Catching Up With Calvin Richardson
If you’re looking for a good, soulful r&b artist, you should definitely check out Calvin Richardson. He has released three albums: Country Boy in 1999 (featured as last week’s CD of the Week), 2:35 PM in 2003, and When Love Comes in 2008, all of which have a sound that explain his nickname as The Soul Prince. Calvin has appeared on albums from Angie Stone (Mahogany Soul) and Raphael Saadiq (Instant Vintage) and the movie soundtracks for Deliver Us from Eva and Bringing Down the House. You may be familiar with his hit singles Keep on Pushin and More Than a Woman. I got a chance to chat with Calvin about his musical experiences and future plans. Here’s a little of our conversation:
Mimi Soul: What are some of the things that inspire and influence your music?
Calvin: My music is inspired by everyday life situations and love. I like to write about things that I think will make people feel better.
Mimi Soul: How would you say your music has changed since you released your first album?
Calvin: I’ve grown and matured as a person and I now have more control of my projects. I didn’t really get a chance to do everything I wanted to do with my first album. I wasn’t able to write as much of the first album as I wanted to because I had to deal with the politics of being on a major label. On my second album, when I went to Hollywood, I got a chance to do more writing and I got more creative control. And, now with my last one, When Love Comes, I pretty much did every song on the album.
Mimi Soul: It’s great that you mention your writing because I want to ask you about your writing process. How do you know when you’ve finished writing a song?
Calvin: I actually write with my guitar and I write my music and vocals together. The structure of the song never really changes. So, I know I’m done writing a song when I feel like I’ve told my story and delivered my message.
Mimi Soul: If you had to use 3 words to describe your musical journey from the beginning up to this point, which 3 words would you choose?
Calvin: It has been long and very very hard for me. But, I really love what I do and I think if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. So, music is not like work to me but, it has been very hard to maintain.
Mimi Soul: So, I’ll count very as one of the three words (laughing)
Calvin: (laughing) Yes, count that as a word.
Mimi Soul: What do you want listeners to gain when they listen to your music?
Calvin: I want people to get a little of everything. For the most part, I want people to realize that my music is infused with love and emotional healing. Music is supposed to make you experience different emotions. Whether it makes you happy or it makes you reflect, the music makes you think about different moments in your life.
Mimi Soul: It’s obvious how the title of your album, Country Boy can relate to you being from North Carolina. And, I’ve read that 2:35 PM was the title of your second album because that’s the time your son was born. Could you tell me a little about why you chose the name When Love Comes for your last album?
Calvin: I chose that name because the album was built off romance. It talks about what happens when love comes into someone’s life. The songs on When Love Comes are based on the point of view of building a relationship. The songs discuss the journey of meeting someone, starting to like them, dating them, falling for them, and even falling out of love.
Mimi Soul: I know you like all of your songs, but if you had to pick one song from any of the albums that you just feel especially proud of, would you be able to pick one?
Calvin: I don’t know if I just have one. But, I’d say Make Friends With Love was probably my favorite song from my last album.
Mimi Soul: What makes that one your favorite?
Calvin: Well, I think the message in Make Friends With Love is that you should always embrace love. No matter where it comes from, you should always keep love close to you. Embracing love is really important to me.
Mimi Soul: Can we expect a fourth album from you in the future?
Calvin: Of course! I just finished it last week and it will be coming in August. It’s a tribute album to Bobby Womack called Tribute to the Street Preacher.
Thanks for a great interview Calvin! You can keep up with Calvin’s performance schedule by checking his Myspace page and you can read more about him at his official website.