Very often we get an overload of young artists who take over our radios and televisions with subpar vocals and bubblegum rhymes. Let’s face it – R&B has accepted more Pop acts into the genre then it should. In the middle of each overload though, R&B lovers are sent a blessing of a real R&B act. This time around, it’s the 21-year-old Florida native, B. Smyth.
Signed to the legendary Motown Records, B. Smyth has been making a lot of noise lately. Abruptly making his way on the scene in 2012 with his 2 Chainz featured debut, “Leggo,” the up and coming star has the vocals that are reminiscent of some of the young acts from our favorite era – the ’90s. Mixed with the dope moves that we miss seeing in music videos, B. Smyth is the next big thing coming out of the Sunshine State.
Definitely one of the most talented acts that we’ve seen in a while, B. Smyth is on his way to heavily putting on for his city. Reminding us that South Florida isn’t just filled with D-Boys and rappers, it’s easy to see that he’s got something in store for the world. In the midst of prepping for his upcoming promotional tour for his debut project, ‘The Florida Files‘ (which is out now), ThisIsRnB stole a little of B. Smyth’s time to chop it up with him about the new EP, his new-found fame, his relationship status and much more.
Jump into the exclusive interview below:
So you’re from Florida – Ft. Lauderdale to be exact, correct?
How has your new found success been received in your hometown?
For the most part, it’s been pretty well. I mean we’re still building and trying to make sure that the whole Florida – not just Broward County or Ft. Lauderdale – knows about me. You know, the entire state so we’re working on that. But right now for the most part, it’s all love down here.
Before you got into the position that you are with the industry now, how would you say the process was for you to break in?
Well, I got my start on YouTube and starting posting videos because I didn’t really know how I was gonna make it into the industry, you know? I didn’t have money for the studio and stuff like that. So, I thought the internet was a dope way and a free way to get my voice heard. I was doing it every week and getting consistent with it and was able to develop a pretty big fan base online. WorldstarHipHop picked up one of my videos and featured me as “Singing Talent of the Week” and from there, that really like jumped off everything. From there, I started getting more views on YouTube, more followers on Twitter and from there, I ended up signing with a production company by the name of EP Entertainment and we just went to labels and they started flying me out to do showcases. I pretty much showcased for every label and it came down to where I ended up signing with Motown and well, now I’m here today.
You’re known as a multi-talented artist. You sing and dance, but is there anything else that we can add to your list of talents?
Um, nah. I think I can rap sometimes, but that’s just a little hobby I got [laughs].
With the new project, The Florida Files, it’s a 6-part visual mixtape/EP, correct?
Is there any particular song that comes off of the project that you like more than the others?
Uh, yeah. There’s certain songs that I’ve had more input in creating. Like the one song that I wrote called “Letter”. It was just something that I wanted to do because I thought it would be dope to have a young dude like me actually talk about writing letters and stuff. I’m sure women nowadays don’t just want a text message or an email, so I thought it would be dope to write a song like that. Also, there’s another one called “Vibe” and I had a lot of input on that. It has like an old school ’90′s feel to it. It’s like a rendition of R.Kelly’s “She Got That Vibe”. So, it’s a couple of songs that are more so closer to me just because I had more input in creating it and putting it together.
Well, like you just said, us women don’t really like the whole text message/email thing. We’d prefer the “give me a call” type thing or even a letter. So, is there anyone at this point that you’re currently writing letters to?
Uhhh, my fans [laughs]. I mean just to anyone that supports me and just keeping that as my relationship right now. You know, I have certain friends who are in relationships and they go through stuff. For the most part, just that – nobody in specific right now.
So, you’re single?
Yeah, I’m single. I’m all alone right now [laughs]
Are there any appearances that you’re looking forward to making the rest of this year or transitioning into 2014?
Uhh, yeah. I mean I would love to do Wendy Williams or a morning show or something like that. You know, like a Jimmy Fallon or a late night talk show too.
