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SALT LAKE CITY — One of the most influential people of the year takes the stage in Pioneer Park, as the second event of Salt Lake's Twilight Concert Series starts tonight. On the bill tonight: JJ Grey and Raphael Saadiq.
"You would be kind of surprised at the places I take the music to but you just got to stay with me," Saadiq said.
Coming from what he describes as "old-roots in rural Florida," Grey brings a little bit of home everywhere he plays. It's his Southern upbringing that has been the biggest influence on his latest album "Brighter Days," which he says isn't just a series of songs.
"It's talking with melody and music around it," Grey said. "To me it's always a story."
He's excited to share that story with the people of one of his favorite cities.
"The people (in Salt Lake) have always been really supportive and just into it you know?"
The audience at Pioneer Park will also hear from a man named on TIME Magazine's list of most influential people and Grammy-award winning Saadiq.
"I finally made it," Saadiq said. "It was just great to be around so many different people."
Being a musician he feels, is his life's calling, and from a young age, he knew that's what he wanted to do with his life.
"Like a kid wanting to be a football player or athlete, you want to be number 24," he said. "I was like that, but with a guitar."
With that guitar, he pays homage to what he considers to be the ultimate decade for music: the 1960s.
"I'm really influenced by popular culture from every era really," Saadiq said. "It really points towards the 60s though really, because I think that's some of the best music that ever happened."
Thursday's Twilight concert begins at 7 p.m. at Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City. Gates open at 5 p.m., and admission is $5.