Reggae Music Reviews recently had the chance to talk with El DeBarge Jr, who talked about his music career, his family "the DeBarge family" and his famous father El Debarge, but most of all he talked about El DeBarge Jr. So sit back, read and enjoy.


El DeBarge Interview by Marsha Hunt

Photography of El DeBarge Jr by Jan Salzman - El DeBarge Jr Photos (c)Marsha Hunt

DeBarge Family Photos from by El DeBarge Jr

Marsha: Would you introduce El DeBarge Jr to our readers?

El: El DeBarge Jr, first word I would have to say to you is definely a force to be reckoned with. You've actually caught me at a really really great time right now. I'm at a typical point. I'm about to turn 25 this Sunday. Just I'm at a coming of a man. My crew is solid. My production crew is in LA just keeping it cranking. I got my record label Industry Family Entertainment short for Infam Records. Excuse me, Infam Records is short for that. And on the more personal side just very driven, very humble, very passionate about music. I can go on forever. I don't wanna keep going. You gotta stop me at some point. Marsha: You are doing just fine.

El: Alright.

Marsha: Would you Tell me about your music beginnings.

El: I was born into a family of musicians. I believe I was born a levite, just appointed to do music. My family has been doing music since the seventies, since earlier than that, Mama Debarge, we were raised in the church. And just from the womb I came out singing. As I got older I got around to junior high level, that's when I really started noticing I had something with this and I had that buzz that itch. I just had to scratch I had to do this music it was beyond anything that I ever felt. As I got to high school I really started learning, cause then I was into writing a lot more and I remember one summer I even sat and wrote everyday. I come from this one spot. I would go to the mall and spend a half hour to an hour writing there and that's when I really started feeling my music coming together. It's also when I found hip hop, when I was in high school. My mother raised me basically just very sheltered at certain times, but I was this great independent kid, I would break out the shell a lot. My point in saying that is I couldn't even watch the box channel which is a music channel out in Los Angeles where they would play what would be average videos right now, but what my mom thought was too much. I saw the hip hop I couldn't even watch that. Long story short, once I got to high school I finally found I could be a part of hip hop and it is my own life. I started that as well probably around seventeen.

Photo left Greg Williams "Switch". third from left El DeBarge Sr, at the end, right El DeBarge Jr

Marsha: Let's talk about your new album The Growing. What were the influences for the new album?

El: The new album, the influences were just like the title says. I was in a growing state of my life, into where I felt I wanted to share that with the world. But it wasn't just me. It was me and my camp. It was my producer was growing, my friends were growing , I was growing , everything seem to be growing . But it wasn't a growing pain. So I didn't put that part out yet. I left it The Growing, just to show everybody that you can basically raise yourself in this music thing, and that if they are paying attention to me and they are watching me , then they get this opportunity that not a lot of people get , to watch somebody from the beginning to the very end and grow with them. I'm giving the audience an opportunity to grow with me. That's our first compilation. Its not my debut album. It's an Infam Records. Industry Family Entertainment, that's the first compilation , our group effort together . My debut album I'm working on that this year,

Marsha: Would you say the songs on The Growing were written from real life experiences?

El: Real life personal experiences , everything I write is real. If I write a story that's how I would feel it would go. Most of the time the songs are definitely from my personal experience. And then of course just like a movie, like if you translate a book to a movie of course you would have to make certain things different to appeal to an audience as well, but the core of it is definitely real.

Marsha: One of my favorites is Baby Food, would you tell me where the idea for that song came about.

El: Yea uh, just, I'm a very flirtatious guy you know. I guess I could consider myself a sweet talking ladies man, and I was trying to think of just something I could call a lady that meant something to me as well. But seem like something innocent, cute and nourishing to her so its like you are my baby but you're my food , feed me, make me want to taste them flavors, all I need is with you and I can get you, if its in you let me know that's the hook.

Marsha: Of the songs on The Growing which one do you enjoy listening to the most.

El: Definitely number eight its called "Self". That song you can play that song and learn everything about me at that time. What I went through in the beginning, what I felt personally with my family, what I felt musically, where I felt I was going to go. It was a very very deep look into what I was going through personally. That's why its called "Self".

Marsha: Are you a musician as well as a singer.

El: Yes I am.

Marsha: What instruments do you play.

El: I play the keyboards. The piano , I produce some music as well so I do mini productions. I also do, not as well, but I play the guitar. That's something that I'm picking up. I've done it for off and on for months , so that's something that I'm doing now.

Marsha: Did you play any instruments on your new album.

El: On the Growing I played keys and yea just mostly piano and keys on the album.

Marsha: Would you tell us about the production for the album and your Producers.

El: The production was done be my boy also the co founder, my best friend Benjamin Jones aka The Beatsman. He is the owner with Infam Records with me, also my in house production baby, he is my producer. My man was with me from when we started doing it. When we sat down, we made a pact at this Hollywood mall and we said we are going to do this professionally , we went to Musicians Institute. And the mans with me because his drive is unmatchable. I've seen this man sit in front of his beats and just do beat and beat until it was like killing him. He still kept going. A nd so there was something about that to admire. So of course I embraced him and he embraced me and we helped each other. And after so many years of feeling like you finally tried so hard, our first album, our first effort that he help me put together was called Left Speaker Class. And that's because we had our laptop and that was our only form of recording. We would actually have to use the left speaker for a microphone. That's only to say that's where he came from. Now we got the nice stuff, the npcs the mixers, the stuff in the studio. And through all that he never lost his passion. And I've seen so many people start off hype start off well and then on top of that, that's just my boy. Then I got my other friend Double, his name is Roger Martin aka Double. And we got Qiyana aka Ke-ya those two are directly under DJ Quicks camp and they have some remarkable talent with in them. I'm very blessed to have all three of these gentlemen in my production camp. That's what we call KTK it's "keeping tracks koming", its a tattoo I have on my right arm, it's "KAOTIK".

