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Artist Spotlight: James Rouse # Ms. Lauryn Hill

On any given day James Rouse can be seen deep in the trenches of the New York music scene working with a wide array of serious musicians. If you catch him working as a band leader…or producer…or musical director…or hired gun in a studio, you’ll immediately understand why he doesn’t have much time to do anything that is not musically related. James played a key role in a number of memorable concerts and musical events in the city such as “A Night of Motown,” and “Harlem Week,” with Ray Chew and the Crew and “Amatuer Night at the Apollo.” He also kept his producing chops up while producing “The Prelude EP” for Charisa the Violin Diva. That’s one side of Mr. Rouse.

And then there’s the other side of James Rouse; the side that keeps him away from home thanks to Ms. Lauryn Hill. Throughout 2012, Ms. Lauryn Hill kept James close by her side while she toured throughout Europe, North America, South Africa, and New Zealand. If you’ve had the chance to see her perform live, you’ll see that the band is rather large and there are many musicians on the stage at any given time. James’s knack to focus on so many key musical details throughout each performance while keeping the groove very comfortable for everyone on stage is a true gift.

Throughout 2013 James will be working on a wide array of musical projects but two of them stand out to him the most. “Ms. Lauryn Hill is definitely going to keep me busy this year. We have more shows scheduled for 2013 but before we hit the road we’re wrapping up the writing and recording of her new record, which I have been involved in as one of her band members, helping in the production process. I’m also in the process of finishing my second album and I also plan to schedule some tour dates to support my new release.”

“I have a wide range of incredible sounding Paiste cymbals to choose from, but the cymbals I’ve been passionate about are my Twenty Custom Collections. I love the tone of these cymbals. They cut through the many layers of Ms. Lauryn Hill’s music and yet they are very musical; both on stage and in the studio. Their brilliant finish looks great under the lights on stage and they are very durable for touring. Whether it’s at a studio, New York club, arena, or at my church, my Twenty Customs are always with me.”

View James Rouse’s Paiste Artist profile