winston-warrior_web.jpgKeep Movin’ is not only one of the hottest tracks on his new CD, it is also the motto for Winston War- rior’s life. The University of Miami grad has walked away from a suc- cessful marketing career to pursue his true passion – making beautiful music.

After a few promising years with the South Florida-based R & B trio Lo Profile failed to garner a record- ing contract in the late 1990s, Winston stepped away from music, bruised and disillusioned, but still hungering for a career.
He said Lo Profile’s production company made some poor decisions that doomed the trio’s chance at a recording con- tract and seriously impacted his belief that he could be successful in the industry.

After nursing his emotional wounds for several years, Warrior said the sudden death of a beloved tennis coach in 2007 really put things into perspective. When Coach Sharon Lester, who was also the manager of the tennis facility that now bears her name, died unexpectedly in her early 40s, Warrior’s friend and tennis coach Kwesi Smith convinced him to sing at Lester‘s memorial service. After hearing Warrior’s performance, Smith told him that he had to “get over himself” and get back into his music.

“He basically said to me, ‘if not now, when,”’ Warrior said of Smith’s encouragement to pursue a solo career. So Warrior went from serious self-doubt, to including having a music career on his “bucket list,” to “stepping out on faith” and forming his own independent label and becoming its first artist.

His label, Vintage R & B, is based in Warrior’s hometown of Atlanta and has already released his first single and accompanying video, Bad 4 U. The CD, Lifeology 101, is currently number 52 on the adult contemporary chart and has been prominently featured on iTunes’ R & B page.

“Not bad for an independent release among major production labels,” Warrior said.

He said one of the most reward- ing experiences of his young solo career happened at the standing room only release party in January in Atlanta. In addition to seeing the crowd’s enthusiastic reception to his music, Winston said being cheered on by his former Lo Profile mate, Nealon Sears, who traveled from Vir- ginia to support his friend, was magical.

“At the end of Elevator, when it’s fading out, you can hear someone say, ’Go Winston!’ That’s Neal,” War- rior said.

Warrior credits “My faith in God and my family’s faith in me,” as well as the support of close friends like Smith and Sears, with helping him to pursue his dream.

“It’s never too late.”

He will reconnect with his Miami fans at a listening party on June 20 at Bluster’s, located at 115 N. 21st Ave. in Hollywood.