Oakland native, now east Los Angeleno, Grammy award winning and super soulful artist and musician RAPHAEL SAADIQ is now in rehearsal to rock DTLA into the new year of 2017, and he is excited!
“I’m definitely excited about celebrating in L.A. I rarely play in L.A., so it feels good to kick off the new year downtown.”, says Raphael.
Downtowners are known for generous charitability of heart. When asked of the causes that speak to Raphael’s own dear heart, he replies that he’s passionate about organizations dedicated to combating Parkinson’s disease and more specifically, Powering Forward – Brian Grant Foundation, based in Portland, Oregon. Raphael is also a well-known supporter toward instilling technology skills in children.
In stellar anticipation of the blessed conclusion to an emotional year, 2016, and thrilling entrevue to 2017, Raphael has courteously taken to social media to elicit good old fashioned song requests. When queried about potential standouts from his vast and dazzling catalog, both as a songwriting soloist and prominent frontman and founder of soul trio Tony! Toni! Tone!, he responds: “‘Good Man’ seems to be a very popular request, People are also eager to hear ‘Angel’, the song I performed on Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’.
“Good Man” is a socially conscious single released by Raphael in year 2009, accompanied by a stunning and vivid music video release. “Luke Cage” is an original Netflix series created in 2016 in which Raphael has performed.
As a trailblazing and iconic artist, one can’t help but wonder who Raphael (namesake of a well-storied archangel, by the way) looks up to and just who and what move his soul?
I am a fan of many artists, including the late J Dilla, Prince, Maurice White, and James Brown. I also get caught up in the Beatles sometimes. I’m a fan of all musicians, whether it’s pop, hip-hop, or something else. But I’m definitely a soul child at heart. I live in the midst of soul music, especially soul from the 60’s — that’s what really moves me. Gut-wrenching soul music.
“I look up to Kenny Edmonds (aka Babyface). He’s remained the same guy since he’s started. He’s a normal guy but still makes his money. We both love what we do, but we don’t get jaded by the industry. We don’t get lost in the sauce.”
Raphael further explains his connection with Kenny Edmonds thusly:
“The music takes you on such a crazy high, but we don’t get carried away by it. Whether with a president of a record label or flying on a plane with Bill Clinton, he always remains a level dude. More than all the singing and performing, the question is: how do you stay grounded when you come home from a show? Success, to me, is defined as what happens after the lights go out. Can you walk down the street and make music? I never wanted to be someone who had to hide from people on the street. Kenny is a perfect example of that.”
Everyone loves Raphael. He is simply irresistible! So, what can we anticipate from this incredible artist in 2017? In response, he says,”Musically, I segue through different types of music that I’ve made throughout my career. I’m currently working on an album, a John Singleton TV series ‘Rebel’, and SCORING the second season of the ‘Underground’ TV series. My main focus is finishing this album, and hope to have it released on Columbia by May 2017 with shows to follow.”
Raphael is not the artist we see on every billboard all along the Sunset strip all the time every day. He explains: “I’m more of a songwriter who likes to please myself. As I look at my pattern of making music, I haven’t felt like people need to hear me all the time. As of late, I feel like I need to be heard. That’s what motivates me: making music for myself. Now is the time for me to go out and be heard.”
“Very, very beautiful” is what Raphael says in response to a query about his recent voyage to the motherland. “It was a humbling awakening of people and history from the apartheid movement to the musical movement of the drums, and more. It was incredible meeting people who knew so much about me in places I never anticipated.
What do you want the people to know before we “turn up” on New Years’s Eve?
“I want everyone to make everyone feel connected this New Year’s Eve. I’m very excited to play this special show with Cory Henry, one of the top musicians around the world. I love the organ, especially Hammond B3 players. When I found him playing the B3 on Youtube we connected and have been friends ever since. His performance is going to be crazy. He has lightening fingers. My other friend, Adrian Younge, is a good brother, and he will DJ the event. Adrian miraculously has a break in his crazy schedule, so he’s going to spin some vinyl and tear it up in his own way. I don’t know what’s going to happen on New Year’s Eve. But when I don’t know what’s going to happen the best things happen.”
Raphael Saadiq will help wrap up 2016! After performing in support of his last album release, Stone Rollin’, Raphael Saadiq has scheduled an intimate date at The Well in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, December 31, with opener Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles and a DJ set by Adrian Younge.