Rahsaan Patterson Talks Musical Legends and His New Album, ‘Bleuphoria’
Rolling out recently caught up with Rahsaan Patterson at the International Soul Summit in Atlanta. Check out what the independent soul singer had to say about music — past and present, and his latest album, Bleuphoria. –candy shields
How would you describe your album?
It’s soul music, a bit more progressive in that it has an electronic atmosphere. It’s ambient, but still has hard beats and soulful influences. It’s very reflective of where I am now, mentally and spiritually.
Who are some of your musical influences?
They range from Billie Holiday to Chaka Khan, Sarah Vaughn, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Prince — you know, the legends. The Prince influence, musically, is all throughout my album. And it’s not intentional; it just comes out. But, I’m gonna give back any great art that inspires me. It’s my way of paying homage to them, because I’ve been a student of theirs.
Would you say you’re taking the baton from those influences to help influence the next generation?
I believe so. There’s no one doing what I’m doing. I do what I’m doing the way I do … it’s naturally who I am.
What is your biggest challenge as an entertainer?
My biggest challenge has been getting people to reach a level of comfort with how I sing, being that I don’t sing like most males. I am majorly influenced by female singers. I don’t care for male singers too much, and female singers largely influenced the ones I do like Michael [Jackson], Prince and Luther [Vandross]. They were free with wherever they were going. Nowadays, there’s so much bravado happening — to be masculine and all that kind of stuff.
How do you stay in your lane as an artist when the trend is to try to become more pop?
I just do it. I don’t think about what everybody else is doing. I’m aware. All you have to do is listen to the radio for five minutes and you can hear what everyone is doing. I can appreciate some of the stuff, how certain music really reflects technology with the use of futuristic sounds, auto-tune and all that. I dig that because it reflects how we’ve advanced with technology and represents where we are as a society. It brings us into the future and I’m very interested in where we’re going and how we got here.