Establishing his career with the legendary R&B group, Next, RL has tallied achievements and awards for the past decade and is still keeping the numbers coming. With ground breaking hits like ‘Butta Love’, ‘Too Close’, and ‘Wifey’, Next topped the Billboard charts as well as receiving Soul Train Awards and American Music Award nominations. However, that was only the beginning. Venturing out and making his debut as a solo artist, the Minnesota native collaborated with Deborah Cox on her single “We Can’t Be Friends”, as well as a single on the Best Man Soundtrack entitled “Best Man” collaborating with Ginuwine, Tyrese, and Case. Many may not know the significant influence RL has been continuously bringing to the table. Taking a break from the limelight, the songwriter has been working behind the scenes bringing you songs like ‘Bring Your Heart To Mine’ – Luther Vandross, ‘Come Here’ – J. Holiday, ‘Forecast’ – Jamie Foxx, ‘U R The One’ – Usher, ‘Just In Case’ and ‘Anything’ – Jaheim, and ‘Valentine’s Girl’ – Mindless Behavior.
Feeling like there’s no better time than now to re-emerge, RL is going harder than ever. He is now in the studio working on his solo album titled “5:15,” which he states will give a sexy and confident feel while telling the story of his journey; the ups, the downs, the good, and the bad. The singer/songwriter is also taking dates for his tour locally and overseas in order to promote his new project. Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you couldn’t tell, he’s here to stay. Checkout our brand new interview with RL !
With Afro-Brazilian roots on his father’s side and Native American and Portuguese blood on his mother’s, French grew up singing in church (his dad was a preacher). He learned to play piano and guitar on his own around the age of ten. After teaching himself to play his dad’s long-neglected acoustic guitar, French tried his hand at songwriting, largely inspired by the soul singers, hip-hop artists, and reggae musicians he loved most. In creating his debut album, French is working to shape his sensitivity and imagination as a songwriter into music that’s uplifting in the most unlikely of moments. “I do try to be a positive force,” he says. “I truly think that music can help you get through the hardest times, and I want my own music to be something that helps people lean toward hope.”
“You Just Want My Money is a beachy slice of soul-pop built on French’s warm vocals and reggae-inspired sense of rhythm. With its sweetly carefree mood and an infectious energy that’s got much to do with French’s passion as a songwriter and performer, the song hit 5 million streams on Spotify within a month of its online release, boosted by a social-media frenzy that has prompted the #youjustwantmymoney hashtag to produce more than 80 million impressions on Vine. The song now has over 7 million Spotify streams. Teaming up with producers Tyler Duncan and Theo Katzman, French is now working on a full-length debut album that infuses that passion into songs with a daring emotional honesty and undeniably positive spirit. French will also set out on tour this summer supporting Nico & Vinz. The 24 city tour kicks off May 4th in Anaheim, CA making stops in NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles and more before wrapping up in Jason’s hometown of San Diego on June 8th.
Checkout our interview with our friend – Jason French while we were in LA on the second to last tour stop with Nico & Vinz.
Conquerors. That’s the best way to describe Mary Mary. The soul-stirring sister duo of Erica and Tina Campbell seemingly overcame it all in the last few years – winning yet another Grammy, inking a deal for season three of a groundbreaking originally scripted series, beating a vocal challenge, healing a marriage misstep, overseeing a change in management, launching a solo career for one sister and grieving the death of a parent. That’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Yet, the sisters embraced each challenge and proclaim that this year is their best year yet.As Tina staunchly declares in her signature staccato: “Survive it. Persevere. Overcome it.”
Indeed. Mary Mary’s greatest story is that of overcoming. Thirteen years ago, no one could have predicted the far flung reach of the hit “Shackles (Praise You)” that went on to become a signature song and crossover smash. From there, Mary Mary would win four Grammy Awards, 2 NAACP Image Awards, four BET awards, two American Music Awards, one ASCAP award, and multiple Stellar & Dove Awards and release seven albums, the most recent being the multiple award winning compilation “Go Get It” ( 2012 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment). Now a household name, the ladies are credited with ushering in a new generation of gospel stars solidly entrenched in the larger cultural milieu while also overtaking the pop charts. Checkout our latest interview with Erica & Tina now !
For an artist with serious mainstream aspirations, Decatur, Georgia’s Jarren Benton has spent his career going against the grain. One of Funk Volume’s premiere acts, Jarren admits, “I love the music I do now. I do it in the safe-mode.” That’s rather shocking for an artist whose last album, Freebasing With Kevin Bacon lived up to its name, at least in attitude and style, evident on single “Skitzo.” He continues, “I want to take it a lil’ further. I just haven’t had the balls to go all the way there yet, ‘cause I presently want to keep a foot in the mainstream too.”
However, courage is not something Benton’s music or live show is lacking. Studied in the anything-goes showmanship of Prince, Marilyn Manson and Method Man, Jarren shares, “The essence of giving of a good show is not givin’ a fuck,” he says, while pointing to stage-diving, beer-chugging and more depending on the night’s particular vibe. This type of authenticity, balanced with intricate, golden ear-informed lyricism has attracted attention from Erick Sermon (EPMD, Redman) to No I.D. (Common, Kanye West) in courting Jarren to potential major label deals. However for the father and family provider, only indie juggernaut Funk Volume really voiced his biggest concerns. “All I was asking for was progress. I just wanted to know that what I was doing was the right move – especially chasing a dream with a family.” Funk Volume offered what Def Jam and the others weren’t – and in recent years, Jarren has been able to support his family and his dreams simultaneously. Recently, David Duane caught up with Jarren on his tour stop in New York City on the “Slow Motion Tour”. Jarren is also set to release 1 more project before his drops his full studio album. Check out our new interview with Jarren below !