NBA All Star Weekend the Rising Stars Challenge happened. As the game was being played something unexpected was going on. You had an traditional organist playing music, however the music being played wasn’t your typical organ tunes. Songs Such as BOB and Future’s ‘Ready’ and Jay Z and Rick Ross ‘F*Ckwithmeyouknowigotit’ were being played during the game, as well as many other current pop hits.
As the game went on, what was being played next became just as exciting as the game itself. This led many people to ask who was responsible for this on friday, as well as the All Star Game Itself? Well, we at The Source Magazine found the culprit to be Sir Foster (@Sir_Foster), organist for The Atlanta Hawks. Once we found him, we got a chance to sit down and talk about his background, his musical endeavors and what made him decide to shake the organ game up.
The Source Magazine: Who introduced you to the organ?
Sir Foster:I started taking piano lessons when I was six years old. There was a musician at my church named Mrs. Johnson, and that’s who taught me how to play.
The Source Magazine: When did you have that realization to take the organ seriously?
Sir Foster: I remember it vividly: when I first started playing the piano at church I was young, so everybody used to pat me on the back and tell me I did a great job. So one day, I played with another musician at the church and I couldn’t keep up with him. I was probably 14 at the time. After service I walked over to him and explained to him that he basically blistered me and I couldn’t keep up with him. I honestly thought he was gonna pat me on the back, have sympathy for me, and say “Hang in there, young fella,” or something like that. But instead, he looked at me, shook his head, and laughed and said: “Yeah. I had to play quietly some times just to make sure you were still over there!” I was determined to never have that happen to me again. So I went home that day and started practicing to make sure that one day I could be as good as he was.
The Source Magazine: Is the rumor true that you found this job on craigslist? If not how did you find it?
Sir Foster: That is absolutely true! The greatest find in the history of craigslist. I still can’t believe the way it happened.
The Source Magazine: How was the audition day? How was that feeling when you applied for the job in comparison to being told that you got the job?
Sir Foster: This is the honest truth: I believed the job was going to be mine as soon as they called me for the initial interview. My thinking was this: “Who finds a job like this on craigslist?” I felt like it had to be destiny. [Laughs] I played a pre-season game for my initial audition. I had to learn very quickly because playing for a basketball team is very different from normal playing. Everything has to happen in 24-second spurts because that’s how long the shot clock is. The first song I ever played at a basketball game was “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga. When I played it, one of the crew members came on the headset and said: “I like this guy! We should hire him!” That made me proud. When they called to tell me I had the job, I was elated.
The Source Magazine:How do you learn the melodies of the current music? Do you read sheet music or is it all by ear?
Sir Foster: I do read and write sheet music, but I learn the melodies all the current songs by ear.
The Source Magazine: That all star weekend really put you on the mainstream map, explain that feeling when you saw your mentions explode starting all star Friday night?
Sir Foster: I played at the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday night, but my mentions really didn’t start blowing up until Sunday night, at the actual All-Star Game. When everything was happening, I was just trying to stay in the moment and keep up with the pace of the game. I didn’t check my phone until halftime, and I saw a tweet from Bomani Jones of ESPN. That’s when I knew something special was happening. When the game was over I was a twitter trending topic in Brooklyn and Chicago, and my mentions were through the roof. My phone was going off like crazy. I have to be totally honest and tell you it felt awesome!
— ESPN First Take (@ESPN_FirstTake) February 17, 2014
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2014
The Source Magazine: What’s the song you get asked to play the most?
Sir Foster: We do have one Hawks season ticket holder who always asks me to play the music from Super Mario Bros. I really like playing that song. But other than that, people just want to hear whatever the hottest song is at the time. I take requests on my twitter page: @sir_foster before, during, after, and between games.
The Source Magazine: Have NBA players come to you to ask for specific songs?
Sir Foster: Players, not as much. We used to have a coach, Nick Van Exel, who once played for the Lakers. He used to always ask me to play anything by Snoop Dogg. [Laughs] But a lot of the players have come up to me and given me very positive feedback. They’ll mostly tell me “Hey, we appreciate what you do,” or “Hey man, you were jamming up there.”
The Source Magazine:What are your favorite 5 songs to play on the organ?
Sir Foster: That changes from week to week. As of this moment, right now, my favorite songs to play are:
“Ready” by B.o.B and Future. I posted a video of this on my Instagram page @sir_foster.
“All Of The Lights” by Kanye West, who is one of my all-time favorite artists, and someone whom I think is a true genius.
“Applause” by Lady Gaga
“Pop That” by French Montana
it’s a tie between “Tom Ford” and “F*Ckwithmeyouknowigotit” by Jay-Z. Both of those songs are just absolutely fun to play.
The Source Magazine: You seem to be very talented, what else musically do you do in your everyday life?
Sir Foster: Thank you! I appreciate it. Music is my hobby and job; it’s what I love and that’s all I do. I produce and write songs- lyrics, beats, melodies, drums, everything. I would really like to take that part of my career to a different level this year. I wanna spend all my time this year in three places: the gym, the kitchen (because my friends know I LOVE to eat) and the studio.
The Source Magazine: You do weddings? Special events? Can we get a discount on our weddings? [Laughs]
Sir Foster: Of course! You know I got you! [Laughs] But seriously, I’ve been doing corporate events and weddings for awhile now. I actually started a band called Revolve.R- it’s pronounced “Revolver.” We play a very high impact brand of r&b and jazz, because I sing and play the saxophone as well. However, I wanna let people know that we are not a smooth jazz, grown and sexy, sip and chill type of band. We really try to get the crowd involved and put on a show. We can do clubs, festivals, and weddings-anything where people wanna have a good time. Anyone who’s interested can hit me at email@example.com for more info. We’ll come to your event and make it happen.
The Source Magazine: How did you feel being crowned the MVP of all star weekend by twitter? People were even trying to text your name in on Sunday! Lol
Sir Foster: That is very humbling, because it means a lot to me that people really enjoy what I do. I never take that for granted because no one is holding a gun to anyone’s head and forcing them to like you. So for people to go out of their way like that and actually try to vote me for MVP?!! Man, I’m just grateful. I sincerely appreciate everyone who has ever reached out to me with positive feedback, and I’m so thankful that y’all enjoy my playing. That’s why I always wanna sit among the fans at games and listen to them on twitter and Instagram—and whatever other social networks we have—because it means alot.
If you come to a Hawks game at Philips Arena, I’m in Section 108. Come say Hi! I love interacting with the fans.
The Source Magazine: What is your main goal when it comes to music?
Sir Foster: I want to leave a mark. I want to make a huge impact on the music world. At this point, I’m focused on producing and writing for artists, and performing with my band Revolve.R. I’ve definitely got some tracks I’m trying to let go of, so y’all can hit me on twitter and Instagram @sir_foster or email me for those. I’m really going hard with that aspect of my craft this year. Also, Revolve.R is available for booking. Hit my social media or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org for info on that. My website will be up very soon—we’re working on it as we speak—and it’ll tie everything that I do together. It’ll have all my information on there as well as videos, songs, and links to everything. Above all else, I want to collaborate with EVERYBODY. Rappers, r&b singers, writers, producers who need someone to play keys for them, country singers, people who need their independent film scored—EVERYBODY. If I get the call this year, I’m trying to fit it in. I have never been more focused than I am now.
The Source Magazine: Thanks man, we truly appreciate the time.
Sir Foster: It has been a pleasure! Let’s do it again anytime.
Lawrence Hudson (@Its_mikelawry)