Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo
As the title of Raheem DeVaughn’s new single, “Love Connection” suggests he just wants to get closer with listeners for the summer release of his latest album, A Place Called Loveland. To do so, he is ensuring that he makes all the right moves including: a new team in the form of Kevin Liles’ KWL Management company; a joint venture record deal with Mass Appeal Entertainment and, of course, solid musical material. This time around he realized he needed to open up to working with others in order to grow as an artist.
“In the past being young I might have been standoffish to working with other songwriters,” he admits. “With this album I allowed myself to creatively work with others. There are great songs out there with no one to sing them and we found them. I worked with Mario Winans, Kristal ‘Tytewriter’ Oliver and Carvin & Ivan.”
While finalizing the album, DeVaughn is also busy broadcasting “The Raheem DeVaughn Show,” reaching over 100 countries a week. On the show he plays a range of mainstream and independent music and even addresses controversial topics that often involve his famous peers. Yet, he aims to counter what he considers to be the sensationalist tactics of the media. “Since I am an artist I know the media can pick you apart. It’s never my goal to throw any of my peers under the bus. It is purely for fun and to expose their music.”
Although DeVaughn chose Liles as his manager he might also have been in good hands with Manny Halley. As the CEO of Imani Entertainment, Halley is a diversified businessman. Some of his current projects include managing Nicki Minaj and bringing celluloid life to Teri Woods’ best-selling books, True To The Game and Dutch. He rose to prominence as the man who helped catapult Keyshia Cole to stardom and he has learned many lessons between now and then. One of his most unorthodox pieces of advice is to fund your own projects. “I put my own money up when I have a vision and believe in something,” he says. “If you want a company to put money into something them most of the time they want to water your project down. When it’s your money it’s your vision from the beginning to the end result.”
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