RJ’s real name is Renard. He grew up with very musical brothers. His youngest brother Gerard, a gifted musician, is still playing drums and guitar in bands in Shreveport, Louisiana. His oldest brother Percy turned RJ on to the bass when he was at the very young age of five years old. He fell in love with the instrument as his main axe. A native of the City of Shreveport, RJ attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he studied jazz under the direction of the world class jazz clarinetist Mr. Alvin Batiste. He also was fortunate enough to have in his class the amazing bass player and producer Randy Jackson of American Idol fame.
During his college days RJ met with a group of musicians and formed the band called MELLAA. After their studies these college men toured the United States and Japan in the late 70’s.
A musically rich background encompassing proficient soulful vocals and songwriting abilities has taken RJ to performing internationally in R & B funk bands. The band was called Mellaa and originated in jazz class at Southern University. He toured the United States, Canada and then landed in Los Angeles where they performed in all of the popular night spots before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. RJ also plays harmonica, percussion instruments, dances, writes and arranges music and has always stepped up to be a visionary force within the band.
Combined with his vast knowledge of computers and technology, he coordinates the musical production side of Cotton Candy Express Music. He helped to build the act into one of the most requested duos in the Bay Area. Lori convinced him that children’s music was the wave of the future back in the late 1980’s. He’s never regretted one moment of his journey performing in the wild world of kids and family music shows.