For some of us, the transition into the new year didn’t bring many changes, but for R&B’s Raheem DeVaughn, 2011 means more than just buying a new calendar. After nearly six years with Jive Records, Raheem’s in search of a new label home.
"A lot of people don’t know that when the clock struck 12, I officially became a free agent in the music industry. I’m walking around like LeBron James right now. The buzz has been out for some time. Through December, I just wasn’t speaking on it," he said. "A lot of execs have been seeking me out, and very interested, and wanting to know what my next move is and how they can facilitate the situation. So I’m just enjoying the bidding war that I’m in the midst of."
Although The Love Experience was not Raheem’s first music release, it was that 2005 album launched under Jive that brought him national notoriety and solidified his status as a bona fide R&B crooner. The effort earned him two BET J Awards and two Grammy nods. He received a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album for his most recent effort, The Love & War MasterPeace.
"We ’bout to go out to L.A. and do it real big in a couple of weeks," he said in reference to the February 13 live awards show.
So what’s next for the Grammy hopeful? Raheem said he’s now focused on developing new artists.
"I’m officially an OG in this. I’ve been doing it for more than 15 years. I’m still young, vibrant and full of life, full of new ideas. Now, it’s about creating an avenue and platform for artists who are underneath me, and who are assigned to me, and being a footstool for them to help propel them to do their thing," he said.
Raheem has already turned his attention toward up-and-coming talent with his 368 Music Group, based in Washington, D.C. “368 actually stands for DMV, numerically on your cellphone,” he said. Locals from the DC area use “DMV” to refer to the District/Maryland/Virginia region.
That’s not to suggest that he’s out of the game. His upcoming album, A Place Called Loveland, is due later this year.
"For 2011, I’m about being on my business game, my sexy … my grown mature and surrounding myself with like-minded individuals. That’s where I’m at with it."
–Tracy L. Scott