I heard that you just recently wrapped up filming the video for the “Win Win” track that features Future. When can we expect that?
Within the next couple weeks. We actually are going through the editing process so it’ll be here soon. I’m actually really excited about it. We took it back to a neighborhood that I grew up in and it’s kinda something that can bring people into my world and where I come from. So, I’m really excited about it and I’m looking forward to it.
I really like the song. It’s super catchy and a totally different vibe from your original track with 2 Chainz. It’s a banger – I like it.
Well, thank you!
Since we’re on the subject of your tracks, you now have two very well-known artists featured on your two lead singles. You know, you have that under your belt right now. Are there any other artists that you’re looking forward to working with?
I mean not at this particular moment. Right now, I wanna take the time and really just put out songs for my fans and pretty much build my way up in the game. Like you said, these are pretty big features as far as my first two singles to have such big rappers on them. For the most part, I just really wanna do my own thing for right now. But if it makes sense, it’ll work out. But for the most part, I’m just tryna do me right now [laughs].
[Laugh] Sure. Well, I’m sure you know that coming into the industry – especially within the R&B genre – it’s an ever-changing type of sound. Back in the ’90s, R&B sounded a lot different then it does now and even in the early 2000′s. So, what do you feel as if you’re bringing to the current state and current sound of R&B?
I think I’m bringing back the music that people can feel good to. You know, R&B has changed a lot. It’s more so a mixture between Rap and R&B – I call it R&Rap [laughs]. But for the most part, it’s still good music. I remember a point in time where everyone just used to dance. Even some of the hardest rappers in the game used to dance. I feel like I just wanna bring that style and that feeling back. You know, I’m a ’90s baby myself, so I just feel like that style and that era – the whole New Jack Swing era – was a big moment in our culture and R&B. So, I just wanna bring it back to that old school.
Well we appreciate it – trust me [laughs]. Who are some of the artists you have been compared to?
For the most part, I mean I’ve gotten Chris Brown and Usher and even Trey Songz. But when it comes to stuff like that, I don’t mind the comparison because those dudes definitely inspired me to do what I do and pretty much paved the way for me. So I don’t mind the comparisons at all. But at the same time, I mean I want to eventually have the same success that they do and when the next new R&B cat comes out, they can say, “Oh you know he reminds me of B. Smyth.”
What would a perfect date be like for you? Since you’re single, I’m sure that many of your female fans would love to know what they would have to do to get B. Smyth’s attention.
A perfect date? I don’t even know [laughs]. Something like that would just probably be something at the house and I’ll cook something up – maybe she’ll cook something – we’ll watch a movie. Just whatever and chill at the crib.
So, you’re a cooker? Women like that – let me tell you right now [laughs]. What do you like to cook?
[laughs] I’m from the south, so chicken and my mom was really big on seafood growing up so I know how to cook like fish, shrimp and stuff like that.
Yeah, South Florida loves the fish, shrimp, conch and stuff like that [laughs]. I heard you’re supposed to be going out on the road soon to promote the project. Where are you hitting?
I don’t know exactly every place, but for more info, people can just stay updated with me through Twitter. But for the most part, we’re starting off in Fresno and Vegas.
I always like to ask a random question in my interviews so…if you could interview one person – dead or alive – who would it be and why?
Umm…I think I would love to interview Rick James. Just because I think it’ll be funny and just an experience. Plus, it’s Rick James.
Lastly, what would you say to someone who’s trying to get into the position that you are? Someone that may be around your age or younger – what’s a word of advice that you would give to them to help?
I would say stay focused on what you want. People will give you their opinions. You’re gonna get opinions all day, people are gonna tell what you can’t do, people are gonna say no to you. As long as you stay focused and you know, stay prayed up, and keep what you want first and make sure that whatever you’re doing you believe 100%, then it’ll work out for you.
-Interview by Ni’Kesia Pannell
You can pick up B.Smyth’s debut EP ‘The Florida Files‘ on iTunes now!
Tags: b smyth