Raphael Saadiq conducted by Hugo Lunny  



Raphael Saadiq

May 2002

These are the transcripts of an interview with Raphael Saadiq. The interview was conducted by Hugo on May 8th, 2002. Raphael Saadiq is a legendary rn'b singer, having been a part of the groups Tony! Toni! Tone!, Lucy Pearl and having worked with A Tribe Called Quest, The Isley Brothers, Angie Stone, D'Angelo and more. In June (2002) Saadiq will release his solo debut 'Instant Vintage.'


MVRemix: Was your singing voice something which came naturally, or did you get taught how to sing?

Raphael Saadiq: It came naturally.

MVRemix: Over your career, what would be one thing that you can now think of that you wish you'd done differently above anything else, and what would you say you're most proud of and wouldn't change for the world?

Raphael Saadiq: I don't know, I don't think that there's anything that I would change. Most proud of, that now I'm just getting into doing some solo work at this time.

MVRemix: Do you think rn'b has evolved nicely over the years, or is this era experiencing a lot of monotonous subject matter and commercial releases?

Raphael Saadiq: It varies very much so. I think rn'b is in a varied not so good state from where it came from, where it started. It lost a lot of depth I think in comparison to what was done by Al Green and Otis Reading, you know, real soul/rn'b music. What it used to be called, rn'b is not anymore. Everything has to change, but, after it changed a lot and got better it started to go downhill. I think that it may be on its way back up now.

MVRemix: 'Oph' - well then. Now, I'm in Vancouver, BC. If you hadn't heard, this place is notoriously known for being fond of the greener substance. Do you smoke for relaxation, creativity, both or neither?

Raphael Saadiq: Relaxation.

MVRemix: Does it influence your creativity at all?

Raphael Saadiq: Sometimes, but not really. I don't really smoke it right.

MVRemix: Explain to me "Gospeldelic."

Raphael Saadiq: "Gospeldelic" I came up with the term for, it means truth. Truth for the music to really be true, for the sentiments to really be true but to have some fun and sarcasm with them. There's also party songs within it and experimental sounds.

MVRemix: Who/what has influenced you over the years and, are there any records, without the title "Instant Vintage" that you would define as being that?

Raphael Saadiq: New records or old records?

MVRemix: Either.

Raphael Saadiq: Um, only old records really. I mean, every old record I like. Records from Funkadelic I really liked, Donnie Hathaway, Al Green and Parliament. Parliament is "Instant Vintage."

MVRemix: Having your own production company, record label and studio would imply that we'll be seeing more Saadiq gems, and potentially some other artists' emerging under your guidance. Can you provide any info. on future occurrences with Pookie Records etc.?

Raphael Saadiq: Right now I'm working on Willie Mack, along with some other groups. It's kind of up in the air right now.

MVRemix: As an R&B singer, if you could do your own version of "Best Of Both Worlds" which hip hop artist would you work with?

Raphael Saadiq: Nas. Raphael Saadiq Interview

MVRemix: Why the title "Instant Vintage"?

Raphael Saadiq: It's a contradiction with words and I'm a vintage type of person. I collect a lot of vinyl, my production team do too. We just know that when you pick up the vinyl. No matter whether it's new or old, DJ's protect their vinyl, like it's old, like it's vintage. Like they'll never get another one. That's how I came up with the title.

MVRemix: Why did you enlist who you enlisted to be featured upon "Instant Vintage" (T Boz, Angie Stone, D'Angelo)?

Raphael Saadiq: Angie Stone I work with a lot. She's always around and she pops up in the middle of the day or the middle of the night wanting to work on something. She brought along Calvin Richardson along to let me hear him, and he ended up singing on the record also. I'm also working on his album right now.

MVRemix: Why did you choose to direct the video for 'Be Here'?

Raphael Saadiq: I felt like that if I wrote the song and created it through instruments myself, what better person that me to direct the video to show the visuals to people.

MVRemix: On "Tek 2" on 'Instant Vintage' there are examples of people trying to get favours from you in the way of you hooking them up with other celebrities. How do you react to this sort of situation? Are you eager to help or do you think of it in a stalker fashion?

Raphael Saadiq: I don't think of it in a stalker fashion, when my friends say something like that - they're usually just playing anyway. They would want to meet them if they saw them with me. They're talking off, just to be talking. Just to hear themselves talk.

MVRemix: What else are you working on?

Raphael Saadiq: I'm working on Calvin Richardson right now. And on an Angie Stone song.

MVRemix: Now, way back when, when I was in England - when 'Lets Get Down' was released, I remember listening and loving it with a select group of friends. It brings back a lot of great memories. Now, I'm wondering, are there any other Tony! Toni! Tone releases in talks or in the works?

Raphael Saadiq: Uh...no.

MVRemix: Not a good thing!

Raphael Saadiq: Haha.

MVRemix: What is your take on the replacement situation of Dawn Robinson with Joi within Lucy Pearl?

Raphael Saadiq: The replacement thing at that time was a must, it was needed. The correct thing to do was to make the switch.

MVRemix: Any last words you'd like to put to your fans and potential fans?

Raphael Saadiq: I'd like to say thanks for supporting and I'll see you when I'm in your town, don't miss it. You wouldn't want to miss it!






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