THISISRNB INTERVIEWS

Exclusive: Monica Talks New Album ‘CODE RED,’ Being Genuine with Success, Sustaining Relatable Music & Much More

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1995. A big chunk of us were still trying to figure out exactly what type of freak Adina Howard was and trying to get high off of the love from the “Brown Sugar” D’Angelo was bringing to the party. While the remainder of us were busy hitting the nearest pool party, chasing “Waterfalls” and getting our up-do’s ready for one of the biggest years in Freaknik history. 1995 took us on a “Fantasy” with Mariah, reminded us to party on Friday with Montell Jordan, and let us know just exactly what we reminded R. Kelly of. In that same year though, a young, beautiful, and no mess implementer by the single name of Monica stepped on the scene and caught the attention of everyone in sight.

Equipped with a fierce pixie cut, huge voice, and even bigger attitude, the then 14-year-old songstress made her impact and let everyone know that she was – without a doubt – here to stay. Releasing her aptly titled debut album Miss Thang, Mo’s vocals, demeanor, and bright smile proved that producer Dallas Austin had found yet another diamond vocalist in the streets of Atlanta, GA.

Fast-forward 20 years, eight albums-with more than 25 million sold, and numerous acting roles later, here we have the 35-year-old Monica – who now places Brown at the end of her name. Overcoming adversity, building a family, standing firm, and remaining relevant in her lengthy and successful career, the mother of three has had more success than you can imagine – and not just in the form of singing. Perhaps one of the most humble artists walking this earth, Monica has amassed an incredible following and reputation for being a lover and genuine talent who has no fear of transparency.

Taking a short hiatus from the music, Mo’ is back and ready to bring the heat. Her eighth studio album, Code Red, is out in stores today and according to her, fans will get what they’ve been waiting for. Prior to its release though, we got the opportunity to catch up with the vocalist – who we can almost confidently say has never missed a note in her life – to discuss the new album, her musical evolution, being a believer, working with some of the greats, and so much more.

Take a look at our exclusive interview below!

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Exclusive: Tory Lanez Talks Hit Single “Say It,” Breakout ‘Chixtapes,’ Independent vs. Record Deal, and Being the Savior of R&B

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Tory Lanez. If your first time hearing his name and voice was only this past summer when he released his hit single “Say It,” then we’ve got to ask: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

Arguably delivering some the most underrated material of the past three years, the 23-year-old Toronto native found an imploding sense of success with his most notable mixtapes, Chixtape and Chixtape 2. While the young artist impressed with his ability to expand across both the R&B and Hip Hop genres, it was his unique way of being able to deliver hard hitting lines as well as melodic and relatable lyrics that made us realize “he’s definitely next to blow.”

Falling in line with our track record of co-signing many artists who are “next to blow,” it was 2014 where the second installment of Chixtape hit our ears and then shortly following, Lost Cause was released. Undeniably two of the best mixtapes to be delivered that year, it wouldn’t be long before the talented artist was recognized on a level higher than just cosigns and statements of him being overly underrated.

Now signed to Interscope Records through hitmaker Benny Blanco’s imprint Mad Love, the young and poppin’ artist is without a doubt one of the hottest right now. Releasing his collaboration mixtape Cruel Intentions with WeDidIt at the top of the summer, it wasn’t until a month later that mainstream listeners would be exposed to the singer and all that he had to offer with his breakout single, “Say It.”

Taking time out of his hectic schedule to chop it up with us recently, Tory let us know what it’s like having a rapidly growing fan base and no longer be independent. He discussed the impact of his environment on his musical ambitions, upcoming music (spoiler: you may have a new favorite installment of Chixtape soon), and most interestingly, being the savior of R&B.

Take a look at our exclusive interview below!

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Exclusive: Rising Artist Jacquees Talks ’19’ EP, Upcoming Album, Chris Brown Collaborations, Scream Tour and More

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With quantity over quality becoming the new motto for many artists today, it’s always nice to find young artists who still believe in putting forth more effort into their work opposed to just putting out as much as they can. While we’re always huge supporters of R&B and all that comes along with it (including all of its changes), finding young artists who still value the traditional sound and feel of the genre has been a difficult task.

Two years ago, I was given the opportunity to meet a young up and coming singer by the name of Jacquees, performing at the Jagged Edge Anniversary event sponsored by D’usse in Atlanta, Georgia.  The young and nervous looking teenager left all of his uncertainty behind as soon as he picked up the mic and opened his mouth. Talented and personable, Jacquees took the room by surprise with his big voice, long hair, and lyrics equipped with enough raunchiness to take every grown woman in the building straight to the bedroom. It was at that moment that I knew that he wouldn’t have the story of many aspiring singers that only went as far as a few showcases and local performances.

