raheem devaughn*It’s not about saving R&B, according to Raheem DeVaughn.

The New Jersey native says he just wants artists to be true to themselves and true to their art.

“I just feel like there’s a lot of great R&B songs out there with nobody to sing them,” DeVaughn tells VIBE. “There’s a difference between making the music for a check vs. what you think you should be doing artistically and creatively. It’s not about being a savior. I never fell into that trap.”

Raheem made his first major label debut in 2005 with the release of “Love Experience.” In 2008 he hit major success with the Grammy nominated release of  “Love Behind the Melody” and later again with “The Love & War MasterPeace” in 2010.

Though he’s not been one of the main hitlisters out there on the radio, he’s still making an impact, but on his own terms. His latest, “Love Connection” is a sensual track he released on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s a great feeling…long overdue,” DeVaughn details of his new music, which is being released via a joint deal through his own 368 Music Group and Mass Appeal Entertainment. “I think there’s always been a lane for me. Timing is everything. With 368 and Mass Appeal, it’s looking really bright.”

“Love Connection” is the first single from his upcoming album, “A Place Called Loveland.”

Beyond that, he also celebrated the fact that he’s got control of his career now that he’s the head of his own label. In the past, however, the restrictions of being under another company didn’t allow him to do his thing.

“In some cases if you are not happy with a certain scenario you have to give it a makeover you know?” he explains of his last recording home. “I was frustrated in the past like, “Wow, why do they have to throw me in the R&B urban adult contemporary lane?” “Woman” was a no. 1 hit at Urban AC, so there’s no disrespect to that lane. But did it get a fair shot at urban radio? No, I don’t think so. But the company I was in bed with at the time, I never felt like they fully believed in me. They didn’t understand what my brand was.”

Speaking of former companies, his old label mate Justin Timberlake has made quite a comeback.

Raheem calls him his “white brother.”

Read the full interview at Vibe.

Check out the video for Raheem’s singlr, “Love Connection”: