When three-time Grammy-nominated, soul-induced singer/songwriter RAHEEM DEVAUGHN makes a seemingly audacious musical promise; whether you want to hold him to his word, consider his word bond or regard his word as good as gold, given his impressive track record for consistently engaging musical quality amongst his faithful, steadily-growing audience, one could safely surmise that ultimately he’s always a man of his word.
1. In Studio Jam: Raheem DeVaughn performs “Just Right”Source:Hot105 Miami
Hence, after professing that he had enough music in the can for the “next ten to fifteen years” upon the release of his fall 2018-released “Decade of a Love King” set, longtime followers had no idea what they were in store for. “Although this is album number seven that we’re calling The Love Reunion,” says RAHEEM of his surprise second release in eight months, “it’s a part-two to Decade of a Love King, which just came out in October.
2. In Studio Jam: Raheem DeVaughn performs “Don’t Come Easy”Source:Hot105 Miami
I never stop making music; I’m still working on finding new ways to use my instrument, so the best way to do that is to stay in the studio…that’s my refuge, my therapy and my sanity. [So] this Decade of a Love King trilogy has a lot of different tones and variations in it. When people go through albums six, seven, eight, and maybe nine and ten, they’re gonna be like `Wow, he gave us some real hardcore, new millennial R&B!’”
3. Raheem DeVaughnSource:Hot105 Miami
Hence, hot on the heels of the Top 5 Billboard Adult R&B success of his smooth-n-sultry “Don’t Come Easy” and it’s easy-groovin’ “What It Feels Like” follow-up single, The Love Reunion arrives just in time for summer with a seamless, effective balance of sound-expanding upbeat grooves alongside his signature scintillatingly sexy love grooves.
4. Raheem DeVaughnSource:Hot105 Miami
“I would say it’s half summer, half winter,” DeVaughn muses about the prospect of The Love Reunion transcending seasons with infectious melodies and grooves that’ll guide us from hot summer days to the more cozy cooler months. “So half of the album is definitely a summer album, and then there’s a winter album too. It’s like in the 90s when you had those Jodeci albums where the slow jams are back to back to back…but just enough.” Most effectively setting the stage for the roll-out of The Love Reunion is the swirling, hypnotic premiere single “Just Right (aka Testify)” which puts the spotlight on his soaring, breathy vocals over an aurally enchanting downtempo love groove core fans are most familiar with.
5. Raheem DeVaughnSource:Hot105 Miami
“Well, the voice is like an instrument,” RAHEEM says, while explaining the vocal showcase that results from this Tim Kelley-produced (of 90s hit-makers Tim & Bob fame) first single. “And technically I don’t play guitar, cello or keys, so singing and vocal arranging is my way of playing an instrument. I’ve been looking to pull this record out of myself…just this vibe, kind of like the `wedding song of the year.’ It’s an undeniable record. I feel like as artists we wait for that song, and `Just Right’ is that song for me. I feel like it’s a career-changing record for me.”
6. Raheem DeVaughnSource:Hot105 Miami
In fact, change and musical evolution prove to be key winning elements on The Love Reunion, as there proves to be several sonic surprises and excursions in between the smoothed-out lo-fi/urban R&B head-noddin’ “Everything A Go” set opener and the cool, jazzy R&B bump of “Joyful Noise (aka The Chill AF Remix),” the set’s closer. Jumping straight out of the pack with the potential of exposing RAHEEM to an even wider audience are the immediately catchy “Kissed By the Sun,” a dreamy bump-n-whine laced with his racy come-ons; the steamy-n-bouncy reggaeton/R&B mash-up of “Magnet” (featuring Edley Shine formerly of Born Jamericans) and his uncharacteristically dark, hard-edged “Heaven On Earth.”
7. Raheem DeVaughnSource:Hot105 Miami
Already on board for this musically ambitious The Love Reunion is his faithful core audience who have followed his journey and listened to his artistry develop since the Maryland native arrived on the music scene with his Jive Records debut set, The Love Experience (2005). Having already paid his dues throughout the Washington, D.C.-area club circuit, RAHEEM (the son of veteran jazz cellist Abdul Wadud) achieved a major breakthrough with his sophomore release, 2008’sLove Behind the Melody, which not only hit #1 on Billboard’s Top 10 R&B/Hip-Hop Album charts, but garnered two Grammy nominations (Best R&B Song for “Customer;” Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Woman”), one BET Award and two BET J Virtual Awards (“Male Artist of the Year” and “Album of the Year”).
8. Raheem DeVaughnSource:Hot105 Miami
2010’s A Place Called Love Land maintained the momentum, earning him yet another Grammy nomination (“Best R&B Album of the Year”) and more popular singles (i.e., “You”). As the music industry landscape went through its changes, RAHEEM took the bold step of going independent and taking the reins of full creative control starting with the 2013 release of A Place Called Love Land and seamlessly continuing with 2015’s Love, Sex & Passion, which impressively charted at #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album charts, #2 on Billboard’s Independent Album chart and #31 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. His trilogy-instigating Decade of a Love King continued that long-building momentum, resulting in two charts hits and a 2019 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Male Artist.