Can we talk about Tevin Campbell for a minute? That’s exactly what we did when we caught up with the R&B crooner at the 2014 Essence Music Festival. Although this was Campbell’s first time at the festival, he is no stranger to winning people over with that soothing voice that will have you going ’round and round’.
The same voice that Campbell had as a boy has only grown now that he is 37 year old man. Fans of the seductive voice, got a chance to hear it again at the Superdome during his first Essence Festival performance. Campbell plans to share this voice with the world again and is using this weekend as a chance to reconnect with his fans. Campbell said he hoped to excite old fans and cultivate new ones who may not be familiar with his many hits.
As he came out to start the show in the packed out Superlounge he admitted, “everyone has that one song that’s ‘their’ song and they want to hear it, so we plan to accommodate them, but I might throw in some new stuff too.”
After a great deal of success at a young age in music and being backed by artist such as ‘The Purple One’ Prince – who penned one of Campbell’s first major hits “Round and Round”, Campbell abruptly dropped off of the music scene. Campbell admitted that after two hit albums – “T.E.V.I.N” and “I’m Ready” – he spent time away examining his life and where it was going.
Although Campbell has been gone for a minute, it could not be noticed, his fans have obviously not minded patiently waiting for his return. The Essence Superlounge where Campbell performed was packed to a point of where it was standing-room only- with a solid audience of people packed in from the very back of the lounge all the way up to the front of the stage. The lines outside the show were wrapped around the Superdome corridors.
After performing, we got to speak with Campbell about the show. He let it be known that he was definitely excited about the turn out and the show. “I did all the classics, none of the new material as we had planned. They wanted to hear what they wanted to hear,” he confessed. He let the crowd take command of the show and was ‘ready’ to give them anything they wanted.
When asked about the state of music today in comparison to when he first came out, Campbell quickly replied that “R&B music is in major need of a resurrection”. He is taken heed to the emergency. He is back and ready to make real R&B music. Campbell let it be known that he is currently working on projects with powerhouse producer Teddy Riley and R&B songstress Faith Evans. When asked about any possible duets he admitted the admiration for new artist such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Drake, and Alicia Keys. He said that he’d definitely be interested in doing work with any of these artists because “there is always a place for great music.”
In being that he has plans to release new music by the end of the year with a full album next year, his main reason for the Essence Festival appearance is to generate some buzz about his music. That’s why he said he is grateful for the opportunity to play at Essence. “It’s kind of a big deal. There will be a lot of people looking and listening.” He went on to explain that he feels like “a lot of good things can happen as a result of this festival” and to confess that he feels that “when it comes to God and his blessings all [he] can do is be prepared.”