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It came very smooth and natural to me and it was so much fun doing it, I just got lost in the whole thing. And one of my older brother’s used to sing like Eddie Kendricks. I did a song called “Leaving” on one my last Toni records.Once it was done, I was like, “wow, the whole album’s like this.” I really didn’t know it was going to turn out that way. I was probably in more places than my parents knew about. I was going to have Eddie Kendricks sing the song with me, but he passed away that year. My father sang a little bit, but he never sang around me.Finally, Stone sounded like someone who learned how to sing “soulfully” from a training guide.Baby, just because you say “sing-ANG” instead of “singing”, it does not make you a true soul singer.That disc, with its uncanny extrapolations on the traditional mid-’60s Motown sound, created quite a sensation and brought Saadiq a whole new audience—mostly young, mostly white folks who frankly were unaware of his long and illustrious history dating back to the smash late ’80s, early ’90s Oakland soul and new jack swing group Tony! No doubt many of the audiences who saw him play huge festivals such as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and Bumbershoot (he’s playing Coachella and South By Southwest this year) thought he was a new artist who’d just stepped off a bus from Detroit in 1965.The crowds ate it up—loved the tight-fitting yellow suit he often wore, loved the Temptations dance moves, loved that smooth, elastic voice that moves so easily into Marvin Gaye/Eddie Kendricks territory but still sounds original—and Europe and Japan both fell in love with him, as well.I guess one of my real starts was working with John Singleton on "Boyz n the Hood." I did a song for John, and he never sent me the clip of what I wanted.It was a scene with Nia Long in it, and he told me it was a love scene between her and Cuba Gooding, Jr. So then, later on, he sent me another clip from "Higher Learning." I’m sorry—he didn’t send the clip.
—would be to offer audiences more of the same sound they love.
Raphael Saadiq has been a soul survivor since the late 1980’s. In the late ‘90’s Saadiq set off to share the love with other recording artists.
He succeeded at the forefront of two R&B retro acts – first with the family trio, Tony! He became the go to guy in the soul department, writing and producing Grammy hits for Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Mary J. In 2002, he earned five of his own Grammy nominations with his debut solo album Best Album’s of 2008 and three more Grammy nominations.
(laughs) The first Motown song I remember being introduced to and really listening to as a kid was “Pride and Joy”. I met his wife and she said Eddie was a huge fan of mine and I was just amazed…big time. When he’s singing, I feel like he’s my brother…cuz they were the only group that felt like they were related to you and you didn’t even know it. He told me he used to sing in a lot of blues clubs when he was younger.
I also watched a lot of Motown TV shows…early Jackson stuff. But my uncle was a Pastor and he had a church and he sang in a lot of groups, so I hung around him. I was playing for them in grade school and they were about 50 then. So I would say my background is actually more gospel with pieces of Motown. I constantly admired these musicians and I’d always think about what it must have been like when they sent those records out to the radio stations…the day it came on the radio and how people must have rejoiced when they heard that music.