He’s been in the music industry for over nine years and has released five albums to critical and commercial success, including two platinum albums, two gold albums and seven hit singles. The four-time Grammy-nominated artist also has a string of accolades from ASCAP, BET, and MTV. With unforgettable tracks including Love, Dontchange, and B.U.D.D.Y., his name is literally music to the ears of fans the world over. His latest album, OnMyRadio, currently has three singles on the Billboard’s Top 100 R&B Singles chart and he’s on the road touring with Anthony Hamilton. And to top it all off, he’s also working on starting his own record label by the end of the year. Yet through it all, R&B and Neo-Soul artist Musiq Soulchild manages to remain grounded and dedicated to his journey as an artist.
During his time as a mainstream artist, Musiq has grown leaps and bounds since his debut album Aijuswanaseing. “I’ve learned how to articulate my thoughts coherently,” he said. “I’ve learned how to make it more relatable to the people instead of just creating stuff and saying ‘deal with it’ or ‘catch up.’ I would much rather spend my time to figure out what is it going to take for them to get it rather than just throwing it out there and hoping that they catch it.” But does that necessarily translate to album sales?
“I always put my faith in the fact that people are going to like what I have to offer because of the work I put into it.”
When questioned about the secret of his success and longevity he modestly summed it up to making good music. “The industry is always going to be what it is, but I gotta keep my ears and eyes open and my perspective on what’s current and relevant. I do understand that this is a business and I definitely try to make sure that my business is straight, but for the most part, I just focus on making music for people.”
While he definitely delivers on the music front, you can’t deny his serious work ethic. In an atmosphere where few artists are fully supported by their labels, Musiq is constantly on the grind touring, hitting the radio stations, doing whatever it takes to get his albums to the people.
“I don’t think it’s fair to get mad at the people, if anything you owe them something because you’re asking them for their attention, you’re asking them for their money.”
Sometimes the people aren’t always the most supportive lot as witnessed at the release of “Radio,” a single off the latest album. Now an Atlanta resident, Musiq used the popular, yet often maligned snap music style in attempt to step outside the box. The single hit the airwaves to mixed reviews, but the artist doesn’t see it as a failure, more as a learning experience. “I don’t think it’s fair to get mad at the people, if anything you owe them something because you’re asking them for their attention, you’re asking them for their money. The least you can do is give them some incentive, something that they want to spend their time, energy, and attention on. It’s just a sign of where I am in my career and how far I have to go.”
As far as his career is concerned, Musiq isn’t done growing as an artist. Refusing to play it safe, expect to hear more music that transcends the soulful ballads fans have come to know and love. He acknowledges that changing it up can be a risk from a business perspective, but he’s willing to take it. “I know for a fact there’s a lot to be gained from being versatile and diverse and showing depth, growth, and different dimensions of yourself simply because there are a whole bunch of people listening to a whole lot of different things.”
For more information on Musiq please visit www.musiqsoulchild.com.