Bobby V‘s getting his grown and sexy on with a new beard and a new single y’all! That’s right, we got the video for Bobby’s latest single, “Koko Lovely” for you and it’s got some eye candy for the fellas. As brought to you in our VH1 exclusive this past September, Bobby V made a promise to his fans that only you can decide if he’s kept with the release of his new EP, Peach Moon (released Dec. 10), and subsequently his brand-new video, “Koko Lovely.” When we caught up with the V-man after his NYC performance at the Soul Factory Presents showcase, the Atlanta-based music maker said that he was on a mission to make “good music” — minus the ratchetness and raunchiness. Bobby V made known to the world his intention to deliver some next-level music that enlightens and uplifts, as well as entertains.
If you have not heard of Leela James, get ready, because that is probably about to change. The soul/R&B singer-songwriter’s name is finding its way into the mouths of music critics and fresh fans thanks to the release of her latest single “Say That” featuring Anthony Hamilton. Since her break onto the music scene in 2005 with her debut album A Change Is Gonna Come, James has steadily built her signature brand of big soulful vocals, with big “swallow her face” hair to match. But her upcoming fifth album (slated for release in early 2014) for which “Say That” is the first single could be the charm that changes the game for James and brings her explosive brand of soulful music to the masses in a huge way.
I’m flashing back to the year 2005 and the celebration of one of my thirty-something birthdays with my twin sister. We were in Madison Square Garden for an Alicia Keys concert, and that evening’s opening act was John Legend. We’d become familiar with his music by way of his Get Lifted album, and it was a treat to start off the evening with this gifted and talented artist at the piano, just at the inception of his promising career. Well, I’m here to tell you that with the release of his latest album Love in the Future and its tour, John Legend has not only arrived, but he’s giving us all the reasons to pray to the music gods that he stays around for a long, long time.
[Photo Credit: Dominic Episcopo]
I was excited to interview Glenn Lewis for several reasons. Mostly however, I wanted answers — as in why he made us fall in love with him and his music with the 2002 release World Outside My Window, only to have us wait a painstaking 11 years for a satisfying dose of “the voice” and his unique take on life and love that hooked us all in the first damn place. And I’m not even gonna front, I wanted to see those signature dimples up close and personal.
Curiosity came over me when I learned that K-Ci and JoJo were coming out with a new album. Like every other female who came into her grown-and-sexy in the ’90s, I ooohed and aahhed and found myself beside myself over and over again as the R&B group Jodeci dominated with songs like “Forever My Lady”, “Love U 4 Life”, “Come and Talk to Me” and “Feenin’.” Whereas brothers DeVante Swing and Mr. Dalvin were easy on the eyes, arguably it was K-Ci (known as the Bobby Womack of R&B) and JoJo (known as the Stevie Wonder of R&B) who quickly became known as the voices of the group, the vocal masters of our ears.
With over 40 years of making music under their belt, Earth, Wind & Fire has sold over 90 million albums worldwide and inspired the likes of Prince, Alicia Keys, and Jay Z. Now, the soul-funk-fusion act has come full circle with the release of a new album, Now, Then & Forever (in stores now). We spoke with original EWF member Philip Bailey about collaborating with other EWF original members Verdine White and Ralph Johnson to create their latest project, and got his take on the state of music today, how EWF continues to make music that is adored my millions around the world, and his love for Maroon 5, John Mayer, and Janelle Monae.
Tamar Braxton and John Legend each have new albums out that share their takes on that powerful four-letter word that makes our worlds go round—Love and War and Love In The Future, respectively—and now the two have joined forces for what is sure to be a must-see tour this fall. Tamar recently stopped by the VH1 headquarters to discuss her upcoming tour, as well as her two new loves—her son Logan Vincent Herbert, and her album Love and War, the title track of which Tamar says is the soundtrack to her relationship with her hubby and manager Vince.
R&B music has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence as of late thanks to artists like Donell Jones, Raheem DeVaughn, Avant, Lyfe Jennings, Monifah, and Erica Campbell, who came together Sunday, August 4th at the Central Park Summerstage to perform in the WBLS R&B Fest. And what a show it was!
The first thing that struck me as I settled into my seat at B.B. King last night and waited for the Mary Mary performance to start was how many children —tots, teens and tweens— were out in full force with their families. The sight put a smile on my face and made me wish I had brought my own 15-year-old son to the show to experience the joy and jubilation that is Mary Mary. After all, he’s watched enough episodes of Mary Mary’s self-titled WE tv show with me to know that I love me some Mary Mary. I’m right there, watching and joining in on their triumphs as the Grammy-winning, Billboard-charting sisters continue to bring gospel music to the masses and break new ground. It’s no small accomplishment that they are the first gospel group to grace the main stage at the Essence Music Festival, have been featured on iconic magazine covers like Ebony, and have singers like VH1′s own K.Michelle performing their music. Like those who came out last night to see Mary Mary perform at B.B. King, I love Mary Mary because they love the Lord, and they make no apologies for singing his praises, sharing his word, and giving him the glory in all things — in good times, in bad times, and most certainly in great times.
I was quite nervous when I got word that Donell Jones agreed to my interview request. I’ve been a fan of his music for years, and have even had the pleasure of seeing him performance live years ago at Madison Square Garden, but he’s always struck me as the heady, serious type. But I was determined to meet and master the challenge, and I made it my personal mission to try to make Mr. Jones smile. I shared my intent with Jones via Twitter the night before the interview, and found myself giddy with glee when he flipped the script on me with the following @reply.