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Monty Seward

Serene and soulful, smooth and sophisticated: all undeniable adjectives when describing the sounds and moods of Monty Seward’s “Peace of Mind,” the lead single from his 2018 release titled Love Again (Monty Seward Music/EMT/Orchard). The song is certain to become a staple at Smooth Jazz formats, while its slated follow-up, “All the Time,” with lead vocals by Seward, is on track to become a favorite at Urban Adult Contemporary stations. Love Again also features a stirring remake of New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain.”

Seward was born in Gardena, California, and raised in neighboring Carson; both located in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. An accomplished keyboardist, flute player, and vocalist, Seward comes from a very musical family. “All of my siblings either played instruments or sang,” he recalls. His mother, Evangeline Seward, was a professional singer-songwriter, orchestrator and piano teacher, who wrote songs for Pop crooners Pat Boone and Perry Como. At the age of 9, Seward got a chance to perform alongside his Mom on the song, “Everybody is Looking for an Answer” (Warner Bros).

In addition to family, Seward has many music influences from iconic pianists Thelonious Monk, Joe Sample and George Duke, to soul music vocalists such as Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and Brian McKnight. Like many African American musicians, Seward’s earliest exposure to music came via the local Macedonia and Emmanuel Baptist churches. “I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, from the age of 5,” he says, “to performing with the Compton Boys’ choir and at special events. I became a choir director at 15. I learned how to play drums, and we had two pianos in our house, so playing the keys was inevitable. I later became very intrigued by the flute, and studied with saxophone player Bill Green who happened to also teach one of my favorite musicians, Bobby Humphrey. I also dabble on the bass and guitar.”

After high school, Seward attended Southern University/Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he pursued an electronic engineering degree with a minor in Jazz and was greatly influence by the New Orleans jazz legend and music department head, Alvin Baptiste (Branford Marsalis mentor). During that period, he made an appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival at the age of 19 where he intrigued the crowd with a rendition of the late Al Jarreau’s “Spain.”

After a period with Hughes Aircraft and many late nights in the studio honing producer and writing skills, it was an opportunity with singer Deniece Williams that put Seward on his ideal path.

From there he would collaborate (whether on the road on in the studio) with some of the world’s most recognizable recording artists, such as New Kids on the Block, Tevin Campbell, Diana Ross, the Jacksons, Teddy Pendergrass, Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Tyrese, Kelly Clarkson, Narada Michael Walden, Lakeside, Regina Belle, and his longtime friend Howard Hewett.

Seward produced and co-wrote on seven of Hewett’s albums, and co-produced the signature songs “Say Amen,” “Forever and Ever” and “Once, Twice, Three Times.” Quincy Jones signed Seward to his publishing company, Yellow Brick Road, as a staff songwriter. He’s been nominated for an Emmy in the category of Music for Film & TV on the long-running Bold & Beautiful daytime series. He’s received ASCAP Awards, and numerous film & TV credits.

After years of producing music for others, Seward’s desire to release his own material continued to grow. In 2013 he released his first EP, titled Only You, to be followed up by 2016’s All The Time EP, the latter being a preview to his forthcoming full-length, Love Again. “What we’re doing now is definitely different with the release of Love Again,” he says. “This is a full-length project, completely funded and supported by me and my label. I’m very excited about the music that I’ve written and produced, and we look forward to not only hearing it on radio, but performing it in front of the fans at venues, jazz festivals and more.”