Singer and songwriter Pleasure P introduced himself to the world when he was the lead singer in the R&B quartet, Pretty Ricky. During his time in the group, Pleasure showcased his smooth, suave, melodic voice on several erotic and seductive singles, which caught the attention of many, especially women.
After the group disbanded, Pleasure released his solo debut album, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper. Following the project’s release, the R&b crooner dropped several singles, toured, worked on the Break Up to Make Up mixtape, and joined the Vh1 franchise, Love and Hip-Hop Miami.
Now, in 2018, Pleasure P released his second mixtape, She Likes, via Cleopatra Records. The 10-track set included his latest single, “Wassup.”
Pleasure recently conversed with Singersroom about the mixtape, releasing independent music, Love and Hip-Hop Miami, the 10-year anniversary of his debut, and much more.
Singersroom: What kind of feelings do you go through with a new album on the day of its release?
Pleasure P: The Feelings…? You know what, I don’t… I don’t really have no crazy feelings because I know I put my all into something. As long as you put your all into the music, which is the most important part, it’s for whoever gets it. Outside of that, just being marketed properly. Whoever like it usually gonna get it. So, I don’t feel no kind of way.
But you’ve been creating music for a while. Do you still get the same feeling(s) that you got when you first started or do you just go through the motions?
Because you be working so much, you can’t even really appreciate it. In the beginning, everything happened so fast. You don’t even know what album sales really are. Things like that, when I came out, I didn’t know nothing about first week sales; I didn’t know nothing about radio spins… It was just like, “Oh word, we went Platinum, oh that’s what’s up” [Laughs]. Now that I know, okay that’s just what your career is based on. We go platinum, and that money hit that bank account. But because I’m independent, it’s a whole different kind of feeling.
How do you feel now about album sales focused more on streaming numbers than physical sales when releasing a project?
I’m happy, man… That (Streaming) saves a lot of people’s lives, and it let the artist make money. You know, the label can tell you that you’re in debt for this and in debt for that. Unless you know what kind of transactions they made, you in the blind. So you pretty much owe these people a lot of money and don’t know when you really recouping because of how they do their books.
Tells us about your compilation album ‘Pleasure P Presents.’
These are artists that I feel are talented that’s coming up under the umbrella. I wanted to shed some light on them, so it’s called ‘Pleasure P Presents.’
How did you discover most of the artists on the project?
Just through good people man. Every individual artist has a separate story. It’s seven different artists; I met them all in a genuine kind of way. They all coming up from Miami. I felt like I could use my platform to shed some light on their talent because they are all talented, and the music will speak for itself.
15 years of experience in the game. How do you judge talent now?
With my ears and my heart. I’m not with the whole, “How many streams you got” or “How many followers,” no. Can you sing? Not only just that but how do you carry yourself? What’s your mindset like? Because you can get an artist and that artist could be a nightmare. But these artists (on the compilation) are all good people in my book. They will make the sacrifices that I made to become successful. If they made it today, they wouldn’t be on some Hollywood shit tomorrow.
You are still flourishing with your career both as a solo artist and as a group member (Pretty Ricky). What made you want to put everything you’re doing on hold just to present new talent?
Well… I put what I had on hold because ‘Love and Hip-Hop: Miami’ was supposed to air in November. I was gonna drop my album around the show. But its like, we got all this dope material so… let’s just go. I went to Australia for two months on tour. I was like…”You know what man, it’s time to do something, let’s just go. When I get back, let’s go. We’re gonna just start dropping project after project after project.”
I’ve been recording for quite some time now, and I got so much dope music. People be like, “Where you at?” “Where are you going?” “Where you been?” I don’t just waste my music and put it out for anything. So now, we got the proper platforms and proper things to do. I’m just doing it now, that’s apart of my plan.
On ‘Pleasure P Presents,’ in your opinion, what is your favorite track on the project?
Man, I don’t have a favorite one. I mean… I like all of them equally. You got a song called, “Usher Told You” from an artist name Maor (Maor Mo). He’s an Israeli/Jewish kid, and you would never expect him to have this much soul and sing R&B.
We got Amara La Negra (“Bust a Whine”) on there of course. We also have Lorea Turner, who is super dope. She is like the new Brandy, new Whitney Houston. The song that we have on there is an uptempo banger, but the song does her voice no justice. When she does a ballad or something like that, her voice will take you to different places.
We also have K Si Yang on there. That’s my guy; he has so much dope music to look forward to. We got Popeye Caution, who is like the reggae version of Chris Brown; he dances, he has that kinda flashy star to him, and we got a song called “Wish List” that is really dope on there. We got Ronnie Vop; his voice is on some Michael Jackson, Ne-Yo levels… He’s young, and he writes as well. Every song means something to me. I hope I didn’t leave out anybody but yea, it’s dope.
Speaking on the whole Reggae vibe that you have, you also have single out right now called, “Bust a Whine.”
Yes, “Bust a Whine;” shout out to my brother Don Corleone. Don Corleone is a good friend of mine. He produces for artists like Sean Paul and Rihanna; he did some records with Migos. He got a lot of stuff coming out this year too. I reached out to him, and he blessed me with this record.
