Move aside auto-tuned, gimmicky and shallow artists. According to Josh Milan, he is set to reclaim the industry and bring back true talent.

Milan, a former member of the 1990s Motown group Blaze, is launching his new music label, Honey Comb Music. According to the Brooklyn native, the label is a collection of music genres including soul, funk and house.

“There aren’t any labels that are doing the kind of music that I’m doing,” Milan said. “Sure, I’m a house music producer and house music artist, but that’s really not what I’m pushing. I’m just pushing good music.”

Like many Black artists, Milan’s musical journey began in church, where he studied how his cousin played the organ. One Sunday, his cousin got “filled with the spirit” and left the organ vacant. Seeing it as an opportunity to showcase his talent, Milan sat at the organ and played like he had never played before. Thereafter, Milan realized that music was his calling and he and two friends linked together to embark on their musical careers.

With Blaze, Milan had the opportunity to work with big names in the music industry, including Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. The group scored their biggest writing success with a song called “Hideaway,” performed by De’lacy. The single went on to reach the Top Ten UK charts.

“It was a pleasure,” Milan said, speaking about his success with Blaze. “I got a chance to meet some of my heroes. I met some incredible people, but now, my heart is on unknowns. in the people that you’ve never heard of before.”

With Honey Comb Music, Milan aspires to showcase artists with little fame, but huge talent.

“ doesn’t really have artists today that move you tears,” Milan said. It’s really sexually oriented. Like Rihanna can sing, but she’s more ‘hot’ than a great singer. I’m really trying to put good talent and good lyrics back into the music industry.”

Honey Comb artists will finally get a chance to display their talent on their upcoming album. The currently untitled compilation will feature eight artists all performing songs written and produced by Milan.

“The first single should drop at the end of July or the beginning of August,” Milan said. “The entire project is going to drop in December or maybe the beginning of January. It’s just a compilation of good-singing folks.”

It’s widely known that new artists and labels in today’s music industry have tremendous difficulty breaking out and becoming successful. Despite the industry’s struggling state, Milan aspires to defy the odds. He believes the first step is to break the traditional methods of selling music.

“I don’t give out any music,” Milan said. “I really feel in my heart that those days are over. On the Internet, you can actually listen to songs before you buy them. In my opinion, that’s your promo. If you give out promo with how the Internet is, you won’t sell any records. I think that holding material until the sale date will help me.

“I don’t have the muscle of a major label, so I have to sell out the back of my car almost, but I really feel in my heart that this is some great music that’s going to sell itself.”

Gregory Dale

AFRO News Editor