Lovett & Other Things [Interview]
Motown's soulful singer Royce Lovett gives us a level of energy well suited for a man who grew up in a southern church. Along with that, comes a heart so full of love that it spills over into every aspect of his newest and first full-length album, Love & Other Dreams.
Lovett has taken a different direction from his last music, focusing his sound more on a secular R&B/Rock fusion. We caught up with the budding soul singer to discuss the new album.
What is your truth in your music?
The truth in my music is love. Sometimes we can get lost in romance and forget the true essence and the many topics love covers.
Do you still identify as gospel?
Gospel is defined as telling someone the (news) truth. Gospel is not religion, for example, if my mom goes around telling everyone I just got married she's telling everyone "the gospel", the truth. If more people identified the word "gospel" with that meaning, then I would have no problem identifying with it. But because it means "Christian Artist" I do not identify with that. This answer can get long and deep.
How has Tallahassee influenced you over the years?
Good question, I think my hometown has its good and bad influences but I guess I'll say... i've grown to love the small town feel of Tallahassee with its canopy roads, hills, small mom-and-pop shops, universities and being able to randomly run into people I know across town. Tallahassee has also taught me how to be involved in my community and build relationships.
Do you feel regional support?
I think as an artist from any city, sometimes it's hardest to get support from the areas closest to you. There are times when I feel like I have that support and sometimes I don't.
Are you recognized in Tally?
I am definitely so grateful to have supporters that recognize me on a regular basis when I'm in town. But I wouldn't say that I am a Tallahassee celebrity.
How do your children react to you being a musician?
They love it, and they love the music. But when it comes to leaving town they are always sad to see me go. However, I tell them I am going to sing and make people happy and when they understand that, they get excited. They are my team and heart.
What's your favorite song on the new album?
Favorite song on this new album right now is "Fly", creating it and now hearing the final product feels great. Such a powerful big song.
Explain the theme of flying on “Up For Love.”
When you fly, you see things from a different perspective. The more we stand up for love and personally reach for it in all parts of life, we start seeing things from a higher perspective.
Sunday Morning (Thinkin' Bout You) has very serious elements and lyrics. Can you explain who that song was for?
Sunday morning is probably one of the most personal songs on the album. I wrote it while I was thinking about my family and particularly some very close friends that recently have gone to prison.
In different cultures there's a day where family chooses to get together. In the Black household is that usually Sunday mornings or Sunday dinners.
Because the decisions that are friends or family makes sometimes we don't go through life together.
And regardless of the injustice of our prison system there are still hard truths we need to realize.
I wish you didn't do it so you can be here Sunday morning. And I wish were more of my brother's keeper than a preacher and maybe more of us will be here Sunday morning.
What can we expect from this album? Is it a change for Royce Lovett or a continuation of a story?
It's definitely a continuation of the story and also growth musically. How we tackled the studio and arranging each song... musically is where I've always wanted to be.
You can expect to see all sides of Royce from hip-hop to soul to singer-songwriter to funk and appreciate this album just as much as you appreciate live performances.
What is it like being on the Motown label vs. the days when you were unsigned?
I definitely have learned so much since I've been signed, but I would never take back my days of being an independent artist. Every day is still a learning process but one of the biggest differences in being signed is that I get to stop wearing all the hats, and I have an amazing team that works so hard collectively and individually to see me win. This helps me to focus all of my energy on making good music and sharpening my craft. When you are an independent artist, it's most likely everyone on your team is an artist themselves, so it's harder to get focused without wearing so many hats.
With a label you get to take off all the hats and let the team work in their area of expertise in order to see you succeed. It allows you to focus more of your time and energy on your art. When I was independent I had to wear so many different hats and when I worked with friends or teammates everyone was trying to have a hand in everything.
Are you going on a full tour?
Yes! I will be on tour and will be announcing shortly!
Lovett will be in Tallahassee, with guests, Saturday July 29, for his official album release party. Tickets for the upcoming event can be found here.
Other tour dates for Royce Lovett can be found here.
Favorite Song: Runnin'
The Morning Alarm: Up For Love
The Message: Sunday Morning (Thinkin' Bout You)
Stream Love & Other Dreams on Spotify below.