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Grammy-nominated saxophonist ‘Saxappeal’ talks Father’s Day love


LaDarrel “Saxappeal™” Johnson, Grammy-nominated saxophonist and co-founder of the jazz and R&B infused music group, Collective Peace (Photo courtesy of LaDarrel “Saxappeal™” Johnson)


LaDarrel “Saxappeal™” Johnson is one half of the Detroit-based music group Collective Peace, whose sound can be described as a fusion of jazz, R&B, funk, hip-hop and soul. Johnson co-founded the group with his wife, Ideeyah, whose sultry, soothing and silky vocals help to define the group’s signature sound. Johnson, who’s a Grammy nominated saxophonist, also serves as the group’s music director, producer and alto saxophonist. They just recently released their debut album, Introducing Collective Peace and music reviews from as far away as Europe and Japan claim it to be hotter than fire!

Rolling out had the opportunity to catch up with Saxappeal™ to discuss what being a father means to him. Johnson shares a son, LJ, who’s 4 1/2, with his leading lady Ideeyah. When LaDarrel was asked what his favorite thing to do with his son is, his response was “I enjoy making music with him more than anything!”

Check out the rest of his interview below. Chime in on the comments section and let us know what you think. You can find their melodious jazz infused music on iTunes & Amazon. For more info on the group, find them at

How do you use music to educate your child?
LJ seems to remember things better through song, so we study songs that teach things such as letter recognition, shapes, colors, the importance of personal space, and so much more.

Saxappeal™ and son, LJ, making music together — one of his favorite things to do with son. (Photo courtesy of LaDarrel ” Saxappeal™” Johnson)


How do you use creativity to teach your child to express himself?
Growing up, creative expression was all I really had. I was a very shy kid, so I learned to speak through music at a very young age. With me teaching my son those same principles at an even younger age than when I began, I tell him on a constant basis that sometimes, using your art is a better way to say how you’re feeling. His favorite outlet of creativity currently is drawing.

What songs about fatherhood inspire you the most?

Well, I’m not sure if Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” was originally written as a father’s soundtrack, but it’s the song that always shines a light on my relationship with my son.

Have you ever created a song dedicated to your child or family?

My wife and I have a song we created titled “You and Me,” which is about our son, and I made a song for her titled “Queen,” that one’s pretty self-explanatory.

Collective Peace husband and wife duo Ideeyah and Saxappeal (Photo Credit: Collective Peace Music)

Husband and wife duo, Ideeyah and Saxappeal™ of the group Collective Peace (Photo credit: Collective Peace Music)


How do you balance touring or late nights in the studio with being there for your son when needed?

You know, I ask myself the same question at least once a week. My mom always told me that you make time for the things you want to make time for, and I always make time for my family. Family comes first.

Do you have any Father’s day traditions?

I go to visit my father’s grave every Father’s Day since 1994. This will be my 22nd year doing so.

What are your plans for this Father’s day?

Work, unfortunately, so I won’t have much time to spend with my family. But I will be super excited to return home to my family!


Husband and wife duo, Ideeyah and Saxappeal™ of the group Collective Peace (Photo credit: Collective Peace Music)