SKIP MARTIN, Grammy Award Winner, a former lead singer of Kool & the Gang and lead singer of the Dazz Band and Dr. BRUCE TOPPER, a practicing radiologist have created an alter ego named Dr. Dance that produces danceable music. This musical crusade is to bring awareness to obesity and childhood diabetes through dancing.
The first single, “Can You Whine” is a reggaeton style song. The full CD entitled SKIP MARTIN presents DR. DANCE “The Dr. Dance Project” will be released in late September 2014.
To support the cause, please download “Can You Whine” available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.
A Chance Meeting for a Good Cause
For Dr. Bruce Topper a chance meeting with Kool & The Gang/Dazz Band vocalist Skip Martin turned a hobby into an accidental music career. Dr. Topper has worked as a successful radiologist for over twenty years. He always complimented the rigors of the medical profession with music as an activity of leisure. But a year and a half ago, at a star-studded Las Vegas party, he had a fateful moment. “At the party, we were all asked to give intros. When it got to me, I was spontaneous and said: ‘I know there are a lot of musicians here, if there is anyone out there that could help me fulfil my dream of creating original music, I would love to meet you.’ Skip made a beeline for me,” Dr. Topper says.
“Music was always my favorite hobby, but when I started hearing fresh, original music in my head and writing the songs down, it seemed like there was a calling,” the Las Vegas-based Dr. says. “I want to get my message out which is to get people off the couch and on their feet dancing. It’s good for the heart; it helps people live longer and feel better,” he says.
Dr. Topper records with Skip Martin under the name Dr. Dance. The two have currently recorded 3 songs with Martin and Spiro Gyra keyboardist Tom Schuman producing, and have shot two videos. Skip Martin is a funk and R&B icon best known for his work as a vocalist with Kool & The Gang and the Dazz Band. Martin has previously recorded 27 albums, won a Grammy with Dazz Band for “Let It Whip” (1982), and earned numerous Platinum and Gold records. Skip Martin and Dr. Topper blend Martin’s heritage as a dance-pop master with Dr. Topper’s sophisticated-but-accessible pop-rock aesthetic.
“The way we often work is that I come up with a musical idea with lyrics,” Dr. Topper reveals.
“Then we get together in the studio and the creative forces come together. Skip is all about improvisation and creating vibes, he calls it ‘The God force.’” One such inspired session resulted in the invigoratingly funky “Took So Long,” one of the duo’s strongest collaborations. “Initially, my concept for the song was as a sad song. The narrator knew long ago that a certain girl was ‘the one,’ but just never knew how to approach her. After Skip and I worked on it, it became this joyful song where the guy gets the girl and he’s exploding with happiness, he’s so grateful,” Dr. Topper says. The track is a sleek slice of modern R&B with smart hooks and an imaginative arrangement. The accompanying video is a playfully euphoric celebration of the virtues of dancing; after all, it is good for your heart.
The Dr. Dance track “This Life” is an uplifting pop-rock song featuring the Doctor’s warm and pristinely melodic vocals. “That song is about a troubled person that finds peace and joy and wants to pass these gifts on,” Dr. Topper says. Dr. Topper and Skip Martin recently completed a revelatory tropical track called “Can You Wind” which features Martin and Prince Ama on vocals. The festive track vibes the islands, reggaeton, and the Doctor’s refined pop songcraft.
Dr. Topper always had an uncanny ability to effortlessly replicate music off the radio. Though from 9 to 17 he formally studied piano and received a grounding in classical music, he always performed music from an intuitive place. In high school, he memorized all the music to the two-hour Cole Porter musical Anything Goes, and adapted the entire orchestral score to just piano. During college at Columbia University, he was pre-med, a music major, and frequently regaled his classmates with his off-the-top-of-his-head-but-accurate versions of pop songs. While at Cornell Medical School, he performed in all the warm and witty holiday shows. When he moved to his current residence, Las Vegas, and joined the Desert Radiologist Group, he expanded his profile, performing classical music for Nathan Adelson Hospice’s “doctors in concert” fundraiser “Serenades Of Life.” Those gigs led to many garage rock bands with other doctors taken by Dr. Topper’s piano prowess at the fundraiser. From here the pop songwriting bug bit.
“What got me interested in putting together original music was that I was curious if my facility to play by ear meant an understanding of music where I could create something that moved other people,” Dr. Topper says.
Assessing his careers he says: “”I’ve noticed radiologists to be logical, methodical and analytical. It’s like detective work: You look at an ultrasound or an MRI, figure out what’s going on, and come up with a logical conclusion. It’s a lot of thinking. In music, it’s a lot of feeling. Radiology is left brain; music is right brain. Together they fulfil both sides of my being and I feel complete.”
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