Last updated: 07/19/2001 08:47:54 PM
Imagine four richly talented teenage boys with awesome instrumental and vocal prowess. Imagine an artistic vision which encompasses R & B, hip-hop and soul. Imagine a fresh blend of urban pop, written and arranged by these boys. Imagine a musical powerhouse simply called IMAJIN.
Inspired by the Jackson Five, New Edition, Hi-Five, Immature and Mint Condition, IMAJIN consists of four uncommonly gifted, musically diverse teens: Jamal Hampton, Talib Kareem Olamid Faison and John Fitch. They all possess the vision to become a group of very young, exceptionally talented musicians as they create and perform their own music.
The idea for IMAJIN began when producer Bert Price met a then pre-teen Jamal several years back. A New York native born into a family of singers and musicians, 16 year-old Jamal has been a singer and drummer since the age of four. A featured vocalist in his church choir, he was selected as one of the finalists of the 93-94 McDonald's Gospel Choir Competition. At 12, Jamal was hired as a touring drummer for the legendary R & B group Blue Magic. Impressed with Jamal's explosive talent, Price began his search for other similarly accomplished boys to form a group.
A musical prodigy who has played piano since the age of five, 14-year-old Talib, first gained Price's confidence with a blistering rendition of Scott Joplin's classic "Maple Leaf Rag." A native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Talib is a player and composer who has studied jazz and classical music at the Settlement School in Philadelphia and has performed with Grover Washington, Jr. in a jazz master class. As the leader of his family band "The Kareems," Talib has performed at their monthly engagement at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Atlantic City. The Kareems have also been the house band for the Children's Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre. At the tender age of 14, Talib currently owns a recording studio and production company.
Thirteen year old Olamid, whose Yoruba dialect name means "one who brings honor to his family," was born and raised in New York City and is the younger brother of actor Donald Faison (Clueless, Waiting To Exhale). Since childhood he has been an entertainer, appearing on "Sesame Street" and in the HBO movie "Rebound," as well as in many television commercials including spots for Pizza Hut, Chevy trucks and Mattel toys. He contributed lead vocals for the theme song from the Cartoon Network's show "Big Bang." He now sings and plays guitar in IMAJIN.
Born and raised in New Orleans, at fifteen John has shared in an enormous musical heritage since childhood; his father, mother and older brother are all professional musicians. He has explored musical styles ranging from R & B and jazz to classical with his rich singing voice and impressive keyboard skills and has performed at New Orleans prestigious annual Jazz and Heritage Festival. During the last two years he has commuted to New York every weekend to perform with IMAJIN.
A natural artistic chemistry emerged when Price finally put the four boys together and they recorded their first track with Gerald LeVert in December, 1996. Since then, IMAJIN has performed at the Apollo Theatre Children's Amateur night and various local community events, high schools and festivals in the New York area. After their performance at the 1998 NBA All-Star Weekend's nationally televised "Team Up Celebration," along with LL Cool J, Wycleff and the Refugee Camp All Stars, Salt 'N Pepa and others, they were mobbed by hundreds of autograph seeking fans.
Currently IMAJIN's band rehearsal, recording and school schedule reads like the script from a sitcom, with nearly every hour of every day packed with what they consider fun things to do. "While most of it is fun, it is hard work and we work well together. It's like a little brotherhood," Olamid says.