What do you get when you bring two immensely talented upcoming LDS artists such as Junior Maile and Yahosh Bonner together to collaborate on recording a classic song? The answer – a melodious sound that is pleasing to the ears and soothing to the soul. That is exactly the result when the duo got together in the recording studio to perform their rendition of “Five Steps” written by James E Green, Tamir Ruffin and Wendy Miller of the popular 1990s American singing group, Dru Hill.
The group, Dru Hill, whose repertoire included soul, hip hop soul, and gospel music, was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1992 by Tamir “Nokio the N-Tity” Ruffin. His groupmates included lead singer Mark “Sisqó” Andrews, Larry “Jazz” Anthony, and James “Woody Rock” Green. The group recorded seven top 40 hits, and is best known for the R&B #1 hits “In My Bed”, “Never Make a Promise”, and “How Deep Is Your Love”.
Junior Maile comes from a strong and rich background in music. He describes himself as “a singer/songwriter who is trying to make music that I love [and] that people can relate to.” He hails from St. Petersburg, Florida, and his genres of music include R&B Soul, Reggae, Country, Gospel, and as he says, “Anything that sounds good to me.” At the young age of 5, while living in St. Petersburg, Florida, he began singing at church and ultimately spent the first 13 years of his life in the sunshine state singing at various family, school, and church functions.
His maternal roots stem from American Samoa while his patriarchal roots originate from the friendly tropical islands of Tonga which are world renowned for the strength of their paradisiacal voices. He has brothers, cousins, and uncles who are involved in music both professionally and recreationally which provide him with several avenues of inspiration from which to draw. His unique vocal style is a product of his Polynesian heritage mixed with a flavor of soulful R&B which was definitely influenced by his upbringing ‘down south’ which allows him to deliver his lyrics with a velvety smooth style that people have come to love. The timeless hits, “On This Day,” and “The Voice” are two of his original compositions written before he was even 17-years-old. By the age of 19, he had released a top-selling CD in Hawaii and continued to experience phenomenal success in music.
Yahosh Bonner also comes from an accomplished musical heritage. He is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada and has lived in Arizona, Florida, New York City, Colorado, and Nebraska. His mother, Debra Bonner, is an icon in the music industry and passed her love of music on to her 8 children. With over 20 years of experience backed by a Masters of Music Degree in Voice Performance from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, she is considered one of America’s leading voice coaches, having guided the voices of several American Idol finalists. She is also a recording artist of various genres including Pop, Gospel, Broadway, Country, Classical, R&B, and Jazz, and has shared her gift as a talented singer performing in several countries.
Yahosh’s genres of music include R&B, Hip Hop, and Gospel. In fact, his love of music is deeply rooted in his love for the gospel. He strongly believes in keeping soul music alive and looks to inspire people through his music. He states, “I look forward to sharing the gift of music that God has given me to bring the spirit into every performance.” He enjoys creating remakes of popular songs, adding a little of his own flair, style, and emotion to the songs that he performs.
These two rising stars are just getting started. Both are destined to go far in their music careers, and will be entertaining audiences for many years to come.