SR: How did you know it was a hit?
We don’t. During the studio sessions, we’ll call some ladies over and see what they take to and what they don’t take to. If nobody ain’t bopping they head or whatever and it’s a song they’ve never heard before then we know it’s a problem. Or we’ll take it to the strip club.
I’ll be in there low-key, and I’ll just give it to the DJ. If the dancers ain’t really vibing to your songs, then you know, okay I got to come back harder. I test every mix or every record that I do at this strip club in Fort Lauderdale called Vegas Cabaret. So I’ll just go in there, and DJ Magic will show me that love and play it. I’ll be like, “It’s not mixed yet, let me hear it before I mix it.”
Ok, we’ll go back and fix this, and that’ll be the “rough mix.” Then we’ll send it to Faiben, my guy who mixes all my music, he’ll get it, and he’ll put the rough. Then I’ll take it back to the spot (Vegas Cabaret), hear it there, and tell him what he needs to fix. Then we’ll master it, take it back again, and then we know.
During these processes, you see if girls are vibing to it or if people are vibing to a song they’ve never heard before. Most of the time they do, that’s how I test my records, and that’s how I know if its a hit or not.
What made you decide to do a #BustAWhineChallenge behind the new single?
Women love to whine up themselves nowadays. Some of them like to twerk but if you look at those Spanish Mammacitas and things like that. They are on the page whining, and I would just love to see more of that in the world among other things. So I said, you know, let me start a little challenge and see how it goes.
And you felt that Amara La Negra was the perfect fit for the track?
She’s dope as an artist. I fucks with her; she’s a genuine good person. Had to get her on that. Who knows who’s gonna be on the remix!
Who would you like on the Remix?
I’m thinking maybe Pitbull… Somebody with some substance that I got a good friendship with. I do songs with people I meet that I have a friendship with. I don’t do it because “Oh this person got a lot of followers.” Musically, I gotta hear you on the song. So I would do a Pitbull… I got a couple of other people in mind for the remix, but we’ll see how it goes.
Being that you and Amara are Love and Hip-Hop alumni now, how do you feel about the first season and going into the second season?
The first season I feel like Shay (Shay Johnson) won, they (Producers) portrayed me to be this “cheater,” and that’s not the case. This is my ex-girlfriend, and in scenes, she just wanna meet up and talk, whatever, blah, blah, blah. They (Producers) would say, “You haven’t seen her in a long time, give her a little kiss, like how French people say hello.” And I’m thinking nothing of it. I’m like, “[Kissing] Hey how you doing.”
On a separate day, they shot a scene and the scene is Shay cooking and she trying to give you the keys to her apartment, and we’re gonna air it like this. Now, when they finally edit it, It looks like on the same day that Shay cooked for me, I’m with my ex-girlfriend, kissing her, and I’m just this cheater that’s not the case.
But I don’t complain about it as much because it’s TV. As producers and stuff like that, they gotta do their job to produce the best show. However, I gotta speak my peace now because I don’t want my fans thinking that’s what I’m about and I’m just some wack ass dude, and that’s what’s up.
Going into the second season now, I don’t know what the hell they are gonna edit this time because I’m speaking out about it, but whatever they do I’ll be more prepared for when they do. I’m more so focusing on what I went through in the past with Pretty Ricky, where I’m at today, and how I feel about things. From the rumor that was put out about me from my own people that I know and came back and helped to everything. That’s just me speaking my truth.
You guys (Pretty Ricky) got back together on the show. That was a key note for fans who really wanted to see that happen. Being that you are making a final album now and final tour. Do you feel like its “bittersweet” to come full circle?
I think so… That’s one thing I don’t know about because the music is the focus. The fans really still like that sound. We were younger then; we’re older now. The album that we have now is dope songs and stuff like that; we just got to complete it. We are waiting for one person to do their verse. Whenever that time comes, you will hear that project, but until then I’m just focused on ‘Pleasure P Presents’ and all of the dope artists that are on the project. I’m also focused on me just releasing more EPs, and more mixtapes, and more things like that.
Don’t even hold your breath. I’m not sure if there will be another Pretty Ricky album. I’m just moving on with my life right now. I’m moving in the hands of God.
Are you worried about over-saturating yourself?
I don’t think I can do that because I’m very versatile. You might hear a song in Falsetto, but then you might hear a full voice kinda song. You might be like, “Well Damn, I didn’t even know that’s the same person.” If I played you my project now, you’d be like, “That’s You?” I’d be like, “Yea that’s me too on this kinda sound.”
I got the House record that took the U.K.by storm, it’s called, “Could You Love Me,” featuring Flo-Rida. We released that and people didn’t even know it was me and Warner Bros came to the table and gave the DJs I did the song with a deal for that record. But people didn’t know that was me; it was playing in the U.K. everywhere.
You and Flo-Rida have a chemistry that goes all the way back to 2009. What is it about you two that just clicked instantly?
