Magic Johnson knows something about the sophomore jinx: Athletes attempting to build on the success of their first year in the pros often run into stumbling blocks.
The same pitfall awaits recording artists who, having poured a lifetime's worth of experience into their first recording, are asked to repeat their initial success in short order. Fortunately, Avant, a Magic Johnson Entertainment/MCA recording artist, has been able to build his reputation and fan base with the release of Ecstasy, his second CD.
Avant is direct about the impulse that guided the creation of his new work. Comparing it to My Thoughts, his first CD, which was released in 2000, Avant says that "Ecstasy's more of a sexual album. Ecstasy is also a relationship album, but it's deeper in the game."
A native of Cleveland, Avant hooked up with producer Steve Huff on My Thoughts. "Separated," the first single from that album, reached the top of the charts. Following up with the release of a remake of Rene & Angela's 1989 hit, "My First Love," Avant proved that lightning does strike twice when this track also became a chart buster.
When it came time to buckle down to the business of writing and recording Ecstasy, Avant logically turned to Huff. The album, recorded at Stone Records in Chicago, Huff's hometown, found the artist and producer in tune from start to finish. "I don't know how other artists and producers work, but Steve and I get a vibe, and we both collaborate on a song. I think it's rare for a producer and artist to come off of each other the way we do."
Avant is quick to point out what the title of his latest work does not refer to. "Now, I don't want anyone to get confused with the drug. My 'ecstasy' is a feeling you get when you see that relationship go forward."
Based on his achievements with My Thoughts and the immediate follow up success of Ecstasy, it seems that Avant has established a relationship with his fans that is strong and secure.