Raheem DeVaughn Discusses ‘A Place Called Loveland’ Album, Ne-Yo Collaboration and Pusha T Track
Raheem DeVaughn is a love connoisseur. The Grammy-nominated singer has made a career of detailing the triumphs and tribulations of romance through song. This summer, he'll present 'A Place Called Loveland,' a collection of tracks that center on the subject.
This fourth studio album, which serves as the follow-up to 2010's 'The Love & War MasterPeace,' already boasts the upbeat ode 'Love Connection.' Raheem's new effort has been four years in the making. In July, his vocal talents will be shared with the masses once the LP is released.
A highlight of 'A Place Called Loveland' is 'Ridiculous,' a ballad penned by Ne-Yo. The two previously collaborated on 'I Don't Care,' which the latter wrote for Raheem's last album.
"I've been lucky to get a record from [Ne-Yo] for the last two albums," the crooner tells TheDrop.fm. "I know that he's a fan of my work and I'm a fan of his. When someone says, 'I got a record that Ne-Yo wrote,' I'm gonna check it out. I heard the song, ['Ridiculous'], and fell in love with it immediately. I think he's a phenomenal songwriter, one of the dopest of our generation."
According to Raheem, the song is "saying like if loving you is ridiculous then I don't mind." He and Ne-Yo didn't actually record the track together in the studio -- technology offers the luxury of both parties working from their respective locations -- so he's been left with one unanswered question. "I can't wait to run into him to ask him if he wrote the record for Michael Jackson because it has like a Michael Jackson-mystique kinda feel about it," Raheem explains.
With this forthcoming album, fans can expect a welcomed change from his last project. "It's definitely different from the songs that I'm known for," he shares. "I usually kinda leave a space on every other album for that. I like balance. I'm giving people what they want and also doing what I want to do at the same time. There's definitely relationship things on the album, definitely orgasmic, eargasmic, poetic [songs]. Just an eclectic rollercoaster of passion and situations."
Producers like Moe Digga, Dre King, Mario Winans and Jay Phoenix crafted many of the beats on 'A Place Called Loveland.' Moe Digga created the production on 'Greatest Love,' which is one of the tracks Raheem is looking forward to debuting. "It's got that '90s, Jodeci, chopped and screwed, Prince, so many different elements," he describes.
Like most artists, Raheem recorded many songs that won't make the final tracklist. But that doesn't mean those tracks will fall on deaf ears. Pusha T and Big K.R.I.T. both appear on separate songs that will be released "at the right time."
"The song with Pusha T is crazy, it's a relationship-type joint," Raheem admits. "Conceptually, with this storyline for this album, it didn't fit. So that's why I didn't put it on this album. The same thing with the K.R.I.T. record. That record can come out whenever. It's gonna be ridiculous when that joint drops."
The Washington, D.C. native goes on to detail his friendship with the former Clipse member. "We good," he says." V-A is right around the corner. The DMV, we good. [Pusha's] the homie. We like to race each other. He's into cars and s---. He be having like the spaceships. He be having like the 2015 Mercedes. We was kicking it one night, racing each other on the way to the strip club. I'm happy for him. He's always been phenomenal but his time is approaching. His album is gonna be crazy too."
Aside from readying for his album release, the established songwriter has his hands full with the Raheem DeVaughn Show, a radio show he created, as well as assisting with the development of burgeoning artists like Phil Ade, Chaz French and Georgia Reign.
"Journalism has always been a passion of mine," Raheem states of his inspiration for the radio show. "You wonder why an artist like T.I. is so successful then you sit down with him for two hours and ask the right questions, you find out. So those are the advantages of my celebrity and what it is to them and what I am to them and what they are to me."
"There's never enough platforms for our art," he continues. "I'm saying from being a black male R&B soul singer. There's not many platforms for us at this point. At times, I feel like it's a war in our music or you have people that'll say, 'I think the genres and titles kill what it is and what it can be.' When you close your eyes and you listen to Jill Scott and Adele, is there any real difference? So what makes one artist a pop artist and what makes another artist neo soul [or] urban AC only? Who says we have to do any of that? Who says we have to believe that? In my show, I'm able to break down those walls."
'A Place Called Loveland' arrives this summer.
Watch Raheem DeVaughn's 'Love Connection' Video