Of course the easy thing for an artist who is clearly cresting and in-demand—when I interviewed him a few days after the Clift event, our conversation was interrupted by a call from Mick Jagger!—would be to offer audiences more of the same sound they love.
Looking Different » Serena Williams Is Still Bumping Around The French Open Mama Tina Shuts Down 20-Somethings In Ivy Park Outfit » CATCH UP!I changed it because Wiggins didn't sound like a singer's name and Saadiq meant 'man of his word' in Arabic. Steve is the holy grail to music for me and everyone speaks his language. I get the reward when the song is done and I hear it back on the speakers. I'm always trying to be grateful and attempting to be consistent.Just to be around someone who is that great is amazing. It's great to be recognised by the Academy - it's a great Academy - but I just love music. The reward is when you make the music, not when you get the medal. When you love what you do, it pays off, and that's the best reward you could have.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.He and D'Angelo were occasional members of The Ummah, a music production collective, composed of members Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, and J Dilla of the Detroit-based group Slum Village.He is also a co-founder of independent video game developer Ill Fonic.For the album, Saadiq worked with steel guitarist Robert Randolph; former Earth, Wind & Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn; Swedish-Japanese indie rock singer Yukimi Nagano (of Little Dragon fame); funk artist Larry Graham (on the bonus cut "Perfect Storm") His early life was marked by tragedy; he experienced the deaths of several of his siblings as a young child.When Saadiq was seven years old, his brother was murdered.It's always a highlight when you see a concert being advertised.I always wanted to play at the Coliseum near my house; that was probably the thing I thought of the most if anything. When you were in grade school and people would call you 'Charlie', you would be associated with 'Charlie Brown' so you would get away from it. The 'Raphael' thing came when I played with Sheila E and I changed my surname to 'Saadiq' for my first solo album. A lot more of guitarish imitations and the strings are more orchestrated so there are a lot more up-tempo songs. I don't really produce so-called commercial pop music so I haven't changed so much. R: I get butterflies always, but I think that's normal.