“The foundation has always been interesting to me, what holds something up,” said the Brooklyn native. “The groove, I don’t care what you put on top of it; if the foundation isn’t strong, it won’t stand.”
Despite his passion for music, particularly R&B, it was never his intention to pursue it as a career. All he wanted to do was play.
“I just loved music and it was so overwhelming for me,” said Barfield. “I don’t think I could’ve done anything else if I wanted to.”
He played with many a musical legend including Ashford & Simpson and Luther Vandross. It was while working with the latter that Barfield met his future wife, Alfa Anderson, who was then a background vocalist for the late great Vandross and later went on to join the popular disco/R&B group CHIC.
Now, decades after picking up the bass, Barfield is preparing for the release of his first solo album as Tinker B. & Lu-Fuki, featuring the reunion of Anderson with Norma Jean Wright and Luci Martin of CHIC. The album will be titled “All About Love,” a compilation of songs about the many different facets of a rather complex emotion.
“Every time we work on a project, it brings us closer,” said Anderson. “The writing sort of parallels our relationship; the conversation has evolved as the love has evolved.”
Anderson pointed out that she used to be the one who wrote all the lyrics for songs, but now the multi-faceted duo writes them together.
“He spent so much time being the backbone of other performers and groups,” she said. “ I’m thrilled for him.”
Barfield never desired to put out his own CD, but somewhere along the line, he was inspired to leave a legacy of sorts.
“As an artist you want to make your mark and make something memorable,” he said. “I wanted to do something with my name on it for my children.”
He mentioned that his children are having a ball watching their parents collaborate on the project. Their son is now inspired to follow in his parents’ footsteps and become an artist himself. The energy, it appears, is contagious.
“I’m so excited I don’t know what to do,” said Barfield. “I want to tour the world as Tinker B. & Lu-Fuki. I want to play the biggest venues. Bring it on!”
For more information on Tinker B. & Lu-Fuki and to preview some tracks, visit www.keosp.com.