Raphael Saadiq discusses role as music director for 2012 Soul Train Awards

Raphael Saadiq continues to take his music career to new heights. The Grammy Award winner can now add music director to his long list of accomplishments. Saadiq served as the music director for the 2012 Soul Train Awards, which was held in Las Vegas and airs on BET on Nov. 25. Saadiq recently sat down with rolling out magazine to discuss the new venture and his love for music.

How did you become the music director of the 2012 Soul Train Awards? 

It came about when I saw Paxton Baxter when I did the Kennedy Honors in D.C. He asked me to be the music director. I though it would be great because Don Cornelius gave us a lot. Every Saturday, my family would watch the show. I told Paxton that I would do it only if I could have my band, four horns and 10 string players. I wanted the show to be the best it could be.

I was able to watch rehearsals and it’s a very long process to put the show together. How were you able to mix so many styles of music while keeping everything on point? 

Once I got the gig, I knew it would be a lot. But I’m familiar with all of the genres that are a part of the show. It goes from gospel, soul, to hip-hop and R&B. We have performers such as Stevie Wonder and we also have 2 Chainz. I have great musicians and a great cast. It made my job easier. I understand the music and I knew what it took to make it happen. After it was over, it took me two or three days to recoup. I was very exhausted. It’s a lot to swallow, but it’s a celebration of history and music.

How does music inspire you?

Instruments and music are tools to make us feel good through the day. It’s something I do every day. All I know is that I grew up watching artists playing instruments and that inspired me to do the same.

Music is everywhere. The piano, drums and guitar all come together and you can ride and listen to it. Music is everything. It offers you a lot of therapy. The world is full of music. It’s all art.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Shaw's latest book, Trap History, delves into the history and global dominance of Trap music. Follow his journey on TrapHistory.Com, Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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