|Born||Reginald W. Sears
April 12, 1991
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Genres||Soul, pop, neo soul, R&B, funk, Hip hop music, psychedelic soul, blues, southern soul, jazz, Alternative R&B, rock|
|Musician, guitarist, singer, songwriter, record producer, composer, arranger, singer-songwriter|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, piano, drums, percussion|
|Labels||Redd Dawg Records|
|Solomon Burke, Black Zack, Fruteland Jackson, The Soul Generals, David Hudson, Jerome Towers, Dust Da Rapper, Blowfly, Fred Bolton, Timmy Thomas, R.A._the_Rugged_Man , Kurupt |
Reggie Sears is an American recording artist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist musician and record producer, and a former child prodigy guitarist known for his songs "Dirty Dancer", "Dip My Dipper", and "You Betrayed Me."
Born in 1991 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Sears is the son of an African-American/Native American mother and a Caucasian father and was raised in a lower-income area in Fort Lauderdale's inner-city.
Sears was inspired to sing and play guitar after receiving a copy of Phil Thornalley's Swamp album at age four. He asked for a guitar at age five and the following Christmas he received one but his interest soon shifted to drums and he began playing drums after his parents bought him a drum set when he was eight. Inspired by blues artists, notably Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lightnin' Hopkins as well as the soul, rock and funk music his parents would play, he got started after his father purchased for him a Lonnie Mack CD and he began taking guitar seriously at age 11 after a cousin turned him onto Jimi Hendrix. At age 12, Sears asked his father to take him to an open-mic at a local club and Sears began gaining recognition as a young blues guitarist. Sears began sitting in with local bands and soon began appearing with Hubert Sumlin, Ronnie Baker Brooks (once referring to Sears as a "young Rico Suave"),Guitar Shorty, Bob Margolin, Chris Beard, Ana Popovic, Michael Burks, G. Love and Special Sauce, Fruteland Jackson, Lil' Ed Williams, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby Rush, Inner Circle, Henry Gray, John Primer, Jimmy "Bo" Horne, Pinetop Perkins, backed up The Temptations, and even appeared with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Solomon Burke who dubbed Sears "the future [of Soul and Blues]" and referred to him as "godson". Within a few months he was playing professionally. In early 2004 Sears assembled a band of veteran musicians and he began booking shows at local clubs and festivals on the weekends and developed a loyal fan base and attracted the attention of several independent labels.
Sears national debut album Transitions, a jazz-rock influenced collection of classic and obscure blues covers was released in September 2005. Sears enrolled in virtual school so that he could play music full-time. He began touring in support of Transitions, which led to appearances at notable venues such as Sarasota Blues Fest in Sarasota, Florida; Skippers Smokehouse in Tampa, Florida, and slowly built his way to headlining or co-headlining appearances at House of Blues in Orlando, Florida, on The Waterfront in Rockford, Illinois, and Cultural Fest in Las Vegas. His second CD, Blues Power, was released in fall of 2006. Looking to expand his musical horizons, Sears taught himself how to play over 20 instruments and learned the technical side of music production.
In late 2006, Sears moved to the Southern soul genre with the release of his third album, Southern Soul, Florida Style, a collection of blues and Southern soul songs that gained little exposure or radio play despite the lead single "Back That Thang Up" finding its way on some radio playlists and club reports. Sears slowly built a strong fan base in the Southern soul market by tirelessly touring the south's Chitlin circuit of rural juke joints, ghetto bars, and blues festivals. Despite his often suggestive lyrics and racy concert performances which was deemed too explicit for commercial audiences, he became an underground success across the South and audiences, especially female ones, flocked to see Sears in concert. His fourth album was released in mid-2007 with the lead single "Dip My Dipper" faring well. In 2007, he served as musical director and lead guitarist for Miami soul singer David Hudson as well as guitarist/bassist and musical director for The Soul Generals while recording his fifth CD, his would-be major label debut Sweet Thang, which was ultimately shelved in 2009 and remains unreleased. By the end of the year Sears went on hiatus from music at age 16 after personal problems arose. After a bout of depression and an attempted suicide, he turned his life over to God and began to do shows again, editing the lyrics to many of his songs and considerably cleaning up his stage show.
The next few years went by with a few singles and some sporadic tour dates on the Chittlin' circuit. In 2010, Sears won a Soul Patrol "best of" in the Slow Jam category for his digital-single "You Betrayed Me". In November of that year he released his most successful single to date "Dirty Dancer" which fared well on the Southern soul charts, hitting number one in several markets. Sears was nominated for Soul Blues Music Award for "Best New Artist".
Sears began to embrace the neo-soul and urban Adult Contemporary Rhythm and Blues (R&B) sound with the release of the low-profile single "Can't Get You Out of My System" in early 2011. By this time Sears had devoted much of his time to church. Nothing else was heard from him until early 2012 when he released "With Every Beat of My Heart." Sears continued writing and recording new songs and performing locally but dedicated most of his time to preaching while also doing session work, appearing as the featured guitarist on Anakarenn's debut album as well as production work on Black Zack's Southern Soul Radio album, and producing and mentoring local artists. In 2015 he toured as a bassist for Blowfly and played keyboards and guitar on his final album 77 Rusty Trombones. Later that year he began working with Timmy Thomas as a multi-instrumentalist and opening act. Sears is currently in production on a new album titled "So Many Roads".
In the studio Sears uses a plethora of guitars, amps and effects. He plays a Gibson B.B. King Lucille Signature ES-335, an assortment of Squier Stratocasters, an Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone SG, and a few Harmony electric guitars however, he most notably is known for playing the Fender Buddy Guy Stratocaster, a guitar he has owned since he was 12 years old. He plays through an amp chain of a Fender Hot Rod Deville, Marshall JCM 2000 and a Dean Markley K-20 amp to get his signature sound.