Calvin Richardson Biography
You put the CD into your player and from the opening bars of ”Keep On Pushin’” you might think that you had found a great Sam Cooke or Bobby Womack album, one of those wonderful records from the ‘60s or ‘70s that your folks played all weekend long, back in the day. It’s understandable that you might consider that the singer you’re hearing is - at the very least - a contemporary of those legendary R&B pioneers: he has that same honesty, the same sanctified sound, the realness that made Cooke, Womack and others like Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye such revered figures in popular music.
But it’s none of those esteemed artists: it’s Calvin Richardson, very much a man of today, a super-talented singer, songwriter and producer. His Hollywood Records’ debut album, “2:35PM” isn’t just another record that fits neatly into the now-fashionable ‘neo-soul’ category: rather, it’s proof positive that Calvin is truly continuing the tradition of real soul music at its best..
In much the same way that the soul men of yesteryear might testify about their own music, Calvin Richardson explains that the songs on his new album are “snapshots of my life. Before I wrote a song, I lived it. The same is true even of the songs I didn’t write: I lived the experiences in every one of the tunes on my album.”
Perhaps the best example of how Calvin lived the material on his album is the title itself. While Calvin was pushing hard to finish up in the studio, his son Souljah was born. The completion of the album and the birth of his son were so intertwined that Calvin settled on “2:35 PM,” the moment that Souljah came into this world.
Songs like “Put My Money On You” (produced by Young RJ) and “Cross My Heart” (produced by Mike City) are lyrically positive affirmations of emotions and feelings Calvin can reference in his own life. ”Got To Move,” was written by Calvin with producers Jake and Trev and recorded at fellow singer-songwriter Tyrese’s studio in Los Angeles: “Lately Tyrese has been like a mentor for me, helping me with the bumps in the road that come with working in the music business,“ Calvin explains. “We’re good friends and I was hanging out at his house when the producers were working with him on his album. They played me a track…and next thing, I was recording the song…”
Other standouts on “2:35PM” include “Not Like This” (produced by hitmakers The Underdogs) and “She’s Got The Love,” co-written and produced by Raphael Saddiq. Saddiq’s recent Grammy-nominated album featured two songs co-written with Calvin who toured with Saddiq in 2002. Another guest spot on the album is Detroit rap trio Slum Village who appear on “You Got Me High.”
In 1999, Richardson released the critically-acclaimed “Country Boy” on Universal Records. A culmination of a long period of dedication and dues paying spent honing his craft as a singer and songwriter, “Country Boy” reflected Calvin’s history as a young man nurtured on gospel music and exposed to R&B during his formative years. The fifth of nine children, Calvin was born in Monroe, North Carolina. “My mother had a local gospel group called The Willing Wonders and I was the youngest member,” Calvin recalls. “I always knew I wanted to have a career in music.” Calvin’s musical influences were all around him. In his teens, Calvin befriended two hitmakers that were also in Gospel groups in Monroe: K-Ci and JoJo Hailey of Jodeci. Their success spurred Calvin on and made him go after his dream.
“2:35PM” truly bridges the gap between old and new school R&B: the first single from the album, ”Keep On Pushin’” is reminiscent, Calvin notes, “of Sam Cooke’s classic ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ - although the song itself is about something different lyrically. It’s about something many people go through - messing up in a relationship! But Sam, he’s one of my early influences - along with Otis Redding, Charlie Wilson (of The Gap Band), Bobby (Womack), Marvin (Gaye) and Donny (Hathaway)…”
On “2:35PM,” Calvin meshes those influences with his own innate vocal skills and the result is an album that refreshingly reflects musical and lyrical honesty. The final cut on the album, “Your Love Is,” written and recorded spontaneously at the very end of Calvin’s last session for the CD, typifies Calvin Richardson’s fusion of traditional and contemporary R&B: “I want to go beyond the ‘neo-soul’ movement,” he says with a smile. “People try to mix soul music up with other elements but this is the real thing. I’m just doing what I do the way I learned it!”
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I LOVE ALL YOUR MUSIC | Reviewer: INA LEE | 10/9/12
YOU ARE AMAZING PERSON,YOUR ALBUMS ARE REAL, (ENOUGH SAID,) THERE'S NOT ALOT THAT CAN'T BE SAID ABOUT YOU AND YOUR MUSIC. WONDERFUL, LOVING, BEAUTIFUL, SEXY, FABULOUS, REAL.I GET UP EVERY MORNING, AND TURN ON YOUR MUSIC, IT GET'S ME GOING. MAKE'S MY DAY. I LOVE YOU!!!!!CALVIN RICHARDSON!!!!!!AND YOUR MUSIC!!
July 3, 2011 @ Club C C'S Memphis Tenn | Reviewer: Joy Pierce | 7/9/11
What a great show , brought tickets for my best friend her birthday (July 4th ) we really had a great time .She never heard of you , I told her you are in for a treat he is awesome . I love all your music. Thanks for the awesome picture we took and the autograph." You're So Amazing "
Keep doing what you are doing! | Reviewer: Tiffany Bradner | 4/10/10
I started listening to you at a very young age(13 yrs old) to be exact and I have bought every album that came out. I have gotten my brothers, aunts and mom hooked on your music, but never in a million years would i have thought i would meet such a wonderful man! You were awesome at the Greensboro Coliseum on April 2, 2010 but what topped it off is when i took the picture with you and how humble and thankful you were. My aunt and I were blown away. All i can say is keeping doing what you are doing because We are still supporting you and love what you are doing.
don't wanna sing no more | Reviewer: LISA | 9/26/08
I truly enjoy all your music, for me to be in the ministry not wanting to listen to soul or R&B your music truly caught my ear as we as my attention. Thank you so much for following your dream to allow peoples like my self realize that all music is not bad. best wishes to you and your entire family I enjoyed your show here in Columbus.
BIGGEST FAN | Reviewer: YKESHIA CAMPBELL | 10/30/07
I LOVE YOUR MUSIC SO MUCH ITS LIKE I CANT GET ENOUGH. I LOVE THE SONG YOU MADE YOUR LOVE IS. IT MAKES ME CRY SOMETIMES
Falling out of love | Reviewer: Elizabeth Garrison | 10/1/07
This song is a favorite of mine. When my son played it for me, I have been in love with it ever since. Keep making the music and songs that you are making. You rate a 10 plus with me.
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