Raheem DeVaughn Still Reigns in “Decade of a King”

Fashion Reverie had the opportunity to sit down with Raheem DeVaughn at the listening party for Raheem’s sixth studio album, “Decade of a Love King.” “Decade of a Love King” was released on October 19 via all streaming platforms. 

Raheem has had a decade-long steady climb to international R&B prominence. And with his soul-satisfying musical style, Raheem has become many things to contemporary music culture and his ever-expanding core audience.

“There’s a lot of talk about ‘King of R&B’ and ‘King of Soul,” but I’ve got enough music for the next ten years,” says the three-time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter.  “I literally have enough music for a decade to release. If I stopped recording now and said I wouldn’t record for five years, I’ve got enough music for ten. So I can’t wait, because I’m just warming up.” 

His latest single, “Don’t Come Easy” is currently the #5 R&B song in the country. 

Fashion Reverie: When it comes to your top 5 R&B hit “Don’t Come Easy” what’s the inspiration behind the song?

Raheem DeVaughn: The inspiration is the words; it’s the message “Love Don’t Come Easy.“ You’ve got to put in the work; you gotta be willing to change. It really speaks to turmoil that all relationships go through. I think the message that I want to put out there is that when dealing with the matters of the heart and love, it’s worth fighting for. Fight for the things that matter to you and in some cases you even have to challenge that person that you’re into, in love with, dating, or courting.

Fashion Reverie: This is your sixth album! That’s a lot. Tell us about your growth since the first one. How much have you changed and evolved? 

Raheem DeVaughn: I think that’s for people to decide. Artists are very vulnerable, whether they want to admit it or not and you don’t know what the response will be when you put your music out. You are exposing yourself and you are taking a chance, you are taking a risk of being a failure. It takes a lot of guts. Because I could easily put this record out and although the feedback has been great thus far, it could’ve been the total opposite.

Fashion Reverie: How do you cope with reviews that aren’t exactly the best?

Raheem DeVaughn: First and foremost, you have to have tough skin in this business. If you are going to worry about what somebody thinks and responding to every negative tweet or Facebook message, there is just not enough time in a day. You can’t please everybody all the time.

Fashion Reverie: How would you describe your fashion style? 

Raheem DeVaughn: I have a wonderful stylist, Tiffany Barenger. Shout out to my previous stylist, Bria Stantson, we have a great relationship. All the years I worked with Bria and with Tamika Foster, they were always telling me fashion is important and early in my career I was hard-headed. I was one of those people that was very music-driven, and I felt as long as I make great music it shouldn’t matter if I come out there in my socks or in a bathrobe. I’m still one of those guys that dislikes shopping. I’m a hustler’s hustler so I could wear the same clothes seven days in a row on a rap boy song; however, I’m now enjoying style and fashion, and leading by example. Because of my community work and my foundation we do talk to the young children and challenge them to pull their pants, getting young people to realize that you are treated you differently when you are well dressed. You feel good, you feel good when you’re groomed. These are things that I encourage my sons to do as well. 

Fashion Reverie: You are wearing a double-breasted suit, is that your usual choice when it comes to suits? 

Raheem DeVaughn: This is what I am wearing today. When I was told that there would be best of the best of the influencers at this listening party, I knew I had to look the part! 

Fashion Reverie: Do you have any favorite designers? 

Raheem DeVaughn: To be truthfully honest, my team has been kind of designing my looks. I got a real dope tailor named Barry that helps my stylist envision my looks. We buy the fabrics and Barry puts it together and we’re smashing it!!

I do have a secret; I love Zara. I would love to do something like a type of brand ambassadorship or endorsement with Zara; they have some dope pieces and it’s very affordable and you can be fly and find ways to still make it stand out.

Fashion Reverie: Who are some of the music artists you still haven’t collaborated with, but you would like to? 

I’d love to pin a song for Beyoncé; I’d love to work with Lauren Hill; I’d love to work with Shade, and I’d love to do an entire album with The Roots—the Roots are the Rolling Stones of hip hop or the Beatles of hip hop when you talk about bands, music and progressiveness—I had the opportunity of being on The Roots last album.

I’m really studying South African culture and music, and my sister Zonke and me are working on a project that will include those South African influences—she is a huge talent in South Africa. Zonke and a lot of the other dope artists would like to bridge the gap with Caribbean sound, Nigerian artists, and mixing it up a little bit.  I have a Caribbean, I guess you could say reggae album, in the can. 

Photos courtesy of 2R’s Entertainment & Media PR

Fashion Reverie: You mentioned in your press release that you would like this album to be a shock to people’s system. What do you mean by that? A shock for people, hmm; well, this album is my futuristic 90s time machine. The only thing I could compare it to is when D’Angelo dropped his first album 1995. It sounds like nothing that was out in ‘95. And what I’m also discovering is that this album sounds like nothing that’s out sonically in 2018. 

Raheem DeVaughn can be seen in a comic role in the upcoming film “Love.com.” Raheem continues to focus on his Love Life Foundation whose initiatives include domestic violence, art and education, HIV/AIDS, and text book scholarships for in-need students.

—Tijana Ibrahimovic

 

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