Monday, August 28, 2023

LeVelle Interview: New Album "Promise to Love", Music Influencers, Thoughts on R&B Today


Billboard chart-topping singer-songwriter LeVelle returns with his anticipated sophomore album Promise to Love available on all music platforms via the SRG-ILS Group Label.

Promise to Love includes 12-tracks and features special guest appearances from some of today’s greatest culture contributors including Anthony Hamilton, Raheem DeVaughn, After 7 and Zacardi Cortez.

TERRANCE: Tell us who you are and where you’re from originally.

LEVELLE: I'm LeVelle, out of Kansas City, Kansas. God fearing and family man. I really enjoy bringing life to others. 

TERRANCE: Who were the artists that influenced you and shaped you to who you are today as an artist?

LEVELLE: Well, I definitely have to go with great people like Charlie Wilson, Frankie Beverly & Maze, The O’Jays, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Al Green, Gerald Levert and it may sound a little weird, but I really admire a guy by the name of Charley Pride. They impacted my musical ear for a long time and how they brought passion and the soul and you feel it when they are singing. It’s most definitely something you can feel.

TERRANCE: Your new album Promise to Love is out now. Congratulations on that. How did you approach it differently from your first album?

LEVELLE: Thank you so much. Well, my first album was My Journey Continues and it was really coming from a place of pushing through no matter what I was faced with. Just continue to push forward and not let nothing get in your way. Promise to Love is a great work of sharing love, getting back to love and whatever you’re going through, know that love could conquers anything. So, I went from a place of pushing through to a place of just love. Getting back to the respect of love and getting back to showing others that it’s okay to love again.

TERRANCE: What do you appreciate about what each artist brought to the project?

LEVELLE: I definitely have to start with Anthony Hamilton with the “Fell In Love” remix. My whole goal with writing this song was to let people know that it’s okay and cool to love again. He believed in it as well as I believed in getting back to love, so with the “Fell In Love” song we wanted to touch people and let them know that it was okay to still dance and two-steppin, so he really brought more awareness of the love part of it. Raheem DeVaughn brought that soul. Not realizing I went back and paid tribute to some of the guys that were before us and he did the same thing, so his impact of that soul part, he definitely did that. Then After 7, those guys came and took us all the way back to The Temptations days and The Chi-Lites and that good two steppin’ love, looking at each other in the eye days. And then of course Zacardi brought no matter what you’re faced with, you can push through. So they all brought something to the table that helped complete it. Because at the end of the day and when it’s all said and done, it’s all about love and the promise you put into it.

TERRANCE: Talk about the concept behind your latest music video "Only If".

LEVELLE: That’s something that I actually put together. Back in the day you had to buy a whole album to get that one song you wanted and I kind of picked that up at an early age, so my thing was, look at your project, look at what you’re doing and try to place every song on the project as a single and so that’s something I stood for and so when every song was in completion I had a vision and the visual for “Only If” was just to let that woman or your significant other know that when I wake up every morning with you, you’re on my mind. I’m eating lunch or going to bed, you’re on my mind. So, just letting that other one know that only if you knew what your love do to me and that’s what I wanted to visualize someone showing that through it all. Morning, noon, night, you make me wanna do as much as I can for you and vice versa when it’s a true love.

TERRANCE: What are your thoughts on R&B music today?

LEVELLE: Of course the generations are different, so that’s something we can’t go around, but I think that there’s a pack of fans out there that keep a certain era of R&B going and I just think that once we do better getting it out there so they can hear it. I think that every artist has their own lane of fans and I think it’s up to the artist. I can’t really knock what the youngsters consider R&B. That’s like trying to go back and mix Curtis Blow with Rick Ross. It’s two different situations, so I just think it’s more of the awareness of who you are and finding your lane and really pushing it. I would really like to see it get back to a place of love and just personally I think there are things to say to get your point across versus the way it’s being out now.

TERRANCE: What do you hope the listeners take away from the Promise to Love experience?

LEVELLE: Well, my main goal is to have listeners take it as a great album from beginning to finish with passion of love. It’s something you can listen to and enjoy, the whole CD.

TERRANCE: Any final words you would like to share with your fans, followers, listeners and the readers?

LEVELLE: Absolutely. I would just like to say thank you for your support and let’s just keep uplifting each other.

Follow LeVelle:
Instagram @levellebkc
Twitter, Facebook @justlevelle

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