Wrexham University graduate Glyndwr is launching a multimedia entertainment group and brand by producing the first new song by a legendary Motown band in 20 years.
Mark Kendrick and his Flexy Records collaborator Todd Edwards wrote and produced an environmental-themed track for The Four Tops, known for worldwide hits like Reach Out (I’ll Be There) and Loco in Acapulco.
Mark wrote the lyrics for Freedom while Todd, a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist from the Wrexham area, composed and produced the music.
He said: “It was a bit of a pinch moment when we heard the Four Tops wanted to work with us, because we’re two strangers trying
break into the music industry.
The song has a powerful message about climate change and the devastating effects humans have on the environment, habitats and wildlife.
It happened after the duo facilitated a live interview with the members of Four Tops for Northern Soul TV, with presenters interviewing the group virtually from Roc 2 Studios in Wrexham.
They then introduced Freedom to the acting director and original member Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir. They gave the green light and the Four Tops recorded their vocals in Detroit, with Todd creating the music in Wrexham.
Mark, who is also part of the group Flexy Beats, along with Todd, shared how proud the duo were to have been chosen to work with the legendary quartet.
âTo have this opportunity with the Four Tops and for them to listen to some of the songs we did with Flexy Beats and love them even
even though it’s totally different from that Motown soundâ¦ For Todd and I, it was a real moment for us, âhe said.
âThey could see the potential in us. They get requests all the time, so for them to do a song with us when a lot of people have been trying to collaborate with them for years, it was a real successful moment for us.
Mark and Todd are developing Flexy Beats not only as a band, with the voice of Wrexham frontman Bobby – Jo Pritchard, but as a full-fledged educational children’s entertainment brand, with two albums of recorded material and a series of drawings. animated in preparation.
The band members are described as aliens from a distant planet called Flexy B. Their infectious sound, known as A-pop, is influenced by the blockbuster J-pop and K-pop genres; fusing electronic dance music (EDM), rock and power ballads to create broad musical appeal.
The group plans to perform live over the next year or so, with members dressed in colorful alien costumes. There is also a musical theater performance in the early stages of planning.
Mark received a BA (Hons) in Animation and Media from Glyndwr, then known as the North East Wales Institute (NEWI), in 2005 and has worked solidly in television and commercial production since.
He explained how his studies at Glyndwr not only provided essential knowledge and training for the industry, but also helped him start a business called Gizmo Media through the EU-funded Wales Spinout Program, which funded costs such as equipment.
âIt’s absolutely fair to say that I would have had a hard time starting my business right out of college without the support I received,â he said.
âThere was a guy called John Jones who was on NEWI’s business enterprise team at the time, who was like a mentor to us.
âWithout her help with things like applying for loans and grants, who knows what I would do now? It is quite possible that we could not have started the business without the help of the university.
The Freedom clip can be viewed on the Flexy Records Facebook page and Youtube channel:
Freedom is available on Spotify