Joe: R&B Creative Boundaries

Veteran R&B singer Joe released his ninth studio album, ‘The Good, The Bad, The Sexy,’ a few months ago as a follow-up to his 2009 project ‘Signature.’ Led by the Darkchild-produced single “Losing,” the album debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 charts.

Aside from releasing a his highly anticipated album, the Grammy-nominated singer spoke with us exclusively about the growth of the R&B genre, as well as his own personal growth as an artist.

Career Growth…
Well starting out, initially my first deal [that] I ever did was a publishing deal. I was a songwriter, producer, and this was back in ’91. And that sort of propelled me into becoming an artist because everything I wrote and produced was me singing on the demos. So the interest was “Who is this guy singing?” and I pretty much said, “It’s me. I’m the young kid on the record singing.” From that day forward, the first deal I ever got was the publishing deal, and it was like all the doors opened up.

Studio Ambiance… Just the vibe. I just go with the vibe. There’s no special thing; it’s just if I feel the mood or in the need to write a record, I’ll just go and do it. It’s nothing like lighting candles. I used to go with that nostalgia before when I thought it was something cool, but it doesn’t really add much to it. It’s just kind of getting into a zone. I like to write on my own. I like to be in a room by myself. That’s where I vibe at.

Man’s Point of View… Just everything from beauty to class to smart to having that motherly thing about her, because I want a partner… Someone at the end of the day. You never know who you’re going to get with. You may meet someone and end up spending the rest of your life with them, so you want to make sure that you can see the good qualities that you would like to have in a person.

So yeah, I like a good girl… genuine and real. I don’t like hood chicks for the most part, because I don’t like to battle. I don’t like to go to war. I like things to be smooth. I’m not an argument type of person.. I hate arguments. I hate drama. So I like a girl that knows how to be smooth with, but at the same time, affirmative.

Feeling Lost… I never felt lost. I’ve always been so busy, man. I never have the chance to feel lost. There have been moments where I looked at this like maybe I should be doing something else, because at one point, the music industry changed way too much for me. It’s like the love for music… I started looking at the fans that weren’t really appreciating the music… the real music. So I didn’t really know how to look at that; it was a little bit tricky. But at the end of the day, music prevailed, God prevails, and if you keep a level head and stay focused and stay with it, things work itself out in some strange way. Things work themselves out. I’m at the point now trying to build my own company and get things a little bit more stable and established in my future.

Creative Boundaries of R&B… There’s nothing written in stone, and there’s nothing set in stone for the most part. There are no rules to the game. I think that exercising their perspective and perception on how the music is to them… It’s totally going away from what it used to be. It was all about soul music with R&B; all about live music with the band and whatnot. But it’s making a little shift, and you can feel it. You can feel it making a small shift. I think that shift is coming because of the way Hip-Hop is now embracing R&B because they’re singing more, it’s more melodic, more musical. So that’s part of that shift.

If we continue to just write great songs, which is what got me into this game. I think it’s still the same thing that’s keeping me concrete, because “All The Things” and “I Wanna Know” are songs that were done back in ’95 and ’96, and they still get played today. So it’s about writing quality music that last a lifetime.
—— By: Interview By Staff


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