Tuesday, July 15, 2008

AutumnJones Wants You To MEET: RAHBI

The Prince of Glam Soul, Where did you come up with that title and what’s the meaning behind it?
Prince of Glam Soul to me means, everything over the top. In both my performance and vocals. Just my presence period, is over the top. That’s how we got the glam part as for the soul, everything I sings comes from the soul. It’s what I feel and if I can’t feel it I don’t’ sing it. It all kind of just came to me, an inspiration from GOD. You’ve been singing since you were three years old. When did you realize you wanted to make it a career?
I came from a small Pentecostal church where my grandfather was the pastor. He used to call me up to sing and I would hide behind church pews terrified. Every now and then he would say, “Do that little James Brown slide” every time I did, he would give me money. At that point I thought to myself, I could make a living out of this. So I just developed my talent more and more and decided this is what I want to do forever.
You’re an independent artist, do you want to be signed to a bigger label?
I defiantly, want to join a major label (laughs), but a lot of times if you don’t already have an independent project or a very large fan base when you sign to the label. They ask you to conform to what they want you to be. They want to make you the next Beyonce or the next Usher or whatever but I’m the first Rahbi. You know what I’m saying so, I’m getting my style together myself, getting the package together myself and building my fan base so that label will have no choice but to sign me. That’s the route I’m taking, I’m independent right now but I would love to be signed to a bigger label. You reach more people that way.
You've some what experienced being on a "Bigger" label already, you were in the group 4th Avenue when you were about thirteen. What happened with that?
4th avenue was a growing experience. There were three lead singers me, Trayon, Naught and a guy named Frank. Two were the main two lead vocals because I wasn’t that comfortable with my voice. It took for the group not to make it for me to become more secure as a solo artist.
That’s understandable. Do you guys still talk?
Yea we’re still cool. Trayon works with Young Joc, Frank works with Plies and Naught is in Virginia working on directing. He wants to direct music videos, and I’m the solo artist. We’re all very much still involved in music maybe one day we all will get together and do something together.
You’ve shared the stage with numerous people Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Anthony Hamilton, Floetry, Erykah Badu, Marques Houston, and Pretty Ricky. You were even summoned by Lauryn Hill to perform with her. How did that happen?
Lauryn Hill and her manager saw me singing background for Donnie and people would always say that I stood out. A lot of times people would focus on me the whole show. I caught their eye and Lauryn was having a jam session in New York, she was putting together a band for her tour as a solo artist. She and her manager asked me to come. Everything kind of ended because the Fugees got back together so that pushed things back and as you see that was it.
Outside of you musical influences Prince, Madonna, Rick James, Annie Lennox, Michael Jackson, Vanity 6, & David Bowie who influences Rahbi?
Outside of music my granddaddy, he has to be one of my number one influences. He taught me self love, he let me know that I’m hot! Some people say that I have a little bit of an ego but you gotta love you first before you learn to love anybody. I’m also part of a theatre company called the Freddy Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta. Our director Freddy Hendricks, helped me to grow as an artist, to be comfortable with my voice, and to sing out and to be proud of who I am. He taught me how to understand what makes me special and unique from everybody else. When I joined the company I had like crazy hair and contacts. It was cool, but I was still searching. He was like, “Why are you doing all that? You’re so beautiful.” So many talented people came from his company; India Arie, Keenan Thompson (SNL) Kandi (Xscape) and Donnie. He’s just an amazing Human being.
There’s line in “Bitter Sweet Dream” I want to know if there was anyone in particular you were speaking of or was it just general?
Putting on blazers and singing bout some stars don’t make you soul..- Bitter Sweet Dreams... A lot of times us as independent artist act like the major labels. You sing soul or you’re a Neo-soul type artist they think okay let me get my dreads, let me smell like some scents. Throw on a blazer and start singing about the moon, stars, earth, mother, God, and they think they got it. You gotta do you, if your thing is dancing all around the stage like Beyonce do it. I’m not knocking it, I’m just telling anybody mainstream or independent. Do you because that’s the only way your going to shine.
Rahbi Raw was hot and you had the Rahbi E.P., I’m waiting for a full album?
Oh, wait I’ve already started. People always say, "Rahbi don’t waste no time moving on to the next thing." I have to keep going because there's always somebody right behind you waiting to take you spot. You gotta keep on your grind, I’m in the studio right now….
What is something you want to people to get after they leave one of your shows ?
That, They can do and get anything they want in life. Think about elementary school kids when you asked them who wants to be a doctor? Who wants to be a lawyer? Who wants to be a guitar player? Everybody raises their hands, the other kids may not want to do that but they believe they can. All of us start off like that but once we grow up and go through middle school and high school, we let people opinions of ourselves shift. We lose our focus and we doubted ourselves… Maybe I’m not pretty enough, maybe I can’t sing, or maybe I can‘t dance, that Sh** is F**ed up. I’m the type of artist that makes you think you can do whatever the F** you want to and not give a F** what anybody says.Continue to support your independent artist and know that this is just the beginning because I got a lot of hot sh** on the way!!!

For more information on RAHBI check out Myspace, Youtube and Twitter

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