One of the Sparkle cast’s newest members, Sturge Moreland, is not at all new to Detroit’s entertainment scene. Moreland, who began his career traveling the world and performing musical genres from classical to R&B, has put down roots in Motown and is lending his signature falsetto sound to a number of projects around Detroit. Most recently, Moreland has completed an 18-month run in Ain’t Misbehavin’ at the Music Hall and is making his mark as an entrepreneur and the proprietor of 313LuckyTees. The popular baritone-turned-tenor spoke with rolling out recently about his music, his motivation and his most memorable moments. –roz edward
How do you communicate your emotions through your music?
I find out what’s the best thing about my voice so that I can use that sparingly throughout a song to capture the audience and get them to understand what I’m trying to say. When you want to reach that kind of emotional moment, you will know how to use your voice by just practicing and just doing it.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I’m not a fan of how music sounds now. I prefer to listen to a cappella jazz vocal groups. I’m very much a fan of multiple harmonies like the group Take Six, I like that kind of sound and currently my favorite group is Afro Blue. I also just formed my own group … it’s called Detroit. It’s a jazz quartet and you will be hearing about us.
What memorable responses have you had toward your work?
I was in Germany … we had just done a show singing lead for The Miracles and this east Indian man walked up to me and he says, “Excuse me sir, may I take your picture with my wife.” I said sure, and he then says, “I know who you are. You’re Denzel Washington.” I told him I wasn’t, and he said “I know you have to say that Mr. Washington, but my wife likes you and she would like to take a picture with you.” So, I said OK. After I took the picture she asked me to sign her napkin and I signed “Best wishes, Denzel Washington'”
Your interests run deep and we understand you are also a visual artist. What type of art do you do?
I mainly do realistic art like fine art. And I do graphic art because I own my own T-shirt business and I have to do a lot of graphic art on T-shirts for people.