Marsha: The Growing was released on your own label. What direction and plans for the future do you have for your label?

El: The directions. I plan to take my label and place it under a larger label so that I can learn. And also the ultimate benefit of having it, is so I can have something basically to give to my entire family, which is the whole reason for the name Industry Family Entertainment. I wanted to established something so where my family didn't have to go through some of what the first generations went through. And so that we all could have a house and a home. We could all do our music. Our family literally is music. It just doesn't stop, it keeps going from generation to generation. So the ultimate goal of that, after of course me learning the ends and outs of the business from those who are already doing it, by placing my company under them and of course you know to get paid. The ultimate goal is to have a place, a home for the Industry Family and that's just not mine, its for everybody.

Marsha: I know you do some modeling, would you tell me how your modeling career began?

El: My modeling career begin doing small print when I was younger, I dibber dabber in commercials and print. As I got older I left it alone. My mother Bobbi DeBarge, and her boyfriend Fabian Chichester ran a company called Blue Sage Clothing , in which I was the spokes model for as of 2007. We all compiled and got together, record label, boost one part up clothing, boost it and everybody's pulling each other. So once again Industry family, we love to keep it all in the family, we love to make sure we are all helping each other. And it was just an opportunity for me to showcase a different side of me that I didn't really get to focus and concentrate on when I was younger.

Marsha: Being a singer, a model and record executive, what could you tell our readers about El that would surprise them?

El: That I'm an extreme sports guy. Also that I go snow boarding, wave boarding. I've gone so hard on the snow board that I actually cleared a 50 foot table top, landed on the flat ice and drove my knees into my ribs and fractured my leg. Not many people know that about me. My friends , my close friends know that but when people see me they are like wow, you do all that. I would definitely say that would probably shock them.

Marsha: I would like to mention that you are the son of a great singer, El DeBarge an established solo singer and member the family group, DeBarge. Would you share with your fans at least one of your musical moments spent on stage with your Dad?

Photo El DeBarge Jr left on stage with his father

El: Yea I even have a picture on my myspace. You can actually check that out by going to or eldebargejr. Those are both of my pages, edebarge is my personal one, eldebargejr is my music page. On the photo album with my personal one there is a picture that answers that exactly , its my Dad sitting at the piano doing his thing, he's just being the man that he is, the great man that he is singing, wooing the crowd. There I am to his left and hands on my knees geedy smile on my face looking to him just in complete admiration as he was showing me the ropes . I didn't even know it at the time. It's just a boy hanging with his father, a son admiring what he could do. And now as I get older I come to see, hey this is this man passing down the torch. Let me show you personally from three feet away how to do this and that was definitely my best experience. When he actually took me on stage with him not just on tour, not to sit back in the crowd. He actually had me placed where audience members would come up, they are like man we thought he was going to pass you the mic. I was literally just sitting on stage right next to him absorbing the whole thing. You couldn't get no closer.

Marsha: What music artists do you listen to ?

El: I start with my father telling me to listen to Earth Wind and Fire, that's training. Those guys can go. If you ever want to warm up or some training or you just want to know where you should be, pop in some Earth Wind and fire. They got some bumps and grooves. But you know I listen to a lot of what's going on these days, cause I have to learn, I have to see what people are doing. And I have to make sure I can match, that I can stay up. So I listen to a lot of the current stuff. The artist that are out now, Neal, Usher, the female artists Beyonce, Rihanna. I listen to Jayz, I love Nas, I like Ludacris, I like Dblock, some of the underground aspects, Jungle Brothers. I'm a really really big hip hop head, really big. more than you would expect. That might be a shocking thing as well. People just expect me to sing all the time, not very many people expect that I can rap, let alone rap well.

Marsha: What cd do you have in your cd player right now?

El: In my cd player right now is a mixed cd compilation of producers tracks who are trying to help me get the demo done, music that's all we do all day is work.

Marsha: What makes you happy?

El: Music it ultimately does and I'm in love with love. I love love.

Marsha: What is your idea of a perfect day?

Waking up when I want to, turning on the computer, getting a new beat, rocking that out, probably playing a couple of little video games, watching the Lakers, then you know, going out for a little fun in the evening. Then come back and do it again.

Marsha: If you could do one thing to better the world, what would you do?

El: Wow, if I could do one thing to better the world I would change that one persons life who would also better the world right after I did. So we could keep it going.

Marsha:. What would you like to tell our readers about The Growing?

El: I would like to tell them that it is available on iTunes, its available on and Napster. It's put out by Infam Records, the compilation. And I would like to also tell people to really sit down and listen to it. Really give it a good listen. Not only with your ears but with your heart.

We would personally like to thank you El DeBarge Jr for your time and support-Marsha Hunt

El DeBarge Jr Myspace

El DeBarge Jr Music Page Myspace

InFam Records




Thank You Visitors

(c)Marsha Hunt-Reggae Music Reviews.Com 2008 - All Rights Reserved