ESSENCE looks to seamlessly make the transition into music as they team up with R&B mogul and legend, Pebbles to present R&B Star: Search For the Next Singing Sensation. Beginning March 19th, aspiring hopefuls can log on to Essence.com/RBStar to enter into the contest. Live auditions will be held in the nation’s most notable music hotspots: Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles.
Singersroom was one of the first media outlets ESSENCE chose to give an exclusive on the competition. Our team recently caught up with Pebbles as she gave us her thoughts on ESSENCE, the competition, and what it takes to become the next R&B Star.
Singersroom: Many music mavens like yourself are making moves where they reach back into the community and pullout raw talent. How important do you think it is for music veterans to grant these opportunities the way you are with the R&B Star competition?
Pebbles: I think it’s very important! I think especially with having a project of this magnitude being done with ESSENCE is going to make it that much more interesting and vital. We’re laying a new blueprint of what people should look at. Being a woman and being that I’m involved with women’s ministry, I’ve kind of always been in leadership positions. I think we should talk to each other about the trials, triumphs, and even the tragedies in life and music as well. From being broken to being made whole – it’s not even just about music, it’s almost like music is what draws you in but it’s more about helping the overall wholeness of an artist.
Singersroom: How do you feel about being the premier music figure chosen by ESSENCE as they make their transition into the music genre?
Pebbles: I’m excited and I feel honored. ESSENCE is just so amazing and important. They are full of so much integrity and so beloved by the people. I truly feel honored and that this was meant to be.
Singersroom: What was the inspiration behind yourself and ESSENCE creating this music competition?
Pebbles: I think that there was a desire to utilize what they already have in place with the ESSENCE Music Festival and from there taking the opportunity to expand their brand and open up new avenues. It is a new way for people to be seen and be heard, especially in R&B music. So I think it’s the perfect merger of bringing something like this to the forefront and my hope, as well as the hope of the ESSENCE family is that this will reignite a fire in the R&B community. To embrace this artist development once again and just go out and do new things.
Singersroom: Can you explain your role in the competition?
Pebbles: I’m going to be right in the thick of it. I will be hosting the program, R&B Star as well as the being the Executive Producer of webisodes that will be developed and placed on Essence.com weekly so that anyone can stay with the process and see what happens. I am the person that will work with artist development, helping identify talents, and to consult with the judges as we decide who will be the very first person to be blessed with the title of R&B Star.
Singersroom: I noticed you said the “first R&B Star.” Are you and ESSENCE looking to make this an ongoing project?
Pebbles: I hope so, I absolutely hope so! I also hope that people take a cue from this and really understand the value of the genre of R&B music as well as the sound and the legacy of it. I just think that this is an important moment, it feels right to me. I think something great is about to come forward.
Singersroom: What qualities are you looking for in the next R&B star that you feel the industry doesn’t have already?
Pebbles: I won’t say the qualities aren’t already there, I would just like to see from the industry a better and a bigger focus on the overall wellness of artists. I think we need to get back to a place where we have more of a hands-on approach and a breakdown in this world of technology. I think certain aspects just need to remain basic. We need to get back to the hardcore work values and ethics – not feeling like we’re supposed to have things handed to us, even if we do work hard and deserve it. It’s something about staying humbled enough to be able to balance this life. Also, having the wisdom around you and willing heart to continue to learn, instead of feeling like you have it and no one can talk to you or help you to grow and better yourself.
Visit Essence.com for more on R&B “Star: Search For the Next Singing Sensation.”
—— By: Interview By Aleta Watson