Adrian Marcel discusses his mentor, Raphael Saadiq, and returning to true R&B

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Adrian Marcel represents the essence of true R&B. The crooner from Oakland, California, has a knack for creating music that’s reminiscent of the soul singers that were prevalent in past decades.

With fellow Oakland native Raphael Saadiq serving as his mentor, Marcel is looking to bring artistry and love back into R&B.

During a recent sit-down interview, Marcel revealed his thoughts on working with Saadiq, the Oakland music scene and taking R&B to the next level.

For those who are unfamiliar with you, tell them about coming up in the Bay Area to getting your music started. How did everything come about for you?Coming up in the Bay, I did a lot of grinding and a lot of YouTube videos. My manager, Yancey Richardson, found me and flew me out to Atlanta and we started working and got with Raphael Saadiq. We came out with a project and from there it just kind of grew into its own fan base. The week after that came out, the song “2 a.m.” dropped and from there it’s been a great vibe.

How did Raphael Saadiq inspire you and teach you about this game?
He’s still teaching me different things everyday. He’s always teaching me to stay focused, stay humble, and to be in love with the music. Just to treat it with a passion, take it serious, and believe in myself, my judgment and my decisions.

What are your thoughts on the Oakland music scene?
I came from East Oakland so that’s Too $hort, that’s E-40, and that’s Richie Rich, and Dru Down. So hip-hop and rap, that’s kind of where it began for me. I was rolling around with my older brother mobbing it, I felt like the coolest, youngest dude in the car. It definitely has influenced me and I’m just happy to see that sound coming back and for the lights to shine, not only back in the Bay Area, but on Cali and the West Coast.

Lets talk about the lead single “2 a.m.” What was the process of creating that record?
I got with Write Now, a phenomenal writing team. We sat down and came up with the record and when I heard it, I knew from the jump it’s what I needed. It was mine, I had to get on it and I had to knock it out. I was kind of nervous about it for my fan base, but my brother hit me and was like ‘bruh this is going crazy in the town!’ So we did it.

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. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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