Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Raheem DeVaughn: It's all in the De-tail

Raheem DeVaughn
Raheem DeVaughn Raheem DeVaughn Raheem DeVaughn Raheem DeVaughn

The self proclaimed R&B Hippie Neo-Soul Rock Star Raheem DeVaughn recently passed through London to promote his critically acclaimed album 'The Love and War Masterpiece'. Having grown up in Maryland and hones his singing skills in clubs in Washingston DC; Raheem is currently one of the leading male vocalists in the R&B field. The Grammy nominated and BET award winning vocalist spoke with Blues & Soul’s Ricardito about music, collaborations and Sade.

Raheem on the success of his new album
It’s been good. I think I am the type of artist that time and time again either people love or don’t know about. So it means promoting continuously and not give up on it, promoting the records for months at a time and that’s what I am willing to do to get the word out. I try not have any expectations that way I don’t get let down. At the end of the day I just like to make the best music that I can make and put it out to the world and see how they respond to it. It’s always kind of hard and weird to gauge it. When you get on stage and it’s sold out, or the line is wrapped around the building, or you go i-tunes and there are great reviews that’s not bad at all.

Raheem’s musical history
I was a pretty sheltered kid, a slow starter. I was pretty secretive with my passion for music and I guess my talent and what-not. I broke out of my shell once I graduated from high school and got into college in my first year. From there it’s been pretty much cruise control, just been chasing my dream and developing myself as an artist and trying new things. Here we are 3 albums, 8 mix tapes and 4 independent albums later; I have a lot of music out there throughout the world; some that people do know about and some that people don’t know about. So I am definitely not a fly-by-night artist… for people that are just hearing about me because of the Love and War Masterpiece, you know I have two other albums out which are 'Love Behind The Melody' and 'The Love Experience'; I think both of those albums are timeless in their own way.

On his creative process
As far as writing process I don’t physically write anything down, I’m not that kind of writer. I just go into the booth and the magic just happens. Kenny Dope (producer) always yells at me “Man we got to record this!” So I have started to do sessions now where I use studios where we just be recording and I don’t even know its recording you know. It’s a great experience, as long as I have a good, fast engineer, and there is music that I love to sing over then it all comes together; it’s like magic. Definitely giving thanks to the creator God for that, it’s a gift that is bestowed upon us.

Raheem on collaborations
[With] a lot of those cats me and them tour together, we have met and befriended each other, or I have been a fan or become a fan of theirs. I will reach out man, I am one of the few that will reach out, I will find you and track you down. If you are responsive cool, if not then that’s cool too. There were a lot of people that I wanted to get on the ‘Nobody Wins A War’ record, a lot of people that I reached out to because I respect their art. Ultimately the people that were supposed to be on there are on there. It’s an honour, I am down for the collaborations whenever man, it’s not about the money with me but more so about the art.

Raheem on bedroom music
I’m exuding love or exuding sex or passion. When I make those types of records there’s a thin line you know what I mean? So I want to always remain intact as far as it comes to creating a tasteful love song, or tasteful bedroom song. I feel it should be gently done with swagger and that’s the goal. I feel like it should be witty; as I feel like B.O.B. and Microphone are probably some of my wittiest songs to date. We are talking about in the bedroom and flat out talking about sex but without being able to say it. Like with Microphone I can ride with my 5 year old in car and he won’t know what I am talking about, or even B.O.B. because he won’t necessarily get what I am saying.

Raheem on getting awards
Its cool, but it will be a big difference when I take some armour home (laughs). I have a couple of BET awards under my belt, but as far as the Grammy’s I do want that, but I want then when God wants that for me. I don’t go into a studio to make an album chasing a Grammy; that’s (the Grammy) recognition from your peers. The fact I have the two nods lets me know that my peers are checking for me. You know it’s even bigger than that, the fact I am here and my music is way bigger than America is… I want to be in Europe for about six months of the year here touring, as I make the type of music that the world understands. You know I have performed for people who do not understand English but know the lines to every line of my songs.

Raheem on leisure time
I enjoy spending time with my kids, they are getting older now so I can do cool stuff with them. My oldest just turned five; I threw a party for him right before I left the states. My youngest son is two, he will be three in January, and they are my little soldier’s man. Even at a young age they understand what I do and that I have to be away, so I am trying lay a foundation for them.

Final three questions:
1) Name your three buckwild songs that you go crazy for when you hear on the radio or in a club?
'Welcome to Jam Rock' by Damien Marley. Big poppa by Biggie Smalls. I would definitely have to go with Dr Dre, any joint the 'Chronic 2000' album.

2) Name three artist dead or alive that you would to work with or produce for?
Prince. Marvin Gaye. Sade, I actually have a song ready for Sade. I have a song I wanted her to be part of for this album. I didn’t song on the album because I wanted to pursue possibly getting on this record; its tailor made for her to do. In the event I am not able to I am going to put that record out on the next album and I’m gonna call it Dear Sade (laughs)

3) You are on the cover of Billboard or Variety magazine in 5 years time, what would you like the headline to say?
“Grammy-Award winning artist Raheem Devaughn: Successful entrepreneur of 368 music group, constantly world touring and at the height of his success but still keeps it humble”

Final message for his Blues & Souls fans
Hit me on Twitter at 368Hustlers, become my friend on Facebook. The biggest thing you can do is tell 10 people about me, and then tell those 10 people to tell 10 people and it will spread. Get the albums on i-tunes, support the music, because you guys keep real music alive.
Words Richard 'Ricardito' Ashie

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