To be honest, Flo-Rida was in a group called GroundHoggz, and I was a solo artist recording a demo. I was probably 16-years-old when I first ran into Flo back then. During the journey, of course, my career had taken off in Pretty Ricky, so I didn’t see him for a bit. Randomly, we went to L.A. to work on the second Pretty Ricky album with DeVante Swing (Jodeci). Flo was signed to DeVante, so we reconnected there like, “Damn I didn’t know whatever-whatever.”
Nine months after that, he (Flo-Rida) came with “Low,” so he ended up being signed to Atlantic Records, same as me. We’ve been hanging since all of those times. He remembered during the journey I was never no stuck person; I was always down-to-earth. That’s just my brother, we just been rocking for years.
You two have bangers for years based on that.
Yea, during all my tough times in this business, he allowed me to write on a record, “Wild Ones.” He let me travel with him, let me do certain things during my down times. That’s what brothers do. A lot of things we go through as artists in this business, you can’t really talk to a lot of people about it. He’s one person that I can be like, “Damn bro, yea you two, this happened to me when this…” That’s just a vibe, that’s my bro for life.
You came out with Pretty Ricky with Bluestar in 2005. You guys had such monumental success with that album and the follow-up, leading on to now. Would you guys consider yourself like the Godfathers or Forefathers of Miami R&B?
I don’t. I feel like, I’m just a Young Legend. Meaning, I did everything young. I got nominated for Grammys young, sold a million records or more young, toured the world young, I experience a lot young. Lived in Bel-Air Estates young. Everything I did, I would say yea, definitely, I’m a young legend from that time to now. Knowing the business is everything.
To you, does it feel like it’s been 15 years?
It does. I feel older than people think because I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen every kind of person there is to see damn near. All of their motives, all kind of shit, I’ve seen a lot at a young age.
How do you feel about the current state of R&B right now?
Well, I’m always gonna say this. You got artists like me, Mario, Bobby Valentino, J. Holiday, Lloyd. You got a lot of artists that come out or came out with stuff but, its like, Urban Radio is now all Rap. Urban AC (Adult Contemporary), you got Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, and you got all these older guys on the radio there. So we didn’t really have anywhere to go. And now we’re just now making that transition into Adult Contemporary.
I feel like the state of R&B is at an all-time low, even though everyone is dropping projects; Mario just dropped, J. Holiday coming out with a new project, Lloyd just dropped something. Everybody still dropping stuff but I think that if we made more music together, supported each other more, like if your project comes out, I tweet your shit, vice-versa. Just like what the rappers do, and we tour together more, it’ll have a bigger impact on the people who actually love it. Because they only hear whatever, whatever, and there’s strength in numbers; this is what you’re going to get.
Who are some new singers that you listen to that keep you inspired?
Man… I like Jacquees’ stuff. He was really cool when I met him. He told me he looks up to my music. When I listen to his stuff, it reminds me of a younger me. I like to listen to his stuff. Ummm… who else…? I don’t really listen to a lot of new R&B.
You got Tory Lanez?
Tory Lanez is not an R&B singer. He can’t sing live; he can sing in the studio but tell him to sing one of them without a got damn. Not discrediting him but tell him to sing one of them songs live with nothing, he couldn’t do it. To me, that’s not R&B. That’s the thing about R&B. When these rappers are doing the “Singy” thing through whatever. It’s cool, I’m not discrediting them for what they do, but there are “Real” singers out here. Miguel is R&B, Pleasure P is R&B, Mario is R&B, Jacquees is R&B. Jacquees can get on Instagram and sing. You got Vito the Singer that’s out now; he sings on Instagram all day. That’s what I look at in terms of R&B, but I listen to all those guys I just named. Adrien Marcel is R&B. I listen to all those guys.
So how did you feel when you heard Tory Lanez’s remix to your classic, “Grind on Me” with Jacquees?
It was dope! They called me to do his video. I ended up doing the video for them, but I don’t think the video ever came out.
This year, you celebrate the 10 year anniversary of your debut solo album, correct?
Yea, the Introduction of Marcus Cooper. I’m like “yo, its been 10 years since we put that thing out and it’s still a classic album that you can play from top to bottom.” The next album you get from me is going to be just the same way. All of my music is good I feel. The people that hear it, they never lie to me about it, they like it. I just got to release more products.
Knowing what you know now If you could tell your young self anything, what would it be?
I would have told myself for that project (Introduction to Marcus Cooper) to shoot videos for every song. We didn’t know that this digital world, that if we shot videos for every song that would have helped the project a lot more. I would choose to be around better people at that time while I was promoting that project and take it way more serious than I did when I actually had the project coming out.
When can we expect the next solo album from Pleasure P?
The solo album for me… I’m thinking like sometime January, February, March… I don’t know. I’m releasing the first single in January. As soon as Love and Hip-Hop: Miami airs then your gonna hear my music on the show then your gonna hear the albums dropping. Until then, I got the Pleasure P Presents EP out, outside of that, I got the mixtape dropping, What About Us. Then you know you’ll see videos, and we’ll gear up for January.
‘Pleasure P Presents’ is available now, stream below via Spotify.
Interview by Boom Paul with Contributions from Dominique Carson