Pepé Willie: From Studio to Bookstore, The Multifaceted Artist’s Latest Venture

Pepé Willie has built a solid name in the music industry. He is well-known as the ‘Godfather of the Minneapolis Sound’ and the brains behind legendary funk band 94 East. The group gave us some of the top tracks in the history of rock n roll, including The Cookhouse Five CD, which was a major hit. The Cookhouse Five was accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s newest facility in Ohio (The Library and Archives). Through his latest venture, this icon shows us that his mastery in music is one of his numerous skills.

Pepé Willie‘s new release, If You See Me: My Six Decade Journey in Rock and Roll, provides a crystal insight into his 60-year journey in Rock and Roll and is available at major online retailers countrywide.

Pepé Willie grew up in a family with a rich musical background which deeply inspired his career choice. Pepé’s uncle was one of the founding members of Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s Little Anthony and The Imperials. His aunts Dorothy and Muriel were also deep into the music industry. Muriel worked on several projects, including one with Etta James and The Peaches. Growing up watching his aunts and uncles create music, Pepé Willie’s interest was awakened, starting as a valet to Little Anthony and the Imperials. At the time, Pepé Willie was 15. 

During his time at Little Anthony and the Imperials, Pepé learned all he could about music, from composition to beat making, and he even got to interact with music legends. Pepé Willie ran errands for the artists that played at Brooklyn Fox and Paramount Theatre Holiday shows. Pepé accompanied them on recording sessions and attended gigs at popular concert venues, where he met music experts like Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonders, Tim Yuru, Dionne Warwick, The 4 Tops, Marvin Gaye, and more. This was all the push he needed as he began writing his music under Teddy Randazzo.

Pepé continued honing his skills by learning from others in the game and later founded the Minneapolis-based funk band 94 East. Pepé Willie is a founding member of the 1970s Minneapolis-based funk band, 94 East. Pepé and 94 East have released several albums and CDs FT. the late Prince Rodgers Nelson. Pepé was Prince’s mentor– he met Prince when he moved to Minnesota in 1974, and they started working together.

At the time, Prince was with Grand Central, his first group, and Pepe Willie assisted with the rehearsals and taught song composition and the business of music. Pepé Willie has also mentored others names in the industry and still does. He is the CEO and founder of Pepé Music Inc and Reo Deo record label, where he signed three artists, helping them live their passions.

Read his book, If You See Me: My Six-Decade Journey in Rock and Roll, for the finer details on his six-decade journey in rock n’ roll. The book, published by The Minnesota Historical Society Press, is available in any major retail outlet and has received exciting feedback from rock n’ roll fans.

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