THISISRNB INTERVIEWS

Exclusive: Recounting the “Crazy, Sexy, Cool” of TLC’s Classic Diamond-Selling Album, 20-Years Later (with Commentary from Chilli!)

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Nov. 15, 1994 there was a musical explosion. One of the greatest R&B albums of all time was released. That album, was the legendary TLC‘s sophomore effort, CrazySexyCool.

The album was a collaborative work by some of the most profound writers and producers of the time, including Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and more.  The LP’s title delivered a relatable identity for fans as Left Eye represented the “Crazy,” Chilli the “Sexy,” and T-Boz the “Cool.”  Laced with sexy and sultry ballads, and some up-tempo flava, the album will live on forever as a staple in the R&B genre. TLC’s pioneering blend of R&B, Hip Hop and Pop music resonated extremely well with mainstream audiences as fans rushed out to buy the Atlanta trio’s sophomore project.

The album stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for more than two years and simultaneously went diamond, making TLC the first girl group to achieve this success. To date, CrazySexyCool has sold over 23 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by an American girl group, and the second best selling album worldwide behind the Spices Girls’ Spice. All four singles from the album reached the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, two of them reaching number one.

As the double-diamond certified album turns 20 this month, it’s only right that we reflect on the amazing Crazy, Sexy, Cool of TLC’s second album!

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Exclusive: Adrian Marcel Talks Debut Album ‘Got Me F’d Up,’ Influence from Raphael Saadiq

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During our recent chat with rising R&B singer Adrian Marcel we delved in to his forthcoming debut album, which is titled ‘Got Me F’d Up‘ or GMFU for short, due out early 2015 via Republic Records.  After releasing two very impressive free mixtapes, 7 Days of Weak and Weak After Next, the Oakland native has plans to end the year with an EP prior to his full-length album.

While many of his fans felt like his mixtapes were album quality or very close to it, the young singer/songwriter has the bar set much higher for his first LP. In his mind the label “mixtape” keeps listeners with low expectations, but an album is different, and he plans to deliver on that higher expectation with GMFU.

“This album is huge for me because I don’t know if I could get anymore honest. It’s a lot of songs on there keeping up with life and where I am at now and where I see myself,” explained Adrian. “There are insecurities on there, there are proud moments, everything that I’ve been through, it’s all on it.”

Adrian talked about making certain records such as his summer hit “2 AM” to reach a larger audience, and why it’s so important to make a coherent album including records that can work at radio, in the bedroom and for all emotions. “There’s so much that I can do, and I don’t like to put myself in a box. So I enjoy the challenge of finding the commercial, finding the honest, finding the ballads, finding the heartbreak, finding the love, because it’s about putting together a full project.”

Additionally, he spoke about working with his mentor Raphael Saadiq, and his influence over his music, career and life.

Check out the full interview below!

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Exclusive: Adrian Marcel Talks ‘Weak After Next,’ “2 AM” Success, Being a Father While Pursuing R&B Music Career

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This past summer, rising R&B singer/songwriter Adrian Marcel released his second mixtape ‘Weak After Next‘ and continued to greatly impress a growing fan base with the quality of material he delivers. With a new EP on the way before the end of the year, and his anticipated debut album Got Me F’d Up coming early 2015, ThisisRnB TV caught up with Adrian while he was recently in NYC for a performance.

Always a candid conversation, the Oakland native holds nothing back when we chat, and during our sit-down he opened up about the extended recording process for ‘Weak After Next,’ making sure it was a true follow-up to his breakout 2013 mixtape 7 Days of Weak, and choosing the right songs to give away at this time, while holding some very special ones back for his debut LP.

Adrian claims to be a pretty private person, even though he tends to give quite detailed descriptions of his decisions and thought processes with his work, however on his latest mixtape he revealed, in a special way, that he has a young daughter. We spoke about his choice for sharing that information through an interlude on the mixtape, where she leaves him a touching voicemail, he talked about how she influences his choices, and the life of being a father while pursuing a music career.

In addition to his free music, Adrian has found some commercial success with the popular club/radio single “2 AM,” which was a sound he had not previously released, and surprised some fans. He talked about making that decision and why he needs to make sure he has radio friendly music so his other music has a better chance of being heard by the masses, and how it all comes down to if the feeling is authentic.

Check out the full interview clip below:

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Exclusive: K. Michelle Shares Emotional Conversation with Smokey Robinson

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K. Michelle has accomplished so much in the process of making and releasing her debut album Rebellious Soul, and has been able to meet many of her biggest inspirations. Some of whom have helped her along the way as mentors or just shared their own wisdom and best wishes for her.

During our recent chat with the R&B songstress she shared with us a special story about meeting and speaking with the legendary Smokey Robinson, who happened to be on the same flight as her.

K revealed that she couldn’t hold back the tears during their conversation because Smokey was so understanding, insightful and welcoming to her struggles. He was confident she would one day get married to a good man, and reminded her that the great ones always get into trouble.

On her upcoming sophomore album, K is stepping out of her R&B comfort zone and incorporating other styles of music, which she also spoke about with him.

“He gave me a lot of wisdom on making music from the heart, and I was talking to him about this album, really not being a R&B album, which is really going to be difficult for a lot of people to accept but it’s not a genre based album, it’s a feel-good album,” she said. “I was talking to him about that, and risks are necessary to take, especially if the music isn’t forced and it’s from you.”

