Raheem DeVaughn conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Experiencing The Love Of The Human Voice

September 2005

The emotion of love empowers the human voice to transcend boundaries of race, sex, and death. Throughout history, singers have become immortal through the power of their voice. Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and countless others have used their gift of music to inspire love and confidence. From hip-hop to R&B to indie rock, the human voice is possibly the most magical and most prevailing of all musical instruments.

Raheem DeVaughn is an R&B singer who respects the power of the human voice as he attempts to use his gift to share experiences of love. Born in New Jersey but raised in Maryland, DeVaughn has independently released a handful of mix-tapes ("The Healing", "The Antidote", "The Street Experience", etc.) Instead of rapping, DeVaughn sings with the influence of Prince, Luther Vandross, and Marvin Gaye. Jive Records eventually approached the artist and a new chapter in DeVaughn's career began. In 2005, Raheem DeVaughn released, "The Love Experience" LP on Jive Records. The album's production is handled by Kenny Dope, Supe, Anthony Bell, Pete Kuzma (A Touch Of Jazz) and others. Although the album has various producers, "The Love Experience" is not littered with trendy guest spots. Reminiscent of D'Angelo's "Voodoo" LP, DeVaughn's "The Love Experience" is an album to get you in that mood. From the catchy and upbeat double entendre of "Sweet Tooth" to the pimped out vibe on "Cadillac", the emotion of love links the various themes on the album.

Raheem Devaughn InterviewThe magic of human voice lies in the infinite power and potential. The human voice can ignite anger, hatred, and evil, and madness, but the experience of love inspired by the human voice ultimately prevails. Only those who either feel or respect the experience can appreciate the supremacy. Raheem DeVaughn may be in a relatively early stage in his career, but his potential is limitless. Raheem DeVaughn is one of those artists who can respect and feel the powerful experience of love.

MVRemix: What goes on?

Raheem DeVaughn: I'm a rock star, man. You don't get to interview people like me everyday.

MVRemix: Yes, actually, I do. I've actually interviewed legends who are much bigger than you. But, that's a whole other story.

Raheem DeVaughn: Let's get to it.

MVRemix: So, what goes on?

Raheem DeVaughn: It's good. I just saw the movie 'Four Brothers'. It's pretty good, pretty violent. Lots of guns. The American dream.

MVRemix: Tell us about your debut album released on Jive Records, 'The Love Experience'.

Raheem DeVaughn: It's my debut on Jive. I'm not new to this thing at all. I put out a couple different projects independently. 'The Love Experience' came out in June. It's doing pretty well. I'm looking to make history with the record. It's definitely my first step forward. It's a timeless body of work.

MVRemix: Do you have a favorite song on 'The Love Experience'?

Raheem DeVaughn: Man, I have a couple. 'Who' is one. 'Believe' too. I love the title track.

MVRemix: How did you get involved with Jive Records?

Raheem DeVaughn: They sought me out when I was least expecting to be sought out. I was doing things on my own accord. I put out 4 projects prior to signing with them. After I got with them, my album was done rather quickly, but I had to sit and wait for a while. Since I was used to putting out my own records, I decided to put out mix-tapes, which were like albums for the streets. I would snatch other people's beats and do my own interpretation over them. That worked out to be pretty popular and did well over the Internet. I'm still working and it's good to be signed with Jive. It's a good opportunity. I'm on the verge of a cult following.

MVRemix: So, are you happy with Jive?

Raheem DeVaughn: I'm not happy, but I'm not unhappy. I knew what I was getting into, before I inked the deal. My main concern is that they understand that they are dealing with Raheem DeVaughn, the business, and not the artist. Now, we've come to see eye to eye. I want to be treated as a business and I want that respect.

MVRemix: When you approach a song, do you have a set theme or pre-written lyrics, or do you write to the music?

Raheem DeVaughn: Usually, I have the music and I don't write stuff down. I kind of just piece it together, in a matter of two or three hours. Then, the song is done.

MVRemix: From conception to completion, what song took the longest to finish on 'The Love Experience' LP?

Raheem DeVaughn: The actual title track song, 'The Love Experience'. It took about 12 or 15 hours to record that. I don't like to leave work unfinished. I don't like to come back to it the next day. I like to do it there. I remember that I heard the beat at 9 or 10 o'clock at night on a Monday. We started working on the song at Battery, which is in the same building as Jive. Jive actually owns the studio, but that's another story. Anyway, they left and I remember coming in after lunch break and finishing the song the next day. My manager went home, tucked his kids in, slept, and came back.

MVRemix: Your biography states that you started out in a talent show?

Raheem DeVaughn: Nah, that's where my entrepreneurship started. I've been doing music for some time now. I've been in different groups too. I started to take it more seriously in 1999 and 2000. I began building my following and testing out my material. I came across a spot in D.C. called Bar None. I used to go there and work on my craft. There was this open-mic type thing. It was a competition and I ended up winning that. I took that money and invested it in myself. That led to me putting out my first project, 'The Healing'. Then, there was 'The Antidote'.

MVRemix: How has your live show evolved?

Raheem DeVaughn: People always gravitated towards my live show. It's one thing to make records in the studio, but I look forward to performing them live. That's my thing. The live show just developed. I'm on the Seagram's Tour. I like to bring color to my songs and my shows.

MVRemix: Speaking of color, the artwork for 'The Love Experience' is very lush.

Raheem DeVaughn: Thank you. A cat by the name of Demont Peekaso did that. He's also my visual art dude for my live show. I don't want to spoil it for you.

MVRemix: What is your favorite part of your live show?

Raheem DeVaughn: Everything from beginning to end. I love when I get into the slower songs and when we get more creative with the songs from the actual record. We play it as you know it, but we change it up for you.

>>> continued...

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