Verse Simmonds: Modern Bachelor

Free of inhibitions, burgeoning “Buy You A Round” singer Verse Simmonds says he has no problem with speaking the truth when it comes to relationships, love, sex and the like. In fact, Simmonds has a mixtape packed with everything from club friendly songs to unapologetic tracks like “If You Won’t Do It,” that precedes his soon to be released album “Stories of a Bachelor.”

Speaking with Singersroom, Simmonds tells us why he thinks mixtapes and R&B are hot right now; what you should expect on his debut album and how his music and mission relates to the late Marvin Gaye. Also speaking of Hip Hop and R&B, Simmonds talks R. Kelly and the mix of music he likes to call “Island and B.”

Singersroom: So you’ve got this mixtape out, what made you put over 10 songs on it?

Verse Simmonds: You know I kind of got into the vibe of creating the mixtape and I really wanted it to feel complete. I wanted people to get an idea of what kind of artist I really am and what I bring to the table. I only have two unoriginal tracks on there, everything else is original music. So I felt like this was my time to show people what I really could do without having to lean on a bunch of other people’s music to get my message across. I didn’t have a plan of how many songs; it was kind of like, whenever I felt it was complete. So we ended up with like twelve or thirteen.

Singersroom: Mixtapes are becoming more popular for pop and R&B artists. Is the mixtape a good indication of where you’re going on the debut album?

Verse Simmonds: Definitely. It is something that I feel has a lot of personality. It is something that shows people who I am. It’s a prequel to my album called “Stories of a Bachelor.” On “Stories of a Bachelor,” I’m telling a story in each individual song. When people listen to the song they will be able to say “okay, I see what kind of situation he might have been going through in this song.” I just want people to see that it’s not just a bunch of lyrics on paper but a story.

Singersroom: Going back to the mixtape for a moment, one song in particular titled “Come to me” features both Biggie and Marvin Gaye, are they two of your biggest influences?

Verse Simmonds: Oh definitely. They are two timeless acts that definitely put a stamp on the music industry. Someday I hope I will achieve as much as they have.

Biggie was something that we added to the record. After I wrote the song I wanted a rap element but, there were no people out-to-date that I felt I could say, “yo can you help out with this and have the same talent”. So to revisit the old Biggie verse, I felt it meshed well with the song. Most people that have heard that record really love that record. I’m really proud of that particular song.

Singersroom: Marvin Gaye broke rules and made music on his own terms, is that something you aspire to do?

Verse Simmonds: Definitely, I want to say things that people normally wouldn’t say and that people can relate to. I feel like, especially in the music industry we have now, people are so concerned about making hits or following the trend that’s out at the time. I just want to break the mold and create something that people really love. So yes, If I could reach that type of status as an artist where people can listen to me and understand what I’m saying and still be different and not the same ol’, same ol’, that’s the way I’m trying to go.

Singersroom: Even to the point of making an album full of baby-making music?

Verse Simmonds: On my album I want to say whatever I feel like saying. I’m not holding anything back. If that’s what I feel at the time I’m going to say it but, at the same time I still want to say it in a way that people are not necessarily offended. I want people to listen to the music and say “you know the way he said it might be edgy but at the same time it fits and is not out of place”.

Singersroom: Now sex is a topic some are afraid to talk about, what makes you so free to discuss it throughout the mixtape?

Verse Simmonds: This is a time in music where I feel the music industry is changing and music is changing. I feel like I have to be ahead of that curve and express the feeling that naturally people think about. People don’t necessarily want to hear the sugarcoated stuff and that’s kind of what the mixtape was for – it was to give it to people real, the way that they want to hear it right now.

Singersroom: Right, like the song “If You Won’t Do It?”

Verse Simmonds: You know a lot of people make comments about that song. The record is basically saying, you know, if you won’t do it, then someone else will. And yes, that’s speaking in sexual terms but at the same time it’s a term that I got from a woman. I was just sitting down having a conversation and she just hit me like “yeah, if one girl won’t do it another one will”. I kind of just took that, ran with it, and created a song out of it. Because I feel like these are the type of things people want to talk about now and I just try to keep it real when I’m speaking about it.

Singersroom: When it comes to the album, are you collaborating with other artists?

Verse Simmonds: As of right now, Roc City. We grew up together; we’ve always worked with each other and helped each other out throughout our careers. That’s about it though, besides the “Buy You A Round” remix with Yung Joc.

Singersroom: Now you worked with R. Kelly on Untitled, is that right?

Verse Simmonds: I worked on some tracks for his album but, I was unable to actually get in the studio with him. Hopefully soon I ‘ll be able to get in with him and do some work with him. That would be great. He’s a writer I respect on a musical level and it would be great to one day sit down with him and write a record for him.

Singersroom: R.Kelly has been able to fuse R&B and Hip Hop together in a unique way. In your opinion, what about the two coming together (R&B and Hip Hop) makes the result valuable?

Verse Simmonds: I think people want to party, almost, to the same music they make love to. He is one of the pioneers (R. Kelly) in the music industry who kind of saw that and was able to create the type of music that not only people could party to but make love to. I look at my music as Island and B. It’s R&B and Hip Hop but, it has an Island feel to it. It will kind of put me in my own zone and sort of my own lane. Hopefully people will realize that I am from the Caribbean and that’s something I never want to try and hide so, I just use that to my benefit and create the music I create. Especially when I’m singing songs that I can’t really hide my accent or anything on, it just is what it is.

Singersroom: When it’s all said and done, what would you like people to say when they recall the name Verse Simmonds and your music?

Verse Simmonds: I want them to say classic. That’s what I want to hear coming out of everyone’s mouth when they speak of me. I want them to think, “Yo, when dude came in, he came with a whole different type of sound and movement” and I want to eventually get to the type of music that is timeless and it’s worldwide. Like other artists getting into this industry, we hope everybody will love it. Artists like Bob Marley, you know those are the classic artists – they’ll never be forgotten. At the end of the day, I would like to be looked at in that light minus the death.

Singersroom: Why do you love music, what about it makes you get up each morning and say… hey, I have this new song or I want to write this new record?

Verse Simmonds: Music is soothing. It’s something that’s always kept me driven. I don’t think there’s anything else in my life that I’ve worked as hard at or to achieve than music. It’s something that God gave me and said “this is what you have to do” and “this is your mission,” that’s what makes me get up each morning and this is what I have to do to get where I gotta go. No matter how long it takes. It could take me ten years to reach where I gotta go. I plan on staying focused and getting there. —— By: Interview By Njai Joszor

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