Revive Music founder Meghan Stabile started the music label while attending Berklee College of Music, but her introduction into the music world began when she was at the young age of 16 years old fostering a budding career. It was at that young age that she learned the all too common lesson that industry labels were more interested in the way she looked and having her sing on tracks rather than her artistry. Though that first go around brought some disappointment, it also birthed her desire to be around really great musicians at all times. Once at Berklee, she got her wish. To make extra money she worked evenings at the historic Wally’s as a bartender where she got to hear world renown musicians like Esperanza Spalding and Christian Scott who later became her peers. It was there she unearthed a love for jazz, and a frustration with how the music she loved was so inaccessible to the masses. Thus Revive was born.
At the beginning of our interview I categorized her as a “blender”, a person that tries to blend different styles of music into a unique sound, but she feels that the label doesn’t fit her. In fact, she doesn’t believe that labels in music should exist at all as all styles of music have been influenced by other forms. “We need categories to understand,” she says, “but calling it blending dilutes the whole idea all together.”
When choosing musicians to work with on a project, she chooses musicians that can “properly present the music in a modern context…J Dilla redefined how musicians interpreted Hip Hop live. The Roots [also] changed that for our generation. There’s an art to being able to create hip hop in that format.” And she looks specific musicians that have an ear for being able to translate music into its many forms.
So why do a concert on Marvin Gaye’s Vulnerable? Why now? According to Stabile, there has been a massive ressurgeance of bringing back real artistry. “Revive has become this go to place for people who want to know what is happening in the authentic world of music.” And since the masses are having a hard time getting the music, well she is bringing the music to the masses.
She stumbled upon Marvin Gaye’s “Vulnerable” while getting a ride and was simply inspired by the record. Although Marvin Gaye is a household name, she questions whether his musical legacy is still apart of people’s consciousness. So eight years later, she has accomplished what she set out to do; bring good soulful music to the masses. As for what to expect of Vulnerable, “Expect to hear three of the most three of the greatest soul singers…the voices of today”. Those voices being, Aloe Blacc, Chris Turner and Bilal. To assist with the soulful set, she brought in Berklee grad Alvin Foster as music translator and the accomplished Miguel Atwood-Ferguson as conductor.
After two solidly sold out shows in Boston, it seemed that she is on to something and is working to recreate the concert in New York next year. In the meantime, she is focused on Otis Brown III’s “The Thought of You” and next spring they will release the first Revive Blue Notes Records compilation. It will be a signature project that embodies this massive resurgence she keeps referring to with over 40 musicians, six different featured artists on the album. It will also be the first time Stabile will be producing.
So will take back my “blender” comment and put “curator of good music” in its place – I think she will approve.