Archive for June, 2008

Robin Thicke

Date of Interview: 06/27/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

Determination and perseverance have been the hallmarks of Robin Thicke’s musical career.  Then again, such fortitude was necessary in the world of R&B, where his presence was confronted with the (white) “elephant in the room.”

The media’s labeling of Thicke’s repertoire as “blue-eyed soul” was no match for the sheer talent exposed on his sophomore album, The Evolution of Robin Thicke.  On February 24, 2007, Thicke made R&B history when he became the first white male artist to reach the number-one spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart since George Michael, who reached the summit in 1988 with “One More Try.”  The following week, on March 3, 2007, “Lost Without U” simultaneously topped two additional charts as well: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Adult R&B Airplay.  Far from a momentary blip, “Lost Without U” became one of 2007′s biggest R&B hits—spending eleven consecutive weeks at the top of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Adult R&B Airplay charts and ten consecutive weeks on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.

In the midst of Robin Thicke’s historical success, he was tapped to perform “Lost Without U” at the 2007 BET Awards, where he had been nominated as the year’s “Best Male R&B Artist” and received consideration as the “Viewer’s Choice” for his “Lost Without U” music video.  Unlike Justin Timberlake, who had been nominated several years earlier in 2003, Thicke’s reception was less controversial and more readily accepted.

On September 9, 2008, Robin Thicke will release his third solo album, Something Else, which was produced entirely by himself and longtime collaborator Pro-Jay.  Upon review of the album’s lead single, “Magic,” Robin Thicke managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Lil’ Wayne, “blue-eyed soul” and topping the R&B charts.

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Tye Tribbett

Date of Interview: 06/26/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

As the child of a pastor and choir director, one would expect Tye Tribbett to be “on fire for God.” With this being (perhaps obviously) true, then it is even less surprising to know that Tribbett has dedicated his life to the music ministry as well. Such palpable observations have a direct correlation, however, to the unexpected blessings that time affords, especially when a man’s life is in accordance with God’s plan.

In less than a decade, Tye Tribbett & Greater Anointing have transformed the Gospel music genre. And although the group has collaborated with notable mainstream artists like Sting, Faith Hill, and Justin Timberlake, Tribbett has made a vow to keep the focus of his musical endeavors on Christ—citing Ephesians 6:11 as his guide. “Putting on the whole armour of God,” Tye Tribbett follows in the footsteps of Kirk Franklin and Hezekiah Walker—fusing non-traditional musical elements to create high energy praise and worship.

Like Franklin and Walker before him, Tribbett has been subject to the harsh criticisms of traditional Gospel lovers, but his innovative work has brought spiritual music to mainstream audiences. On May 6, 2008, Tye Tribbett & Greater Anointing released their third album, Stand Out, which was recorded in a live production at the Rock Church International in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Upon review of Stand Out, Tye Tribbett managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on “Good in the Hood,” the influence of Kirk Franklin, and his burgeoning music ministry.

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Prima J

Date of Interview: 06/16/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

In the cutthroat world of music, the pleasantries of business are rarely a family affair.  But when the going gets rough, Janelle and Jessica Martinez find comfort and strength in each other.

Collectively, these first cousins are known as Prima J.  And while the duo’s name hides their individual personas, their differences make quite a dynamic duo.

In 2007, Prima J made their debut on the Bratz Motion Picture Soundtrack with “Rock Star.”  The single was prominently featured in the film and a music video was commissioned for promotional purposes.  Word of mouth created instant buzz for the duo and “Rock Star” eventually garnered six million views on YouTube—less than one year after its release.

On June 17, 2008, Prima J released their self-titled debut with Geffen Records.  Upon review of Prima J, Janelle and Jessica Martinez managed to squeeze some time out of their busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on “Rock Star,” the influence of Stefanie Ridel, and the meaning of “chilosa!”

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Adele

Date of Interview: 06/16/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

Although “soul music” originated in the United States, over the past decade, the genre has failed to make much headway in mainstream radio outlets.  How ironic, then, that one of America’s greatest previous exports is now being imported by a small cadre of young British chanteuses.  Of these women, Adele is the most promising.

The British press has hailed Adele as the “new Amy Winehouse.”  And while remarkably flattering, such an edict can be distracting, because Adele’s music stands well on its own.  As a matter of fact, the proof is in the pudding: her debut album, 19, opened at the top of the UK Albums Chart—attaining platinum sales status—and she became the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics’ Choice honor.

As part of an international surge reminiscent of previous British invasions, Adele made her American debut on June 10, 2008.  Upon review of 19, Adele managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Etta James, “heartbroken soul,” and the inspiration behind “Chasing Pavements.”

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