Meet the Detroit musician playing at the Museum of Modern Art this week

He has a classical sound with Detroit soul

BLKBOK is a Detroit native that has worked with Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, John Mayer, and Demi Lovato, just to name the few. He will be in New York this week preparing to play at the Museum of Modern Art.

Charles Wilson III, also known as BLKBOK, found his passion for piano at the age of eight. He was raised in a musical household with parents and siblings who were musically inclined. Today on “Live In The D”, Jason Carr interviewed BLKBOK about his creative sound, which he calls “neo-classical”, and his upcoming new album release titled Black Book.

BLKBOK says his new album was an experiment. Initially, he had not been trained as a classical pianist or a composer in college, so what we hear on the album is one big experiment of him writing classical music.

When asked about working with those popular Grammy Award-winners, BLKBOK says it was amazing to work with such a group that has that level of talent. He says they definitely showed him how to perform and how to command a stage.

Jason talked to him about what emotions he hopes listeners will feel when going through the tracks on the new album. BLKBOK said he hopes people listen to the album and feel something deeper, but also see the world as he imagines it through the eyes of a Black man in 2022. He thinks we should be able to talk on certain cultural and social issues, and have a conversation about the things that are going around us. That is what inspired some of his work.

So, how does growing up in Detroit continue to influence him as a performer? BLKBOK says he is a product of Motown musicians. He studied with Teddy Harris, and Marcus Belgrave, and so many others that have been a part of that era of Detroit. BLKBOK also mentioned there is a certain credibility of being from Detroit. He says there’s a status that comes with being from here and being a musician, because we are a music town.

BLKBOK also partnered with the Detroit Tigers for a special performance to honor Miguel Cabrera for his 3,000th hit. Hear what he had to say about that special opportunity by watching the full video above.