Calvin Richardson & Eric Benet Talk About New Music, Teaming Up, Miguel’s Sensibilities & More

Calvin Richardson has been marinating his sound for sometime. Feeding his loyal fans rich, hardy melodies with savory lyrics that nourishes the soul. He is now back and has teamed up with Eric Benet. As a member of Benet's Jordan House Records it seems that these two will be able to give the people a sound and feeling that they have been missing without the mimics.

The Grammy Nominated singer, producer and writer has garnered sales of over 500,000 but Eric Benet wants everyone to know about this great talent by the name of Calvin Richardson. It is only the beginning but their synergy seems to be the formula for their success. We had the pleasure of catching up with Calvin Richardson and Eric Benet in NYC to talk about music and the new movement. Check it out.

Teaming Up … [Calvin] For me it's an amazing experience to be teaming up with Eric [Benet]. Ever since I've heard Eric's music I've been a fan. This guy has an amazing voice and talent. His penmanship and albums are all amazing. Just listening to the records doesn't tell the story of how great a guy he is. But his voice is just incredible and I am not just saying that because he is here.

My Dream … [Eric] I've always had this dream of doing my own thing … having this vehicle may it be a label. I just wanted to one day have that creative autonomy where I could work with artists and sign artists. I think my whole career has been a journey trying to get to this point. Fortunately, when the stars aligned and I was able to hook up with Larry and Primary Wave and that dream became a reality. Honestly, not just because he just poured out all these syrupy compliments on me but as soon as that dream became a reality I said where is that fool Calvin Richardson.

Friendly Competition [Eric] … I remember where I was when I first heard dude [Calvin Richardson] sing. It was about 10 years ago and someone that was working at Hollywood records was letting me hear the new music and they let me hear Calvin's records. Calvin is one of those artists that as an R&B singer makes you want to step your game up because this dude is swinging. I remember how much his music and talent affected and influenced me.

Building My Empire [Eric]… So when this Jordan House/Primary Wave project came about I was reaching out to all my manager buddies trying to find out how to get in contact with Calvin. Ironically, once I started inquiring where he was oddly enough we had a gig in Memphis together. I had to put on that “please come to my label” hat. I meet him after his gig and we had dinner with some other people from management. We talked and made it happen.

Cooking It Up In The Studio [Calvin]… It's perfect! It's natural … it wasn't contrived. It was easy working with Eric. Beyond the respect we had for one another it worked musically. Sometimes, respect isn't always enough when your making music. You can have as much respect for someone but the magic just got to be there and we had it. He didn't try to push me one way or another. He said let's do what feels and sounds good. Eric was the driver. It just worked out.

Working With Calvin [Eric]… It makes it easy when you have an artist who not only has vocal ability but is a great writer. I remember the first thing we did was go for a drive. I asked him what kind of record you want to make and we talked about it. I got my musical production partner that I've written so many records and hits with, Demonte Posey. He has been with me since “Spend My Life”. I wanted Demonte to be as much a part of this creative production process as Calvin would allow. Once Calvin came to the studio the first day it was like we all musically clicked.

Evolution of My Music [Calvin] … My new music is about life and living … steady striving. Basically, what my music has been about throughout the years. In general, what I go through from day to day. It's about relationships from the top side to the bottom side. I just wanted to put it all in the music. It was more about the bed that we laid the music down on.

Leaving A Mark [Calvin] … Well, my contribution to the music business. I want us to have come together and did our part by putting music out there that becomes classic. I want music that will last forever. I just want to be true to the music.

Leaving A Mark [Eric] …. Calvin has a core audience of people that know how incredible he is but I think that he is the most underrated R&B artist of this generation … that is not an overstatement. This dude has so much finesse and history behind his sound. I want the world to know how incredible this guy is. There are definitely people that follow him and come to his shows but its almost like an underground cool thing. I want the world to know how great this guy [Calvin] is. Five years from now I want the world to rush to go get a Calvin record because they are so used to a standard of musicality.

Guy Next Door [Calvin] … I'm just a guy next door. I'm a down to earth guy and I like to be treated like a regular person.

Miguel & Old School Sensibilities [Calvin & Eric]…I appreciate what Miguel is doing. He is taking old school sensibilities to a new school format.

Old vs. New School Reality [Eric]… The feeling from back then is just not there. It's not to knock new artists. It's just that we came from a generation where you had to be able to bring it when you came to the studio. We came up when you couldn’t auto-tune your voice or time correct. It had to be completely instinctual. We don’t get auto-tuned. We pick up a guitar and create a melody. I may have chords haunting me all night. It is different compared to a dj giving me a beat. I think it's just a different reality and not to say there are not some young cats that are influenced by that same reality but we lived it.

Calvin & Eric's Favs …

Marvin Gaye – Come Get To This

Sam Cooke – Change Gone Come

James Brown – This Is A Man's World

Stevie Wonder – Knocks Me Off My Feet

Chaka Khan & Rufus – Sweet Thing

Stevie Wonder – These Three Words

Al Green – Let's Stay Together

Earth, Wind & Fire – Reasons