André Cymone

André Cymone (born Andre Simon Anderson; 1958) is an American bassist, songwriter and record producer. Cymone was a bass guitarist for recording artist Prince’s touring band, pre-Revolution. Cymone began a solo career in 1981. His song, “The Dance Electric” (written by Prince), reached number ten on the R&B charts. Cymone later co-wrote and produced songs for other acts, including Jody Watley’s “Looking for a New Love”, “Still A Thrill”, and “Real Love”.

Biography

Early years

Cymone was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and spent his teen years, bass in hand, along with turntable needle for replay, ‘rote’ learning all of the (at the time, released) recordings of Jaco Pastorius. The son of Fred Anderson, a musician, and Bernadette, a social worker, Cymone was the youngest of six children.[2] The Anderson home soon had an additional member – a young Prince who left his own home due to conflicts with his father.[3] Prince’s cousin, Charles Smith started the band Grand Central and later invited Cymone.[4] The band included Cymone’s sister Linda and Morris Day and they later changed their name to Champagne due to being confused with the funk band Graham Central Station.[5] Cymone’s stage name comes from a variation of his middle name, Simon.

Career

In the late 1970s, after Prince released his debut album, For You, Prince recruited Cymone as bassist for his touring band. Cymone stayed with Prince until 1981 when he quit the band over tensions with Prince.[6]

The two later resolved their issues and Cymone went on to release 3 solo albums – Livin’ in the New Wave (1982), Survivin’ in the 80s (1983), and AC (1985). All were out of print for a long period of time, but all three of his solo records have been remastered, and expanded with extra tracks. His most successful single – a song written by Prince – was “The Dance Electric” from the AC album.

Cymone went on to become a record producer and is better known for producing Jody Watley (to whom he was married and shares a son). He has also produced and written songs for several other artists, including Pebbles, Jermaine Stewart and Adam Ant. In 1988, Cymone produced three tracks and co-wrote the track “Under My Skin” for Phil Thornalley’s 1988 only solo album Swamp.

Cymone is referenced by Brooklyn band, The Hold Steady on their critically received debut album, Almost Killed Me in track two, The Swish. His song “Better Way” is part of the Beverly Hills Cop 2 soundtrack released in 1987.

In September 2012 Cymone released a digital single, titled “America”, in aid of United States President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign with all proceeds from the sale of the digital single being donated to the campaign. The single is available through andrecymone.bandcamp.com, via digital download. A sneak-peek at a new song titled “American Dream” was available for a limited time for everyone who donated by purchasing “America”.

Cymone confirmed that he is currently in the process of recording a new album that was due sometime in 2013, bringing an end to a 27-year singing hiatus.

In May 2013 Cymone released a demo on his Twitter/Facebook page called “My Best Friend”, a six-minute long acoustic track he described as a tribute to his mother Bernadette Anderson.

In late May 2013 Andre appeared alongside former Revolution member Bobby Z on a web-based video chat forum co-hosted by celebrity blogger Dr.Funkenberry[ where he went into greater detail about the writing of the song and the hopes for his new album.

In November 2013, the album, titled The Stone, became available for pre-order in various exclusive packages on the site PledgeMusic. The packages included early MP3 downloads, signed CDs and one-off personalised items. The Stone was released on February 18, 2014.

Discography

Albums

  • Livin’ in the New Wave (1982), Columbia
  • Survivin’ in the 80s (1983), Columbia
  • AC (1985), Columbia
  • The Stone (2014), Blindtango
  • Black Man in America EP (2016), Blindtango

Singles

  • “Livin’ in the New Wave” (1982)
  • “Kelly’s Eyes” (1982)
  • “Survivin’ in the 80s” (1983)
  • “Make Me Wanna Dance” (1983)
  • “The Dance Electric” (1985)
  • “Satisfaction” (1985)
  • “Lipstick Lover” (1985)
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