by Abraham Kuranga
In today’s music industry, an artist on his forth album is considered a grizzled veteran. However, don’t tell that to Musiq Soulchild, the soul singer born Talib Johnson.
According to Musiq, he’s just getting started. “I am so inspired by music itself, so every album is a new experience,” says Musiq.
The Philadelphia born-and-bred crooner originally broke into the music scene with 2000’s hit CD Aijuswanaseing. Bolstered by the debut single “Just Friends (Sunny)” and follow-up hits “Love” and “Girl Next Door,” Musiq Soulchild helped to usher in a new era known as neo-soul.
In the years following that stellar debut, Musiq has released the critically and commercially successful albums, Juslisen and Soulstar. The former was led by the infectious guitar riff of “Halfcrazy,” making Juslisen one of the most seductive and lush neo soul albums out. The opening chords alone tugged on the heart strings of listeners. Soulstar, although not as commercially successful as Juslisen, garnered its own attention with “Forthenight” and “Whoknows.”
Musiq is blessed with soft-yet-penetrating vocals, reminiscent of previous soul singers like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. It’s no surprise that these two artists – among others – loom large as influences on Musiq. However, you can’t paint the musical tastes of the artist with the brush of one style or genre.
“My musical influences cannot be defined by just a few artists,” explains Musiq. “On any day, you could catch me listening to rock, jazz, or hip-hop.”
Now, he’s is back with a new label, new production and has regained that new-artist sparkle that he had when he first started.
“I’ve been just grindin’,” says Musiq. “People tend to think that when you’re not on the scene for a while, you’re not doing anything. I’ve been doing a lot of shows. [I] recorded almost 80 songs for this album and even did some acting.”
The result of all of this hard work is his newest offering, Lovanmusiq. Launching this album is chart-topping single, “B.U.D.D.Y.” Fans of previous Musiq albums will especially enjoy this cut, because it is more of the same. Its infectious, groovy vibe and playful lyrics is vintage Musiq.
“I realize who is supporting me and my music. That’s why I make the music I do,” confesses Musiq. “First and foremost, this is a business, so I know that I must make music the fans will enjoy.”
Musiq does confess that the music he makes is not driven solely by his creativity but also he keeps in mind the fan’s desires.
“I don’t feel like I’ve reached the point where I can make unapologetic, raw music,” says Musiq. “I’ll eventually get to that point when I can afford to do it, both financially and creatively.”
Creatively, Lovanmusiq, is chock full of soulful tender bits. Musiq’s voice glides perfectly over the syncopated rhythm of “Teachme” and further channels his rock influences on “Slowdown.”
With the bulk of his music centering on love and relationships, one might think that Musiq’s albums are based on his own experiences. That isn’t necessarily the case.
“Honestly, none of the albums are reflective of me,” says Musiq. “I see what other people go through and try to work that into my music, but I haven’t reached the level where I can just write about myself and my experiences.”
Whether or not the material is autobiographical, Musiq has mastered the art of writing soul-stirring songs, causing fans to hang on his every word.
This album was not only a new beginning for Musiq, but also a learning experience. By working with many notable producers, like Raphael Saadiq (Tony! Toni! Toné!), The Underdogs (Tyrese, Avant), Musiq was able to learn more about the business in a few months than he did in previous years.
The most inspiring producer, according to Musiq, was super-producer Warren Campbell (Mary Mary, Kelly Price). “He is such a perfect studio cat,” says Musiq. “He understands the artist and the business and took the time to explain it to me. He is so intelligent.”
Musiq hopes that these nuggets of knowledge will lead to more success as he is still in the infant stages of his career.
“There are a lot of things I haven’t been able to do, so I hope I can stick around and get some things done.”
As long as his fans continue Lovanmusiq, Musiq will always be the soundtrack to our lives.
|#1 © 2007 Atlantic Records. All rights reserved.|
|#2 © 2007 Atlantic Records. All rights reserved.|
|#3 © 2007 Atlantic Records. All rights reserved.|
|#4 © 2007 Atlantic Records. All rights reserved.|
|#5 © 2007 Atlantic Records. All rights reserved.|
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 23, 2007.