In an interview with British paper, the Guardian, Terius Nash aka The Dream talked about the state of the music business, why he puts so much of himself into each of his songs, and how music in America can be limiting for artists.
Although The Dream is responsible for some of R&B’s biggest hits, he seems a bit jaded about the industry’s treatment of black artists singing “real” soul music.
From the Guardian:
1977 [The Dream’s lastest album] slotted in neatly alongside last year’s trend for confessional, paranoid R&B, as spearheaded by Frank Ocean and the Weeknd, although Nash maintains he was merely trying to reconnect with the roots of his genre. “It’s called rhythm and blues; they just took the blues out of it for so long. What’s crazy is that blacks can’t do soul records any more. We love Adele singing it, but Beyoncé singing it? No, the tempo’s too slow, gimme the club hit. Now the blacks in America are responsible for the pop records, and everybody else is singing soulful records. It’s weird to me. We’re pigeonholed over there.”
Nash is still narked that his own soulful Beyoncé composition 1+1 was pulled as a single in favour of the poppierBest Thing I Never Had, but he’s so prolific that it surely won’t be long before a new Terius Nash song grabs the world’s attention. “I wrote four songs this morning,” he boasts cheerily. “I don’t stop working. I’m like my own iTunes, I just keep downloading!”
While I think The Dream is onto something, he also seems to be overlooking his ability to change things. Although he laments the death of the black soul singer, his albums are filled with songs about strippers, taking another man’s woman, and other foolishness.
If The Dream was serious about the state of black soul, it seems like he can start with the man in the mirror and do better.
But what do you think? Does The Dream have a point?