Space CaponeAaron Robert Winters (born November 6, 1982) better known by his stage name Space Capone, is an American recording artist, songwriter and record producer from Carthage, Indiana. Space Capone has released three albums, two independently: Vol. I: Transformation (2008) and Vol II: Arrival, Arousal (2010); and Space Capone, through AVJ Records (2012).
Winters grew up on a farm in Carthage, Indiana and was influenced by his father's vinyl record collection including Jim Croce, Eric Clapton, and country music and oldies. He didn't start writing songs and singing until he was 17.
Winters attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (2001-2003) before moving to Nashville, Tennessee and transferring to Belmont University in 2003. He released two EPs under his own name: Ocean Airliner (2004) and Supernatural Delight (2006), while living in Nashville. For the EPs, he had taken creative influences from his past and started to blend soul, funk and rock into his writing.
Vol I: Transformation (2008)After releasing Supernatural Delight in 2006, Winters' influences began to diversify as he started listening more to late 70s and early 80s R&B, such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Rick James, and Michael Jackson. He also began to experiment with falsetto vocals. He decided that creating a character to elevate the mystique behind the songs was necessary and came up with Space Capone. Winters said it looked good on paper and fit the music he was writing at the time. Vol I: Transformation symbolized his transformation from Aaron Winters to Space Capone.
Once the songs were written, he hired arranger and musician Calvin Turner (Raphael Saddiq, Marc Broussard) to produce the album. Turner hired drummer Marcus Finnie (Kirk Whalum, Michael McDonald) and had him record all the songs with no accompaniment or music. All instruments and vocals were added after the drums had been tracked. Musicians on Transformation included DeMarco Johnson (keyboards), Court Clement (guitar) and Calvin Turner (bass, string and horn arrangements). The album was recorded in a house in Nashville.
Winters was featured on TBS Entertainment's Sound Check in 2009.
Nashville Scene reviewed the album by saying, "Harmonically sophisticated, Transformation is a commercial funk record that effortlessly combines banality and exactitude in its search for a plausible heaven".
Vol II: Arrival, Arousal (2010)
Winters formed a core band around the release of Transformation, including Ben Stix (drums), Drew Wilson (bass) Sam Farkas (guitar) Mikie Martel (trumpet, synthesizer), Joe D. Douglas (Saxophone) and Neal Dahlgren (keyboards). They began touring regionally in the Southeast. Space Capone began to garner a fan base, playing festivals including Nashville's Live on the Green Music Festival (2009), New York's CMJ (2009), Bulldog Bash (2010) and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (2010). The Bonnaroo performance was won by entering a live competition sponsored by BMI in competition with 28 other bands, where Space Capone and three other acts won the spot to play the festival. In June 2010 they played a Nashville Flood charity event, opening for Ke$ha.
While not on the road, Winters worked as a carpenter in Nashville. He hired Calvin Turner again to produce the second release, Vol II: Arrival, Arousal. After getting some demo recordings together, Turner hired John Robinson to play drums on four songs, which he did remotely from his home in Los Angeles. Lamar Carter played drums on the rest of the album. Turner enlisted Johnson and Clement again as well.
Space Capone (2012)
After releasing Arrival, Arousal independently in 2010, booking agent Brian Waymire signed Space Capone to Buddy Lee Attractions. Winters continued to tour and garnered the attention of AVJ Records, an imprint of the independent label Average Joes Entertainment, with which he signed a deal in 2011.
Space Capone then recorded their self-titled album with Turner, Winters and Dahlgren all co-producing under the moniker "Hot Concrete". Turner hired Jerry Hey (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Toto) to arrange the horns, and had Jay Graydon (Airplay, Steely Dan) featured as a guitarist on the song "Naturally". The first single was the only song taken from previous recordings, the track "I Just Wanna Dance," which was originally recorded on Transformation and re-released digitally on November 15, 2011. The music video featured Lauren Glazier.
Following the release of Space Capone, the live band continued touring and continued to play clubs and festivals including LouFest, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Hangout Music Festival, Summerfest, Bear Creek, Rombello, Spring Fest, Bele Chere and Lollapalooza; when Space Capone played Summerfest they were direct support for Kool & the Gang. Space Capone was named by Spin in the "Top 15 Must-See Acts" at 2013's Hangout Fest, along with Kendrick Lamar and Ellie Goulding.
Members of Turkuaz, The Motet, and Thievery Corporation covered Space Capone on March 26, 2019 at Cervante's Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, Colorado.