Avant: ‘The Best At Being Me’

Being one of the most under rated R&B singers in the game, who at times is compared to R&B greats like R. Kelly, Avant feels somewhat unappreciated, after three consecutive hit albums. Not so much by his fans but more so by his peers and that all important big brother character, the record label. However, after leaving Geffen and signing a new deal with Capitol Records, you can expect to see more of Avant’s talent.

With all of the drama that comes with being one of R&B’s top male crooners, what else does Avant want his audience to know? The first is that he has and still is struggling for the respect he deserves in the music industry. The second is that he is not trying to emulate anyone’s method of music. The last…is that he is here especially for the ladies.

Singersroom: What made you leave Geffen and sign with Capitol?

Avant: The situation with Geffen, it was a few things. I felt like I wasn’t being utilized in the right manner there. Once I got out the situation, I found out a lot of people wanted to deal with me. I had to make the right decision. Capitol was a better look for me. I had people that believed in me as an artist, plus they have the machine to take me to the next level.

Singersroom: What do you think was missing between Geffen and you?

Avant: I came in through Magic Johnson, at that present time it was a lot of basketball players who had artists. I don’t think they ever believed that an artist could come through a basketball label. I proved them wrong in that nature but at the same time I never was the focus of the company. I didn’t think that they ever believed in me being the focus of the company.

Singersroom: Maybe they did not take you seriously.

Avant: I definitely know that they didn’t. I kept proving myself by giving them hit record after hit record but they kept their focus on something else. I became a business. It was like oh we can give him 800,000 and that should keep him. I was trying to go to the next level. But once you become a business then they know what they are going to get from you. It’s like okay, that’s good enough. That’s why the situation with Capitol will be totally different because I have people who believe in me as an artist and will take me to the next level.

Singersroom: Are you happy at Capitol so far?

Avant: Oh man, I’m happy so far. I’m happy to be there. It’s a lot of different young artist that I can drop my pen on. I never did write for an artist over at Geffen even though I’m getting records that artists over there aren’t even reaching the status I’m getting. But at the same token I wasn’t asked to write a record for no one over there. The focus just wasn’t on me and I’m not mad at them. I got ten hit records out of that place.

Singersroom: Yeah because your first two albums went platinum but the last one did not do as well. Do you think that had something to do with Geffen not really believing in you and backing you?

Avant: The last album was just more of…let me just appease him and get him out of our way. Like I say, I still get people saying that this album was the best album you ever wrote. But my hands were tied.

Singersroom: The new album comes out in 2008. Tell me about that.

Avant: I’m working on it right now. I don’t have a title for the album but I definitely will be giving you a single in March. I have a lot of different records but I have to cut them down. I have to find the best twelve or fifteen that I’m gonna give you. I can’t tell you the name of the album because I have no idea yet.

Singersroom: Are you approaching it differently now?

Avant: It’s a new situation. But I still got to give you the sexy Avant that everybody has grown to love but at the same token I have to also give you some hip hop. I have a new producer. It’s a new day and age and new birth for me. So I want to give you something new.

Singersroom: I have a quote from you where you say “We have lost the chivalry in our relationships and that makes it harder for a man to understand what a woman really wants.” How do you include that in your music? Do you take it strictly from your own experiences?

Avant: I think, when you’re a writer there are certain things that you can bring across by listening to someone else or visualizing it. Basically, I write about what I’ve heard. The nature of music being so different now; I’m not mad at it because they are doing there thing in the south. I think that we need to get women to understand what her worth is. Chivalry is gone right now. A woman doesn’t know what the difference is between being loved and being played. Ya dig? But it ain’t on me to come back and be the love guy. I’m just trying to get in where I fit in.

R&B singer Avant Singersroom: Do you consider yourself a chivalrous man when dating a woman?

Avant: Aw man, sometimes.

Singersroom: (laughs)

Avant: I mean honestly, I’m not going to sit up here and say I’m the man. Sometimes I think it’s beautiful and it needs to be done. Sometimes you find women who aren’t on that. Whatever it is you have to make the adjustment. You have to be a man of many moons. I ain’t stuck. I can say I’m versatile in that.

Singersroom: While we are on the subject, it seems like you have some knowledge about women. Describe your dream women for the ladies.

Avant: Eww Wee… dream woman. It depends on what side of the bed I wake up… Honestly a dream woman is someone who loves you for who you are and not what you possess. It’s a woman that wants you too. What I mean by that, you get with a fine girl and her personality is beautiful but everything is her with her hands out. That’s not sexy. I ain’t controlling. I don’t need to control nobody but myself. One of the best things I ever heard was I’m the best at being me. Can’t nobody be me but me. I need a woman to understand that. I need you to want something for yourself. That’s the sexiest thing to me. Somebody who is out there hustling hard and want to provide for herself.

Singersroom: Independent woman.

Avant: Fa sho.

Singersroom: I heard that your uncle Andrew Pittman was the inspiration for you musically.

Avant: Yeah. Rest in peace to him. He actually was an old school artist back in the day. But he always wanted to fight to be in the industry because he was denied. So he put everything he had into making it but he never made it. But he made it through me. So I can let people know that I got a testimony.

Singersroom: Okay, I want to switch gears here.

Avant: Alright. You cold at switching gears. (laughs).

Singersroom: I’m trying to make it flow. (laughs) Now there are some critics who compare you to R. Kelly. Say that you’re not original. What do you say to that?

Avant: I look at it like this. Music is not original. Everybody sound like everybody. Is that killing people? It was cool when I had the comparison to R. Kelly, I guess I was the only one sounding like him but now everybody sounds like everybody. That’s just my opinion. Right now I’m the best at being me. I don’t care what nobody say, can’t nobody beat me at being Avant.

Singersroom: How do you go about being you?

Avant: I try to give the fans what they want. I listen to what they want to hear. At the end of the day you have got to give the fans what they want. If their happy then it’s all good.

Singersroom: You write the majority of your music, correct?

Avant: I write all of my music. Everything that you have heard was by me. This time I might do a collaboration with another producer but before it was all me. I’m just going to keep giving the fans what they want. —— By: Interview By La’Juanda Knight


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