THISISRNB INTERVIEWS

Exclusive: Dawn Richard Talks New Album ‘Blackheart’ and Redefining Music

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Dawn Richard needs no introduction to music lovers. As a founding member of the platinum-selling girl group, Danity Kane, and later one-third of Bad Boy Records’ Diddy-Dirty Money, Richard has paid her dues both in the studio and on the stage.

But these days Richard is rolling solo. Off the heels of her critically-acclaimed debut full-length album, Goldenheart, the 31-year-old singer is back with the same attitude, but different sound.

Blackheart, the second part of a trilogy conceptual album, is Richard’s musical statement piece. It’s dark, introspective and unlike anything some listeners could expect. Not to mention, it’s already climbed to the No. 1 spot on the iTunes electronic chart. Though her sound has often been coined “progressive R&B,” Richard says she’d rather not be put into a box. Instead she just wants her music to be accepted for what it is: undefined.

In an exclusive interview, Richard tell us the story behind her “heart” trilogy, why former DK bandmate Aundrea Fimbres is the only feature on the album and why she prefers to be a genreless artist. Check out that and more below!

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Exclusive: Ne-Yo Talks New Album ‘Non-Fiction,’ Using Fan Stories, Making Quality Music No Matter Genre, State of R&B, and More!

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Outstanding. That’s the first word that comes to mind when sought after singer-songwriter Ne-Yo is mentioned. From his work behind the pen for some of your favorite artists to the vocal abilities that he pushes through on his on tracks, the self-proclaimed Gentleman of R&B has given us hit after hit throughout his time in the industry.

Gearing up for the release of his sixth studio album Non-Fiction – which is set to hit stores on January 27 – the multi-talented artist has a lot to sing about this time around. Choosing to go a different route than with his previous albums, the “She Knows” singer called on a few lucky fans to assist in the creation of the upcoming project. With lead singles such as “Money Can’t Buy” featuring Jeezy, the Juicy J assisted “She Knows,” and the recently visually adapted, “Coming With You,” the anticipation for what Ne-Yo’s offering this time around is exceedingly high from fans everywhere.

Taking some time to chat with ThisIsRnB about the creative process of the album, using fans real stories on tracks like “Religious,” creating quality music no matter genre, the positives and negatives of R&B today, and more, Ne-Yo gave us one of the best interviews we’ve had in quite some time.

Make yourself at home with the exclusive interview below!

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Exclusive: Johnny Gill Talks New Album ‘Game Changer,’ State of R&B & New New Edition Album!

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R&B veteran Johnny Gill is gearing up for the release of his seventh solo album Game Changer, due in stores December 9. The legendary singer has given R&B fans hit after hit as a member of New Edition, LSG, and as a solo artist. Now, Johnny is back not only with a new solo project, but also with a forthcoming New Edition album as well.

ThisisRnB recently caught up with Gill to discuss his new album, longevity, the state of R&B, New Edition’s new album, and much more.

Check out the full interview below!

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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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