Roger Troutman is a funk/soul R&B artist from Ohio, and lead singer of the band Zapp. He made many Funk and R&B hits throughout the 1980’s. Roger made the Talk Box instrument popular and used it as a center piece of his music. Most of his music sends out happy vibes and danceable sounds. Some of his more popular songs as a solo artist include “I Wanna Be Your Man” and his cover of “I’ve Heard It Through The Grapevine.”
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Roger Troutman was known as a happy funny energetic person who always loved music. As a child, he was interested in guitar and performed with his brothers at talent shows as a group. He then later became more known locally with his group and soon became popular on a national level through his connection with his childhood friend Bootsy Collins. Bootsy introduced him and his band to George Clinton who got them signed to Warner Bros. Records and Roger soon appeared on a Funkadelic album. When Bootsy and Roger were younger they agreed the that whoever became famous first would help the other one get noticed.
Roger released 3 solo albums, “The Many Faces Of Roger”, “The Saga Continues”, and “Bridging The Gap”. Roger is responsible for bringing Shirley Murdock to the music industry. He was her writer and producer. She is the background vocalist on his song Computer Love. In the mist of his career as a leader of the group Zapp and solo artist, many different popular artist wanted him to sing in their songs. He was very popular around this time.
As the Zapp band’s popularity was fading away, Roger Troutman’s songs were being kept alive through the face of West Coast Hip Hop in the early 90’s. Artist like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and DJ Quik all idolized Roger Troutman, and used his style of music in new ways. The success of “California Love” further pushed Roger’s impact from just Funk and R&B to a whole new genre. This song was composed by Hip Hop artists Dr. Dre and 2pac. In this song Roger Troutman’s voice is used throughout the chorus. Roger is a major influence to West coast Hip Hop, and toured all around the world through this new genre of music he was affiliated with.