*On Tuesday, R&B workhorse Rahsaan Patterson releases his 6th album “Bleuphoria,” a soulful, passionate collection that takes listeners deep into the particular color of love he experienced during a recent relationship.
“Normally people equate the color of love to red because of what we see in Hallmark cards with the heart being red. But the feeling and the depth of it for me resonated as blue,” Patterson tells EURweb exclusively. “Emotions have color, songs have color, music has color; that’s why we feel them so much when we hear them. The depth of love is infinite and I related that to the sky and the earth and the sea.”
Patterson enlisted a number of his friends to help convey this ‘Bleuphoria’ feeling, including Shanice, Faith Evans, Jody Watley , Tata Vega and Lalah Hathaway. But don’t expect to hear all of them singing verses.
“They contributed to my record not necessarily as featured artists. None of them are duets,” explains Patterson. “They’re guest vocalists and they have featured spaces – like Tata Vega sings adlibs at the end of ‘Mountaintop,’ Shanice adlibs at the end of ‘Crazy,’ Faith Evans sings background vocals on ‘Crazy’ and Lalah Hathaway sings background vocals on the current single ‘6 AM.’” [Scroll down to listen.]
“I’ve never really been big on albums that use the feature of 20 other artists to help propel and sell their records,” said Patterson. “I’ve always been very comfortable with me selling me without needing the assistance of someone else’s name to gain interest in my music. For example, Van Hunt always participated in my records, but I didn’t have to say, ‘featuring Van Hunt.’”
Speaking of Van Hunt, the singer-producer did not participate in the “Bleuphoria” sessions but Patterson’s other long-time collaborators Jamey Jaz and Keith Crouch do contribute to the Artistry Music project, and for the first time, Patterson produced two of the album’s tracks all by his lonesome.
“This record was about challenging myself and furthering myself as a musician and a producer and being able to be comfortable with that in terms of sharing it with the world,” he said. “So at this point, I’m taking the reins and presenting , not only to the world, but to Jamie Van and Keith what I’ve learned from them.”
So what happened with Van Hunt?
“I miss working with him, and the only reason why we haven’t worked together is just – he’s been doing his life and I’ve been doing mine,” says Patterson without elaborating.
At age 37, Rahsaan can look back on 27 years in the industry – first as a child star on the 1980s TV show “Kids Incorporated” and later as backup vocalist and writer before signing with MCA in 1997 for his self-titled debut. While music critics have been relentless in their praise of Patterson’s voice and songwriting, his albums sales have not been quite as robust. Still fans of the Bronx native are extremely loyal, both in the states and overseas.
“Because I started so young and because fate and the universe has just supported me in my existence, I believe it has done that because my spirit has been genuine; my being, my craft and my communication through my craft are authentic, and I feel I’m rewarded for that by the universe,” says Patterson. “That has helped sustain my career as well as having the support of the people who have been affected by my persona and my spirit and music.
“The people who have followed me from the time that I was 10-years-old till now, they’ve watched a boy mature and grow into a man and into the artist that I am today. I think all of that contributes to my staying power.”
- Patterson says he’s no longer in the relationship that inspired “Bleuphoria,” which was recorded from 2008 through 2010. In the bonus audio below, he explains how this person just wasn’t ready to go to the level of love that he was prepared to go for.