Rahsaan Patterson is one of those amazing talents who also happens to be almost always busy, so catching him in a spare moment -- and on his birthday, no less -- is a rare feat indeed. Yet somehow last month I was, in fact, able to speak with him on his special day and chat him up about everything from Bleuphoria to his close friendship with Lalah Hathaway, just whose leg is on the single cover for "6 AM" and everything in between (as well as a few possible upcoming projects that SB readers and Rahsaan fans alike might be interested in). Check out what the very candid Mr. Patterson had to say to say about it all.
SoulBounce: So, what inspired you to get back in the studio and make Bleuphoria?
Rahsaan Patterson: Love. [laughs] Love, you know. I actually started creating the foundations for a few of the songs prior to the relationship that inspired me to go back in studio. But it was definitely love.
SB: The first taste that everyone got from the album was "6 AM." I want to talk about the cover for it, though. I mean, the single cover is just that leg there.
SB: So what made you choose that [image] as the single cover?
RP: It was a picture that I had taken of myself one night when I was in a hotel. I was doing promotion, actually, for the album. I was in the hotel bored and just happened to pull out one of my apps on my iPhone and took the picture. When it got around to the label and myself trying to figure out what image we wanted it to be, I kind of shot the image over to the cat who does all the graphics for the record and I asked him to do a mock-up of what he thought the font and stuff would be for that picture. And so he did it, but we did it on the DL and I didn't tell anybody at the label I went and did it. So, then he sent it back and I was like, "Ooh, that s--t is hot!" So then I sent it to the label and was like, "This is what I'd like to use." And everybody liked it.
SB: Okay, so...
RP: [interrupting] The image is, you know, just a person in the bed, you know what I'm sayin'? [laughs] Just chillin', you know what I mean? TV could've been on or there could've been someone on the other side, you know what I mean? But basically it's just chillin' in the bed at 6 AM.
SB: While we're on the topic of covers, you did of "I Only Have Eyes for You." So, one, what made you want to do that particular song and two, what made you do a not-so-straightforward cover?
RP: That was the first cover that I've ever recorded on any of my albums. "Stronger than Pride" was a bonus cut on the Wines & Spirits record, but it was a live version. I did that song ["I Only Have Eyes for You"] because that song is beautiful to me, I love that song. It's one of my mother's favorite songs; It always has been. I really didn't have any intention of covering that song until I was in the studio and I was working on the track. When I was in there just laying the foundation, the basic beat and bass line stuff, I was attempting to write a whole other song on top of it, [but] I couldn't because the melody of "I Only Have Eyes for You" kept coming. Every time I would try to think of something, the only melody that would come to me would be the melody of the verse. [sings] "My love must be a kind of blind love..." And it wouldn't leave me, so I was like "okay." I would throw it on the side and try to do something else, but it coming back to me. So, I was like, "F--k it. The spirit said I gotta do it." So I did it.
SB: You have a lot of your friends and colleagues on the album. I know Shanice and Faith Evans do the backgrounds on "Crazy (Baby)" and Jody Watley's even on "Ghosts." How was wrangling them all in for that? Did you have to put out requests or where they just in the studio?
RP: No request had to be put out, really. They all are kinda like my homies, you know what I mean? I've had history with all of them, pretty much, over the years and established friendships with them. Shanice I've known since I was ten years old. We were both on Kids Incorporated together. Lalah [Hathaway] I met in 1992 and Jody I met and she recorded some of my songs back in '96 or '97. Faith, we've been noticing each other over the years throughout the industry and always had a high respect and regard for each others' gifts. You know, just cool, down-to-earth artists who appreciate one anothers' talents and don't have a problem sharing our gifts with one another.
SB: Speaking of Lalah, I enjoy just seeing your friendship, especially on The Lah! and Rah! Show. Are we going to see any more episodes of that coming soon?
RP: Absolutely [you're] going to see more coming soon. Her and I were just on the phone today talking about it. So, there'll be definitely more coming.
SB: What else can we expect from Bleuphoria? I know you already released "Crazy" but are we going to get anymore singles?
RP: You never know. I've had a streak of support for this album that's kind of surpassed some of my previous ones. So I'm just riding it and hoping that we can release as many as possible. But we're actually going to release a deluxe packaging of Bleuphoria that will include five live clips from the live DVD that I shot. I think the president [of the label] said he might want to include some things in the deluxe package as well. So, at some point soon, within the next month or two I'd say, there'll be a deluxe package which will at least include the five live songs from the DVD. Then after that we'll release a whole 40 minute to an hour show from the live thing.
SB: I know you've been touring a lot in support of the album, is there going to be a lot more touring?
RP: Well I'm actually getting ready to go on a cruise this weekend for two weeks performing on the Smooth Jazz Cruise. When I get back, there are dates being finalized now. So, there will be more shows definitely.
SB: Are there any other projects coming from your way that the public should know about?
RP: There's an organization that I've been in support of called RAINN, which is the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. I'm going to be supporting the organization and have been writing a song that will be on iTunes at some point. The proceeds of that song will benefit the organization.
SB: How long have you been working with RAINN?
RP: it's new. It's all just kind of starting out. I think it's important to just at least make it to the website or place for people to check it out and support it in whichever way the can. The further I get into supporting the organization and being the spokesperson for it, the more information I can share.
SB: Well, that's about it for my questions. Thank you so much for taking time out, especially on your birthday, to talk with us. Have a great day and go get yourself a shot or a drink or something!
RP: [laughs] Alright, man.