Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Rashaan Patterson: Mr Dependable

Rashaan Patterson
Rashaan Patterson Rashaan Patterson Rashaan Patterson Rashaan Patterson

"The difference with this album [Bleuphoria] is that I started the pre-production for all the songs myself and I wrote the majority of the album myself. I also played on some of the songs as a musician and in this album I wanted to explore that side a lot more."

Bleuphoria with its slightly strange name is the sixth album from the multi talented singer song writer Rashaan Patterson. I always think that Rashaan Patterson is one of those artists that you can depend on to produce time and time again. There are no extensive long breaks (he produces an album every three years or so) and then embarks on a period of touring to get it out there (the old fashioned way).

This was my chance to get to interview Rashaan Patterson and it was a great thing for me because I remember getting into Patterson on his second album thinking the guy was great - with that distinctive voice. Twelve years later (thanks Blues & Soul) and here I am getting the opportunity to talk to them man himself, I did not have long but it was long enough…

So what do we first start talking about: passion we all need some of that?
“It is important to have a passion but there are a lot of people do not have a passion though. My passion is music and it has been since I was little. My dad got me a record player when I was six and he would give me certain records from his collection that I could play and from that moment on I got lost in records and music. I discovered the communication that lies within music”

Rashaan is obviously a thinker the kind that eats existentialism for breakfast, philosophy for lunch and then delves into the human condition for dinner, hence the appearance of a track simply entitled, “God”: “That song initially started out as I was hearing the lyrics and the melodies. It was coming from the perspective of the God that people go to church and pray to. I feel that as humans the only thing we have akin to that is the relationship we have with our mothers when we are born: our mother is our God. It is so interesting and powerful to be so in love with someone and someone be so in love with you that you are each other’s everything.” The song’s appearance is of no surprise from a man that grew up in "gospel and baptists churches” and attended a “catholic school." It’s a definitely more dance orientated track, possibly a bit Housey in its sound over-layered by a funky driven guitar strings.

There is a real feminine touch to this album in terms of collaborations featuring the influential Jody Watley on 'Ghost' and the mainstream success and artists’ collaboration favourite Faith Evans on 'I Only Have Eyes for You' a great track that you have to jam to. I was however really interested in his collaborations with the nineties favourite Shanice ('I love Your Smile' 1991).
One night I was working on the album and I though I need Shanice to sing on this record and so I called her and she was ecstatic.” Crazy is more of a club track with a raw funkiness emanating from its soul not my personal favourite, I think I would have to search out 'Stay With Me' as one of my favourites off this album which keeps Patterson’s standard as high as ever.

Rashaan lets me know he is over her in September playing Shepherd’s Bush and so undoubtedly cuts from this album will be making a well earned appearance and indeed judging by my declaration that I was interviewing him on my Facebook page the tickets will fly out. I am going to be there (please Lee) will you?

Rashaan Patterson's new album 'Bleuphoria' is out now through Dome Records.

Rashaan (+ N'Dambi) will be in the U.K on September 29 to play a very special live date at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Words Semper Azeez-Harris

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