THISISRNB INTERVIEWS

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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Exclusive: Mack Wilds Talks New Vibe Cover, Current Sound of R&B, Being An Actor Turned Singer, His Album & More

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Stepping into the entertainment industry is already a difficult task for any aspiring artist. What’s even more difficult though, is trying to move over from one area to the next. In the past when actors have tried to add singing or rapping to their resumes, it very seldom works out. However, when a talent prevails like Jamie Foxx, Tyrese, Jared Leto, Justin Timberlake, or new school triple threat acts like Zendaya and Trevor Jackson, we often forget that they were even known for acting or singing in the first place.

Somewhat of the same case can be said for famed actor Mack Wilds. Receiving fame in 2006 for his role as Michael Lee in the HBO hit series The Wire, Tristan – who uses Mack as his stage name – has been a well-known actor starring in top productions such as Red Tails and 90210. Now, eight years after the start to his most famous role, the New York native is becoming known for something a little different.

Receiving a Grammy nomination for his debut album New York: A Love Story, Mack Wilds has gained a large amount of critical acclaim for his ability to jump in and out of both sides of the entertainment industry. Truly talented in all arenas, the 24-year-old actor turned singer/rapper turned heads when his debut single, “Own It” hit airwaves in 2013.

Although it’s now just a short year, full album, dope singles and a Vibe Magazine cover later, the singer is taking on many heights in his career and owns it all well. Taking a little time to chat with ThisIsRnB about his current ventures, Mack is ready to take over 2014 and the years to come. Discussing his new Vibe Magazine cover, upcoming music plans, current sound and more, this interview will surely let you in on just who Mack Wilds really is.

Jump into the exclusive interview below:

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Exclusive: Day 26 Talk ‘The Return’ EP, Remaining As The Original Group, Current State of R&B & More!

Day 26 2014

In the ’90s, R&B was in its prime. With groups such as Jodeci, Silk, and Boyz II Men supplying us with quality, authentic music, it’s easy to remember just why we have become obsessed with the sounds of that time. Unfortunately though, more than 20 years have passed and we still haven’t been able to replicate the same feeling from music that we got back then.

That was, however, until we met the men of Day 26. Formed in 2007 by Sean “Diddy” Combs via his Making the Band series,  Rob, Willie, Brian, Que and Mike erupted onto the scene with their big personalities and even bigger voices. Delivering two classic albums that hosted a number of tracks such as “So Good” and “Since You’ve Been Gone,” we watched wide eyed as the five talented members shot to stardom.While the years have brought them much fame to celebrate from, the group hit a few snags as well. From losing Que, to an all out disbandment, R&B almost lost one of its most talented contemporary acts.

Now, two years after their official disbandment, the lovable group is back and ready to do it right. Packed with all five original members, Que, Willie, Rob, Mike and Brian are wasting no time singing their way back into our hearts. Returning with the new single, “Bullsh*t” and Silk cover song “Lose Control,” Day 26 has returned from their hiatus to give us what we’ve been missing…the true essence of R&B.

While prepping for the release of their upcoming EP The Return, ThisIsRnB.com got the chance to chop it up with the fellas and discuss plans for new music, the EP, reuniting as a band and much more.

Check out the exclusive interview below!

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Exclusive: Mya Talks New EP’s ‘With Love’ & ‘Sweet XVI,’ Today’s Music, Taking Care of Self

R&B songstress Mya made a surprise comeback this year with the release of two EP projects, February’s ‘With Love‘ and April’s ‘Sweet XVI.’  The singer/actress has mostly focused on her overseas fan base over the past 6 years, releasing 2 albums on Japan’s Manhattan Records.

Now back on the scene in the States, ThisisRnB TV caught up with the 34-year-old in Los Angeles for a new interview. As lovely and sweet as she’s always been, the soft-spoken artist talked to us about celebrating 16 years in music with the new EP’s, and why she didn’t want to wait any longer to give fans some new music.

Mya shared her take on being an independent artist and navigating today’s ever changing music industry, how she feels about music now and the fusion of multiple genres, working with rising R&B singer/songwriter Eric Bellinger on their duet single “Same Page,” taking care of herself through diet and fitness, and her latest acting projects.

Check out the interview above, and you can pick up Mya’s new EP’s on iTunes now.


