When music is your super power, there is no stopping its creation. Veteran R&B crooner Joe, whose career spans over two decades, is the epitome of an artist whom uses his musical prowess for the better good. Since his debut album, Everything, in 1993, the multi-Grammy nominated crooner has been curing broken hearts, saving relationships and making babies. Now, with the pending release of his eleventh studio opus, DoubleBack: Evolution of R&B, Joe plans to continue his saga of classic music while paying homage to greats that inspired his creativity.
What This Project Means: It means a lot. For me, at the end of the day, I left Jive after doing six albums in 11 years and I wanted to start my own independent thing. I did my first independent record in 2009, and this is life number five for me on the independent side so, it’s about progressing and getting better at it and trying to be very successful just as much as the major labels.
Rewards and or Accomplishments: If I can get any rewards it would be icing on the cake but at the end of the day it’s certainly not something I’m searching for. When I was younger, I used to say, ‘this album right here is going to win a Grammy’; I got nominated, but I never won. At the end of the day, I’m not searching for anything, I just want people to feel good about the music they hear, I want to give my audience, my core, that classic music, like Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass while carrying myself as a gentleman.
The Creation: I did a lot of the writing and production on this album, I’ve been doing that for a while now. I wrote “Missing You” and “Faded Pictures” for Case, did a lot of records for Xscape, SWV back in the days, so my history really started out as a producer and songwriter. I kind of fell off it for a while because I wanted other artists to submit tracks to me, but then I got back to my essence, being a musician, a producer. I wrote “All The Things Your Man Won’t Do,” I wrote “I Wanna Know”; I wrote all my biggest records, so I wanted to get back to that.
I was back in my zone to be honest. I felt like I was back in the day, in my drop top convertible and just living life. That energy got back to me and just the love for it. This is what I’m good at, this is what I do, creating something from scratch is fun to me.
Paying Homage: Al Green, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, my list goes on because there were so many great singers back then. In my era of coming up in high school, I listened to Bobby Brown, Al B. Sure!, Keith Sweat, New Edition, Anita Baker, Whitney Houston; I wanna keep that feel good music that I grew up on.
New Artist: I’m digging a few of them, Trey Songz came out and put a little stamp on the game, my man Miguel doing some things right now, kind of emulates Prince a little bit in my opinion, but it’s still good stuff. You got a few guys out here that is really trying to live with it, trying to understand what being a singer is about, what being a musician is about, how to treat people and so forth.
Scrapping The Player Ways: That settling down life is a beautiful life to have if you can find that special one. I’m done, I’m good, I’m calling it a day right here. That song [I’d Rather Have A Love] represents everybody who got something good going. At some point in life, everybody is going to want somebody they’re going to want to spend the rest of their life with; like the song says, “I’d rather have love or nothing at all.” Nobody wants to be alone, but I’m taking my time. The older you get, the more mature you get; you get to a certain place in life where certain things isn’t significant to you.
When Not Making Music: Making love is one of them, being on vacation, traveling, going places, I love Africa, I love the tropical islands, Jamaica. I rarely get a chance to do all those things, usually I’m really working a lot on music.
Touring: I’m setting up a tour right now, possibly with Fantasia. We have a record together, and she’s real excited about going out with me, so I think that would be a nice look.
Regrets: No regrets at all, It’s been a great learning experience for me. If you get into this business and you don’t learn anything in the first year or two, it’s pretty much going to be a wrap for you, your longevity is going to be nonexistent. I was very focused, I paid attention to a lot of things around me, the business side of it, and I just kept persevering.
Longevity: It’s tough, If don’t write and produce for yourself then it’s kind of hard for you to be yourself, it’s kind of hard for you to do your own thing, you kind of have to rely on someone else to be that filter for you. I’ve been very fortunate and bless to be able to write and produce my own music. You gonna hear songs on this album that I wrote, produced, played the entire thing. When it comes to artists that don’t do that, it’s very difficult to go to another level because you have to wait, you have to be patient for the right record to come along. I’ve been in control of my destiny since day one.
Joe’s DoubleBack: Evolution of R&B will arrive in stores July 2, 2013 via Massenburg Media/Sony Red
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