Rashad Talks Being Signed at 13, R&B Being The Foundation, Singing Slow Jams, More

You may or may not be familiar with this singer/songwriter/producer, but he is ready to give us a new Ohio playa sound. He pays homage to Isley Brothers, Ohio Players and Zapp & Roger, but has a heavy funk feel for the cats and ladies that want to bump some R&B in their whips. Check out our chat with Rashad.

Patience & Understanding … I’ve been doing this for a while. I did the whole five year plan, but God does what he wants to do. I didn’t think certain things would pop off like they did. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen in the future. I’m going to just keep creating. I’m not a young cat in this game. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I have huge aspirations, but it’s about timing. It’s a gradual thing with this independent movement.

Oldies But Goodies … I think its stuff I grew up on. I grew up on good music. My father wasn’t a musician, but he played good music. I am heavily influenced by the late 80s and early 90s R&B. My style is reminiscent of that time.

Present … My range is crazy. I love Miguel, Lalah Hathaway and new cats like Thundercat. I can also get real ratchet. Right now Chicago is killing it with Chief Keef stuff, which is really under the radar. I really like it grimy.

Past … I had instruments in my room from an early age. Teddy Riley, DJ Quik, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Babyface and Quincy Jones were all my influences because I’m a producer/artist. I was born in 1979 so I saw Michael Jackson and New Edition do their thing. I grew up on those people.

Musician Man … I’m an unconventional studio musician. I had a drum set and keyboard. I was listening to Slick Rick and Big Daddy Kane so I got into sampling. I taught myself how to play, but not from church or school. I was self taught. I play anything in the studio.

R&B is the Foundation … It kind of sucks … we built this. R&B is the foundation. Hip Hop would have nothing to sample without R&B, Funk, Gospel and Blues. I don’t want to be negative, but I think R&B is absent. I love Hip Hop, but you got to have Soul. R&B can’t be Hip Hop because you can’t be something that came from you. Hip Hop has taken beats from James Brown. It will never stop being soulful and black.

The Color of Soul … Now it’s different. We were always the pulse of music. Paul Simon, Phil Collins and even artists such as Amy Winehouse got that soul from us. You have to be like us to be BIG. Race never is a factor its all about your ear. They are all trying to play blues and gospel. When you’re dealing with money and marketing it gets funny.

Deal and No Deal … I knew I wanted to be a musician from a very early age. There was never a time where I didn’t know. I have a special story. I came out really being into music. I remember praying to God for a record deal. I got my first major deal at 13 with RCA around the time Usher and Brandy were big. It feels dope seeing their growth. Everyone has a different path on their journey. Around the same time Bobby V came out and then came back later. I thank God I didn’t come out then. I am such a better artist now. However, the industry has been good to me. I made some money … its been very good to me.

Music First … I’m a performer first, that’s what initially got me my deal. I also write and produce. I got a show next month in Columbus, Ohio. In NYC, I did BET Music Matters and I also did the Shrine. I never really been the wooing the ladies type … taking off my shirt type. I’m a music guy. I’m about my songs and beats. I’m coming from a musician standpoint. I’m definitely a performer but about music first. Even if I don’t have my band I’m going to have my sampler with me.

I’m An Ohio Playa … Ohio Players, Zapp & Roger and Isley Brothers started soul and funk and they are from Ohio. They were the sound that mattered. Ohio has been at the center of R&B and Funk music. I was with DJ Quik and he told me that they were trying to play like the Ohio Players. I’m all about Ohio and all about that sound.

My Favorites…

• Movie … Crooklyn
• Dance … The Whoop
• Gangster rap song/group … NWA after Ice Cube left./ Boss – progress of Elimination
• Color … Red
• Group – Boyz II Men
• Comedian … Paul Mooney
• Designer – I’m not one of those dudes. I don’t care. Dickies are my favorite designer
• Sneaker – Jordan 9’s
• Football Team … Pittsburgh Steelers … my family is from Pittsburgh.

Idea of R&B … I don’t make ballads! I make slow jams. I’m a man. I want to bump things in the streets … Piece of My Love was crazy. We are missing that funk. You can’t have watered down R&B. Ni**as got to feel like men when they are listening to R&B. Right now, Future got the slow jams in the club. I got to give it up to the Dream … Dope Chick is dope.

… I’m bout to really do something crazy!

Listen and Download
Rashad’s new EP, Museum and watch the music video for “The Return”

This solid compilation is as smooth as silk!