Fast forward two years into the future and here we are. Jacquees, now 21, is signed to Cash Money Records, headlining this year’s “Scream Tour” alongside Rich Homie Quan, Justine Skye, Elijah Blake and more, and still singing his life away. Following his successful independently released debut EP 19, the young singer has been setting his sights on nothing but the top. In the process of preparing for his tour, Jacquees took some time to chat with us about all things past, present, and future for his career.

Take a look at our exclusive interview below!

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Exclusive: Sevyn Streeter Live at Essence Festival 2015

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Sevyn Streeter returned to New Orleans this past July 4th weekend to perform at ESSENCE Music Festival for the second year in a row. Following a commanding performance at the “Hot Right Now” Superlounge, we caught up with the singer/songwriter for a quick backstage interview.

Always fun to chat with, Sevyn shared why she loves the Essence experience so much, and what fans can expect from her upcoming EP ‘Should Been There,’ due out July 17. Additionally she told us what song – past or present – does she wish she wrote and why, plus she shared her dream team all-star collaboration.

Check out the interview below!

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Exclusive: Adrian Marcel Live at Essence Festival 2015

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Adrian Marcel traveled down to New Orleans this past July 4th weekend to perform for the first time at the 21st annual ESSENCE Music Festival. Following a noteworthy performance at the “Hot Right Now” Superlounge, we caught up with the R&B singer for a quick backstage interview.

Always open and honest, Adrian spoke with us about how he stays so humble and true to himself, he talked about the creation of his latest project ‘Weak After Next: Reloaded,’ and shared which song he wishes was made an official single off his debut mixtape ‘7 Days of Weak.’ Additionally, while he wouldn’t reveal too much, Adrian gave us a little info on what fans can expect from his upcoming single produced by Ayo The Producer.

Check out the interview below:

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Exclusive: Elle Varner Live at Essence Festival 2015

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Elle Varner returned to New Orleans this past July 4th weekend to perform at ESSENCE Music Festival for the second year in a row. Following a commanding performance at the “Now Playing” Superlounge, we caught up with the songstress for a quick backstage interview.

Quirky and fun-spirited as always, Elle had plenty to tell us about how fans are embracing her new music, the sounds and styles of her anticipated sophomore album ‘4 Letter Word,’ which she is very eager to release, and she hinted at a big collaboration she has coming up. Speaking about collabos the singer/songwriter revealed who she is and wants to work with still on the project, and shared her dream all-star collaboration.

Check out the interview below:

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Exclusive: Teedra Moses Live at Essence Festival 2015

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Teedra Moses returned to her hometown of New Orleans this past July 4th weekend for the annual ESSENCE Music Festival. Following an outstanding performance at the “Soul of R&B” Superlounge, we caught up with the self-proclaimed Lioness for a brief backstage interview.

After over a decade since the release of her acclaimed debut album, the underground favorite will be releasing her much-anticipated sophomore album, Cognac & Conversation on August 7. While admitting that it’s always hard to choose one, Teedra shared with us details about her current favorite song off the forthcoming album. She also told us which new R&B artist is really inspiring her right now, how she stays so driven after all these years, and who her ideal dream team all-star collaboration would be.

Check out the interview below:

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Exclusive: Eric Bellinger Talks New Album ‘Cuffing Season,’ Making Modern Love Music Inspired by Real Life

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Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Eric Bellinger is prepping for the release of his anticipated new album Cuffing Season, now due out July 17 via YFS/300 Entertainment. The album features Boosie, Tank, T Boz, 2 Chainz, Mya and more, with production by Ayo, Bam, D Mile, DJ Mustard, Tommy Brown and more.

While he was visiting New York City recently we caught up with the R&B hitmaker for an exclusive interview at a bungalow in Spotify’s NYC office to talk about the new album, his personal life, and how the two are so closely intertwined.

“Each project was my life through music,” explained Eric while talking about the progression between his last album The ReBirth, prelude mixtape ‘Choose Up Season,’ and the forthcoming Cuffing Season album. Eric breaks down the transition musically and in his personal life, explaining how using those personal moments turned into the best way to promote the new album, and celebrate a lifestyle dedicated to a monogamous relationship.

“I could have been here, I could have been there, I could have been with that person, but love made me do it,” he says referencing the song “Love Made Me Do It.” A title that is so amply suited for the album’s theme, which is a trend throughout the tracklisting. Going further he gives us details on some of the features on the project, including the Boosie-assisted “You Can Have The Hoes,” the TLC inspired “Creep” which features none other than T-Boz herself, and the Tank-asssisted “Turn Down For You.”

Eric has coined himself the “King Cuffer” and he is proud to wear the title and persona with the intent to inspire the culture and young generations to be devoted to whomever they choose to love.

Check out the interview below!

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