Exclusive: Anthony Lewis Talks “Candy Rain,” New Music, The Perfect Date & Much More

Anthony Lewis Press

Hearing one of your favorite songs from your childhood being remade as an adult can often cause a riot in the dedicated fan. As music lovers, we have a tendency to want to preserve the originality and initial feeling that we get from a song that we’ve grown to love. Hearing it remade to fit the current times can take us on a whirlwind of emotions and usually, that involves a few derogatory remarks as well as ugly facial expressions.

Going against the grain and creating a remake that the new and old-schoolers can love, 17-year-old Anthony Lewis is on his way to the top of the charts. Releasing his version of the Soul For Real 90′s smash hit “Candy Rain,” the young California native is no newby to how the industry moves. With both of his parents having names for themselves as singers from the ’90s era, it was only natural that the buzzing star followed the same path. Now going all out to make his dream become a reality, Anthony Lewis has been doing all that he can to hone in on his skills as a multi-talented artist.

We recently spoke with the heartthrob-in-the-making about his journey thus far, what fans can be expecting from him, how he approaches a lady and more.

You’ll fall in love with all that the singer has to offer after reading our interview with him. Get to know Anthony Lewis below:

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Exclusive: Rico Love Talks Early Career, ‘Discrete Luxury’ EP & Artistry

Rico Love is just now starting to become a familiar name to the mainstream public, thanks to his breakout Top 10 hit “They Don’t Know,” but the Louisiana born artist/producer is a great example of how real success never happens overnight.  Starting out as a rapper, Richard “Rico Love” Butler, began pursuing his dreams while attending Florida A&M University, going back and forth to Atlanta to network and work with burgeoning producers the Corna Boyz. Through this relationship Rico landed a record deal with Usher’s US Records and eventually penned his first big song, “Throwback,” from the diamond-selling Confessions album.

Putting his own music to the side, Rico immersed himself into songwriting and producing, building up a massive catalog of hits for the likes of Beyoncé, Usher, Nelly, Kelly Rowland, Trey Songz and many more. Finally returning to the spotlight in 2013 with the release of his debut EP ‘Discrete Luxury,’ Rico landed his first big hit as a solo artist with the catchy “They Don’t Know.”

Currently promoting the EP, prepping for his tour with rapper Future, and working on his full-length album Turn The Lights On, ThisisRnB TV caught up with Rico Love at SiriusXM in NYC for a new interview.

Rico spoke to us about his early grind and getting his big break working with the Corna Boyz, who are now signed to his production company, writing “Throwback” for Usher, how he approaches songwriting, his new EP, passion for performing live, and plans for his upcoming album.

Check out the full interview above, and if you missed it, watch Rico reflect on the impact of Usher’s Confessions album 10 years later here.


Exclusive: Rico Love Reflects on Usher’s ‘Confessions’ Album, 10 Years Later

Rico Love may be new to some as an artist, but the platinum songwriter began his career as a rapper, and was originally signed to Usher in the early 2000s.  As a way to supplement extra income for Rico, Usher suggested that he write some songs for his upcoming album at the time, which became the legendary ‘Confessions‘ album.  The very first R&B song that Rico ever wrote was “Throwback,” produced by Just Blaze, which went on to become a fan favorite off the album.

We recently caught up with Rico for an interview and we asked him to reflect on the making of the album, and his feelings about it as they celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary.

Explaining what makes the album so special, and why it is still the best R&B album of the past 10 years, Rico also shared with us the story of when he and Usher first heard the song “Yeah!,” and why Usher hated it, and refused to perform the song before it became a hit.

Check out the interview clip above, and stay tuned for more from the interview coming soon.


Exclusive: August Alsina Shares Words for His Father, Brother and Helping to Raise His Nieces

August Alsina has become known for his honest and always forthright lyrics and realness.  At times blunt, August just speaks his mind, but he will be the first to tell you that he is learning about himself and how to be a man everyday.

During our recent interview with the rising star, we asked him to share with us what he thinks he would say to his father if he was alive today.  Not surprising, August reveals the things he had to learn on his own, and what he feels he’s missed out on by not having a positive male figure.  We also asked him to share some words for his older brother, who was killed in 2010, and was Alsina’s biggest motivation. More than anything he says he just thanks him.

When his brother passed he left behind three young daughters, who August now helps care for and raise. He speaks about the joy and struggle of that responsibility being a young man who is still just finding his own way.  Additionally, with his debut album Testimony finally in stores, we ask him about his plans to celebrate the release and his hopes for it’s impact.

Check out the clip above, and to see more of our interview click here.