You’ve never known another like Raheem “A LOVE KING” Devaughn, that is guaranteed. Devaughn has earned his stripes and inked himself permanently as a force in this industry. What’s most impressive about this R&B crooner is his ability to reinvent but stay true to his art and lane. Love makes the world go ‘round, well Raheem has leveraged that and sustained a successful music career leaving his mark since The Love Experience. His music is sensual and has dubbed him a loveaholic. Although he, himself is a recovering loveaholic today, his music is still hungover having us feening for more. It’s refreshing to see the man behind the melody evolve, but the Love Behind the Melody still is the same. Authenticity and originality are far and between in this business and this Washington D.C. native has managed to never let us down with his growing influence, unique style, and powerful delivery. Raheem is 10x more than only an artist, but a man who’s ever-growing and is proud to share it with each of us. Now that’s the ultimate Love Experience. Welcome to a Decade of a Love King and beyond. It Don’t Come Easy, I’m sure but after all this time Raheem still has us love drunk.
Talk about the new album, the inspiration, and the title.
The album is called Decade of a Love King. It came out October 19th. Some people are saying it’s some of my best work to date. For me, I just try to chase consistency. I don’t necessarily try to supersede what I’ve already done, nor top what I’ve done. I think this album speaks to my growth as a vocalist, my staying power as a songwriter, and also my growth as a man. Outside of music is what I’m most proud of. The man I’m becoming offstage, the timing couldn’t be better the way the album is being received. For once in my life, I feel like I’m doing everything right, for the most part. I’m a work in progress.
What are you most excited for from this album?
It’s funny because I move fast. This is out, and although I’m not touring through the holiday, doing some spot date stuff, but we’re ramping up for 2019. I’m putting out a part two to this. There is a whole ‘nother album on the way between February and May, which is Decade of a Love King Part 2. So the story continues. I’m just excited for people to embrace the body of work; whatever it is they do when they get in the element, roll something up, crack a bottle of wine, whatever your vibe is when you’re on your Raheem DeVaughn vibration. That’s what I’m looking for.
With 20 years in the game, how do you continue to reinvent yourself while also staying true to your lane because you’ve kind of always maintained a lane of your own? There’s no other Raheem DeVaughn.
Constantly reinvesting into myself, into my art. I think proper preparation, being prepared. I’ve never felt the pressure of putting out music because I make so much of it and I can make it faster than I can distribute it. I’m big on quality versus quantity, so because we live in a quantity era and because I make so much, I’m always working. I could deliver a lot of quantity and quality and so that kind of gives me an advantage. I’m independent and I’m my own boss. When I’m ready to push buttons, I push buttons. For example, I’m putting out another project between February and May; I can do that because I want to do that. When you a boss you can do that. When you sign to a label, you’re just part of the machine or it’s like being an ant on a farm. You gotta do things based on their timelines, based upon the loan that they gave you and what have you. I think that is one thing that I’ve been able to adopt from and take away from the new millennial rappers, like Future or the Migos. One thing you can’t take away from those guys is their work ethic. They constantly working. They’re constantly throwing things to the wall and seeing what sticks and what doesn’t. The work ethic is the work ethic. No one can ever take that from you and that’s not something you teach either.
What is your creative process if you had to say because you’ve kind of been that one that’s given us the mixtape form as an R&B artist and you kind of combine and merge those worlds?
It’s kinda chaotic at times. It’s a method to the madness though. When I’m really into my zone, we have a studio up, multiple rooms going at the same time, different projects happening simultaneously. For the last three years, since the last album, I’ve been making music nonstop. So I’ll be working on all these different projects simultaneously. Shout out to a lot of the producers because they’ve been very loyal to my process when they don’t always have to be. Some of these cats that make beats and produce go out and say “hey, if I ain’t got the bag, anybody can get this”. I’ve been blessed with a lot of these producers and songwriters.
So beyond the music, because earlier you mentioned Raheem as the man, who is he versus Raheem the artist?
Nowadays, Raheem the man is a family man. I’m a humanitarian. I’m a guy that’s facing normalcy and a recovering loveaholic, when it comes to women. That’s kinda always been my thing. I’m really just learning and understanding the restraint, and what a blessing I can allow someone to be when I just focus and put energy into one person; instead of spreading yourself too thin. I was one of those late bloomers that had to understand that. It was based on things I saw growing up. It’s one thing to be the man versus holding yourself accountable and conducting yourself as a man. That’s a piece that I found and I’m thankful. At this point, I’m just trusting the process when it comes to matters of the heart. I’ve tried everything. It’s one of those things when you can do everything and you realize now that none of that stuff is working. You got to submit to the will of the creator and do it his way. In doing that, I’ve discovered a lot about myself; discipline, self-control, and restraint. It’s allowed me to become, I guess I could say powerful overnight. Understanding the power.
You’ve got the Love Life Foundation. Tell me about it and how it started.
That’s simply just because I care about people. That’s just really pushing the narrative to other people out there that you don’t have to be a public figure to care about people. To aspire is the vibe with the foundation and we do a number of things. We fight domestic violence, we feed the homeless, we do a number of things to help people. Anything that really deals with the inner city or black and brown people or just people period. When you talk about domestic violence or HIV and AIDS, with some of the initiatives we work on throughout the year, those things are color blind to people. These are the things that I’ve always wanted to do, I just had to wait until I could get a position to kind of do them. Even now, there are levels to it. I want it to be bigger. It’s just kind of a crawl before you walk situation.
You’ve got the fifth annual charity concert. Talk about that and any surprises this year?
There are always surprises. We never say who’s coming until a few weeks out, but we got some great people for DC and New York. DC is on the 20th at the Howard Theater. New York is the 21st at the Highline Ballroom. Both of the events last year did extremely well and I’m excited again. I can’t let the cats out the bag yet of all the people we have coming. It’s definitely going to be a great show like it is every year. It’s kinda like my cool way of giving back to those areas and to the fans who support me all year round. I’ll bring some cool acts that people can see for a great ticket price, and people that you wouldn’t normally see in one night on one stage. We kinda try to mix it up.
The Lovedotcom, you have a role in that coming up. Can you discuss that?
Not only a role in it, but I had the chance to participate in the scoring of the film, and also the soundtrack as well. So staying busy. I started a new company, DMG (Devaughn Music Group), it’s not just music based, it deals with film and television. I want to get into radio and stuff of that nature eventually.
What reputation or legacy do you hope to leave behind the name Raheem DeVaughn when it’s all said and done?
I think I’m way ahead of the game on that; great music, a humanitarian, and somebody who cared about people. The one thing we’re all running out of, from the time we get here, is time. It’s just creating those defining moments that matter most. I say it time and time again, it’s not what I do onstage that I’ll be judged and held accountable for, it’s what I do off stage. So I’m just trying to put as much love and great positive vibes out into the world as I can.
Listen to Raheem DeVaughn’s latest single Don’t Come Easy below and make sure to follow him on Instagram.