You Saved Me” has a special meaning to me. Over the past 10 years I experienced several trials and tribulations in my life. I was trying to find my way back to music and find my way back to some normalcy and way of life. The songs on the CD represent my spiritual journey. Through my faith and belief in God, the support of my family, the unconditional love of my lovely and devoted daughter Jessica, and a very special person who came into my life who inspired me and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, I have been able to recapture my dream. All of these people were very supportive of me and understood my dream” said Dr. Buford.

“You Saved Me” has 13 songs. Some of the songs are cover songs and some of them are original songs. Some of them are up tempo songs and some are mid-tempo songs. Regardless of their origin they all have “The Bass Angel of Love – The Prince of Mercy” unique sound. I’m a big Earth Wind and Fire and Stevie Wonder fan. You will hear my rendition of a couple of songs from these artists. If someone was to ask me which song is my favorite, I would say all of them. Each one of tells a story. As a bonus, I had a talented DJ from New York, Jamie “Ms. Chu the DeeJay” Ralliford, do a remix of Earth Wind and Fire’s "September". She did an awesome job. We have songs for people who love to dance as well as songs for people who just want to chill. I guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy this CD from start to finish”, said Dr. Buford.

Music is the equalizing factor where there is no color, no racism, no hatred, only love. Perseverance is the base that tears down all obstacles and moves one forward. Faith in God provides the glue that holds everything together. Trust God!!!

Dr. Buford’s “You Saved Me” CD Release party is Friday, October 19th, from 6 pm – 10 pm, at the Bronzeville Community Club House, 3847 S. Giles, Chicago, IL. Admission is $20 and includes a special edition, autographed CD.

For more information about Dr. Victor A. Buford, “The Bass Angel of Love – The Prince of Mercy” go to www.drvictorabuford.com. You can purchase your copy of his debut CD “You Saved Me” at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drvictorabuford.



Written by Michele Harris, Editor and Publisher of ENSPIRE, the eNewsletter for Successful Entrepreneur - October 20, 2012. - ENSPIRE, the eNewsletter for Successful Entrepreneurs


Discography

YOU SAVED ME (2012)

House of Holy
You Saved Me
Be Ever Wonderful
I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord
September
Free
My Cherie Amour
Amazing Grace
Rocket Man
Sweet Love
African Son
If You Really Love Me
Prince of Mercy
September Remix

Photos

Bio

Chicago native, Dr. Victor A. Buford, Ph.D., QMHP, nicknamed “The Bass Angel of Love – The Prince of Mercy”, is an accomplished bass player whose smooth, soulful, melodic sound makes his bass a strong, viable instrument which has the ability to reach various genres.

Favorite genres: Jazz, Funk, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Classical, Rock, Blues, East Indian, Afro-Cuban, African, and World Music.

Musical Influences: Earth, Wind & Fire, Sly and the Family Stone, Larry Graham, Stanley Clarke, Louis Johnson, Jimi Hendrix and Louis Armstrong.

Instruments: Bass, Moog Bass, Piccolo Bass, Oboe, English Horn, Kalimba and Kora.

Dr. Buford's musical training originated when he learned how to play bass at an early age. Since picking up the bass, Dr. Buford gained a variety of experience playing assorted styles of Jazz, Funk, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Classical, Rock, Blues, East Indian, Afro-Cuban, African and World Music. He infused these elements into his mode of playing bass, focusing on all of his God given skills. It was at Chicago Vocational High School (CVS) in Chicago, IL, that Dr. Buford honed his bass skills and received training on two additional instruments: Oboe and English Horn. He was a member of the award winning Chicago Vocational Orchestra and was also a member of the marching band and the symphonic band at Mississippi Valley State University, in Itta Bena, MS.

Dr. Buford earned a BA Degree in Political Science from Chicago State University; a MA Degree in Intercultural Studies from Governors State University and a Ph.D. in Human Services from Walden University. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. by way of Nu Delta Chapter. He is also a member of the Prince Hall Affiliation Masons, North Star Lodge, Royal Arch, Royal and Select, Knights Templar, 32nd Degree, and the Shriners.

Dr. Buford has entertained at various venues amassing a number of fans and fine-tuning his unique sound. Throughout the years, Dr. Buford performed with local bands as well as artists throughout the U.S. He opened for legendary acts such as The Manhattans, Confunkshun and Alicia Myers.

Dr. Buford's debut CD "You Saved Me" explores a diverse blend of instrumentals which resonates deeply with who he is as an artist and will allow him to more fully express his talents and experience across a variety of genres including: Jazz, Funk, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Classical, Rock, Blues, East Indian, Afro-Cuban, African and World Music with his unique bass style. Within one month of “You Saved Me’ release date, 3 songs from the debut CD (African Son, Sweet Love and Free) made CD Baby's Top 10 Songs in the Urban/R&B - Deep Funk category.