Hailing from Miami, Florida, exciting new singer-songwriter Ed. blends alternative-R&B with a range of experimental inflections to bring a captivating and hypnotic new sound. Get to know him better with VIPER…
What five words define your sound?
Alternative, R&B, Experimental, Honest and Cool.
Tell me something unique about your creative process?
Before I dive into creating, I clear my thoughts through prayer. I take a moment to really tune in and ensure that I’m creating with clarity and intention. I believe music is a gift, we’re creating from the invisible. I usually start my process by recording melodies on voice notes. I prefer more intimate environments, they allow me to be my most vulnerable. It’s usually just me, my engineer, and a couple of snacks, a minimalist vibe for maximum focus.
Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?
‘Live Yours’ for sure. It captures the essence of my message, encouraging everyone to embrace their uniqueness and live authentically.
What inspired you to make that song?
Love inspired ‘Live Yours’. A lot of us live in our heads and spend time overthinking things. With this song I wanted to find the true meaning of freedom of expression, and encourage us all to live without this constant fear of judgment. ‘Live Yours’ stems from the belief that everyone deserves to live life on their own terms. It’s a reminder to stay true to yourself, be present and unapologetically pursue happiness.
What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?
I enjoy writing about the beauty of my journey so far, but in reality I’ve also experienced real tragedy, such as losing my little cousin ‘Wavy Navy Pooh’ to gun violence, to my father being incarcerated while my mother was battling multiple lung diseases. Life hasn’t always been easy but I’m able to vent and share my experiences through music. I have an unreleased song, ‘Bigger’, it was so therapeutic to write and record and it may never be released, but the process has helped me heal. I guess that’s the beauty of being vulnerable.
What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?
Best: Performing at my parents’ wedding, contributing to a magical, black love story. Worst: Orlando show, where a horny topless fan crashed the stage. Hilarious and definitely a moment.
What is your favorite song to perform?
I’m currently rehearsing for an upcoming show and I must say that ‘Live Yours’ feels like it’s going to be my favorite. The energy of the live instruments paired with the moody lighting, and vocal arrangement is sick! I have an amazing time rehearsing this record and I can’t wait to bring it to the stage.
Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?
My mother, Shynita Ponton, a vocalist in her own right, played a pivotal role in inspiring and motivating my musical journey. She discovered my talent and nurtured it, instilling in me a love for the art. Tracie Spencer’s rendition of ‘Imagine’ by the Beatles became my go-to song. ‘Got To Be There’ by the young Michael Jackson was the first album that I studied. As I found my own voice, my mother’s encouragement and affirmations fueled my passion and kept me going.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
“Ed.” is my nickname which is short for Edward. The period represents who I am and who I will always be; a complete statement, enough in my own being. I am extremely proud of the man I am today, all of the growth is what defines me.‘
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?
In an alternate reality where music isn’t my focus, the NFL would have likely been my arena. So either way playing in stadiums would’ve been my thing.
What’s success to you?
Success is making a positive impact, inspiring others to embrace their individuality, and creating a timeless connection through my music.
What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?
In January 2021 my best friend and I began developing a wellness app which sparked a new perspective, and a shift to a more mindful way of living; this prompted me to refocus on creating music with a purpose. I wanted to contribute art which meant something. ‘Live Yours’ emerged from that transformative period.
Where can people keep in touch with you?