Date of Interview: 12/04/2009
© 2009 Clayton Perry
The music of Raheem DeVaughn serves as the perfect antidote to the standard commercial fare on contemporary R&B radio. And by channeling the spirit of Marvin Gaye, the self-proclaimed “R&B hippie neo-soul rock star” has managed to juggle a musical catalog that focuses on the beauty of love as much as the social issues underlying the hardships of daily life.
No stranger to “conscious” music-making, Raheem DeVaughn has never been coy about his intent on educating the masses, so long as a smooth groove stirred enough sugar in his musical medicine. Such precautions seem unnecessary, however, since his breath-taking falsetto effortlessly draws listeners to his poignant messages of community uplift and self-empowerment.
To date, Raheem DeVaughn has garnered two GRAMMY nominations. “Woman” would bring his first for “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance,” while “Customer” would garner a nod in 2009 for “Best R&B Song.” Both tracks are represented on DeVaughn’s sophomore effort, Love Behind the Melody. His third studio album, The Love & War MasterPeace will be released on March 2, 2010, via Jive Records.
Shortly after the digital release of “Bulletproof,” the lead single for the MasterPeace, Raheem DeVaughn managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on “the new cool,” a career-defining conversation with Stevie Wonder, and his advice for independent artists.