[by Mlibokazi Mayeza]
Our US. based correspondent, the ever so talismanic Mlibokazi Mayeza, hones into Raheem DeVaughn’s impressive repertoire as a Grammy Award nominated artist. We get a front row seat to this Washington DC based crooner about his optimism on the current R&B scene , The Raheem DeVaughn (radio) Show and an upcoming performance in Joburg.
Some music enthusiasts are quick to point out that R&B is dead but singer / songwriter Raheem DeVaughn believes that the music is just going through a transitional period. According to an Ebony Magazine interview dated September 2013, DeVaughn believes that we will continue to hear a surge of the 1990s sound with a current twist – a sort of rebirth and reinvention for the popular music genre. This trend, he says, was the premise for his latest album, A Place Called Loveland (released September 2013). This is the 37-year-old’s fourth full-length album and boasts production collaborations with Ne-Yo, Mario Winans and Adonis.
Since his introduction into the music market back in 2003 with the release of The Love Experience, his fans have watched him pick up three Grammy nominations and see his record label deal with the Jive Records fall through. However, The King of Loveland (as he’s known on twitter) has managed to consistently keep up with his fans by churning out mix-tape after mix-tape while running his own music label, 368 Music.
No stranger to new media and social media platforms, DeVaughn credits these networks with helping him reinvent and promote his brand and the type of music musicians should be making. This gave rise to The Raheem DeVaughn (radio) Show. Airing Sunday evenings from 7pm – 9pm EST via www.blis.fm and Livestream. The show includes interviews, music you probably will not hear on the radio and various topics of interest, for example, reality television, finances, music and relationships. Not bad for this Washington, DC native.
In the spirit of reaching audiences worldwide, Raheem has teamed up with the annual UPE Soul Fest and will be performing at The Bassline in Johannesburg on April 12th. Los Angeles – based UPE founder Douglas Moroke says the 2012 edition of Soul Fest featutring Eric Roberson proved that the South African audience wants more neo-soul performances. Not only that – the tour crew will host a free 90-minute long music conference featuring local crooners Kabomo and Speedy amongst others. The conference aims to focus on Songwriting, Music Promotion and the pros and cons of Indie Labels and Major Labels. He will also be talking to aspiring musicians about the possibilities of international collaborations, which he has started with local artists Speedy and HHP.
Individuals wishing to attend the conference can send their name, email address and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org and copy email@example.com. Seating is limited and they will only issue one ticket per email received.