EXCLUSIVE: Ne-Yo, Rihanna Producer Says Industry Killed R&B, Talks Creating Divas

Grammy Award winning producer-songwriter Chuck Harmony is well known in the music industry for making hits for artists like Ne-Yo, Chrisette Michele, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia, amongst many others. But unlike so many people in music, Harmony is not just in it for the money; he has a special love for the genre that made him rich; R&B.

With that being said, the hitmaker has one goal and that’s reintroducing the “swag” back to rhythm and blues, insisting the industry was the reason for the commercial slip of the once popular genre.

“We did it to ourselves, we let the genre die,” Harmony tells Singersroom exclusively. “What happen was so many of our talented people stepped on the Pop train and they forsaken their own music. We all just jumped on the Pop train because we thought that was winning. It was winning but I think we owe it to ourselves and to a genre we actually created to keep it moving.”

He continues: “We have not had a lot of ambassadors for R&B. Like Kanye [West] and Jay-Z, all them guys are ambassadors for rap. Drake is the new generation and Nicki Minaj is the new generation of rap. We don’t have that in R&B.”

Harmony insists music is now more about the lifestyle and not about the artistry, which prevents the creation of divas.

“It’s even less about the song and more about the lifestyle. We got to a point where it is not cool to be an R&B singer. It is not cool to listen to it. It’s cool to listen to Lil Wayne; that is some stuff we have to bring back to the table; the artistry and lifestyle,” says Harmony.

He adds: “I believe as it relates to a female artist, we have to bring the diva back. You remember when Mariah Carey was diva, Whitney Houston was a diva, Toni Braxton was a diva, like people wanted to be them. Now people go to BB and Aldo and get styled up and they look like anybody else walking down the street. Nobody wants to be that. I feel like we have to bring that back, that whole persona to black music.”

Harmony is planning to sign and release young talented acts who will become R&B ambassadors that fans from all genres will view as icons.

“You damn right, anything that comes from my studio I believe in it,” Harmony states about fighting for his genre of love. “I will put it out myself. That is why we make money. The difference between people today and the moguls back in the day; Master P and the Puff Daddy and all them were not scared to spend their own money to put sh*t out themselves or get themselves hot and have the record label come.”

Read more of our sit down with Chuck Harmony.


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