Check out the interview clip below:

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Exclusive: K. Michelle Talks New Singles “Love ‘Em All,” “Maybe I Should Call,” Upcoming Sophomore Album, Taking Risks with Her Music

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K. Michelle is one of the most charismatic and boisterous artists that we’ve had in R&B in quite some time. The Memphis native is wasting no time on the follow-up to her debut album Rebellious Soul, which she recently revamped as an inventive TV musical for VH1. While her debut LP hit stores only a year ago, the talented singer/songwriter is putting the finishing touches on her sophomore album, which she has been teasing with the hashtag #AWBAH.

Earlier this month K released the first single from the project, “Love ‘Em All,” which surprised many with it’s rock heavy production, but has been acclaimed and praised by many fans and new listeners for it’s catchy and confident theme.

ThisisRnB TV recently caught up with the R&B songstress for a sit-down interview about her new records, upcoming album and much more. In this clip from our chat K. Michelle talks to us about where she was mentally when creating her new singles, “Love ‘Em All” and “Maybe I Should Call,” the major differences between her upcoming album and her debut, her Country music influence, the album’s unexpected collaborations, and why it was so important to take some risks with her new music and this project.

“I looked around and I was like, ‘why should I be boxed and forced to sing a certain kind of lonely girl I’m so hurt, cuz I’m the little lonely black girl who had to struggle’ [type of song],” said K. Michelle. “Who wants to sing that all their life and be miserable all their life, there’s other sh*t going on other than heartbreak. I was just determined to talk about all those topics and sing ‘em how I felt ‘em, not how people look at my skin tell me how I’m supposed to sing them.”

“If you’re gonna go out, go out with a bang,” she continued. “If the fans get it that’s all that matters.”

Check out the interview below, and stay tuned for her second new single “Maybe I Should Call,” followed by the official video announcement of her new album.

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Exclusive: Elijah Blake Talks Personal Single “6,” Upcoming EP ‘Drift,’ Relationship with Keyshia Cole, Bono & Kanye West Collaboration, Progressive R&B and Much More!

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One thing more difficult than obtaining your dreams is building up the courage to actually follow them. Although the public looks at your success as obtained overnight, the long road and lonely moments prove different. While fans of R&B crooner Elijah Blake may feel as if his stardom has come to light more recently, the hardworking singer-songwriter has been on his grind for quite some time now.

Penning tracks for many of your favorite artists, it wasn’t until his angelic voice was heard on Rick Ross’ 2012 single, “Presidential” and again on The Game’s “Freedom” that the attention began to center around the talented star. Taking the opportunity to release his debut EP Bijoux 22 the same year, Elijah had finally found his time to shine as his own artist.

Now, working with some of the top stars on the year’s most anticipated projects, Elijah Blake is ready to get things moving for the biggest star of them all…himself. With plans to release his dark and mysterious EP Drift this fall and his debut album Songs About Melody next year, Elijah has grabbed the attention of R&B lovers everywhere. With releases such as “Towers of Tokyo,” the talked about “6,” and the newly released “Wicked,” one thing we do know is that he has no plans of disappointing.

Finding some time to chat with ThisIsRnB, the talented artist let’s us in on the creation of his projects, working with the big stars, his journey into being his own artist and more. So, grab your popcorn and get settled because this is definitely one you don’t want to miss!

Catch the exclusive interview below!

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Exclusive: DJ Mustard Talks R&B Influences, Favorite Artists, Impact of His Music

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Brisk Iced Tea recently brought their Brisk Bodega summer music series to New York City. The special event, held at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, included performances from Roc Nation recording artist and producer DJ Mustard along with Bodega Bamz, Deniro Farrar and DJ Mode. The New York event was the third stop of the Brisk Bodega summer music series, which includes a six-city tour featuring up-and-coming and established talent, curated by Mustard.

ThisisRnB TV caught up with the hitmaking producer prior to his set to talk about the influence R&B has had on him and his music. The L.A. native shared his favorite R&B artists of the moment, some of his favorite records and artists from the past, how his sound is impacting R&B and today’s music in general, and who he is feeling from New York right now.

DJ Mustard will be releasing his debut album 10 Summers on August 12 via Google Play, and it will be available at all digital retailers worldwide on August 26. The 12 track project includes features from Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Jeezy, YG, Ty Dolla $ign, TeeFlii, Eric Bellinger and many more.

Check out our exclusive interview now below:

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Exclusive: Verse Simmonds Talks Chris Brown’s New Album X, Journey To Writing Fame, State of R&B and More!

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Being an artist in the industry isn’t the only thing that makes you a celebrity nowadays. In the past, songwriters and producers were seldom mentioned to the outside public and it was left up to the singers to make the creation gain popularity. Now, producers and songwriters have stepped from behind the scene and in some cases, have become even more popular than the artist who performs the song. Take those like The-Dream, Pharrell and DJ Mustard. Although each one is now an artist on their own, they all got their careers started behind the scenes and grew to become some of the industry’s most sought after writers and producers.

The same story has become the case for famed songwriter, Verse Simmonds. With credits ranging from R.Kelly and Rihanna to now penning three of Chris Brown’s current releases off of his anticipated upcoming album X, Verse is clearly making his name in the game as like his predecessors. Many might remember Verse from his 2009 club hit, “Buy You A Round (Up and Down),” but it was in 2011 that his fame skyrocketed with the single, “Boo Thang” featuring Kelly Rowland.

Now, three years after his biggest hit, the singer-songwriter-producer is stepping from behind the scenes again to chat with ThisIsRnB. Discussing his current success with singles for Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Usher, the impressive artist let us in on just where he thinks R&B is now and is going next, his personal artistry, and just what Verse Simmonds has to offer for R&B fans everywhere.

Get into the interview below!

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