R&B singer Calvin Richardson has seen the ups and downs of the music industry.
The North Carolina native sold 100,000 records 10 years ago but was still dropped from Uptown Records. His second album, on the other hand, went certified gold earlier this year. But through all that, he never forgot where he came from.
So when it came time to shoot a video for his new record, Charlotte was the first place that came to mind. Richardson sat down with CL at his "Woman's Got To Have It" video premiere party at the Sunset Club on Monday night to talk about his new album Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack, that dropped on Tuesday.
Creative Loafing: So where are you from in North Carolina?
Calvin Richardson: Well originally Im from Monroe, North Carolina but Ive been in Charlotte for so long so thats what Im claiming; thats home for me now.
So youre not new to this, everybody knows you sold 100,000 10 years ago ...
Yeah, I sold 100,000 10 years ago and my second album just went gold, officially, in February. I dropped another one thats out there last year, and its still out there working. But I got another one getting ready to drop ...
Lets talk about the journey real fast, from 99 to 2009, how did everything go? Explain that trip.
From '99 to 2009, it was just a lot of hard work. A lot of set ups and set backs to me, it was a learning lesson for me. I grew a lot in the business. Now, I just feel like Im more seasoned as far as the business goes.
Do you appreciate it more with the struggles you went through?
Oh, I definitely appreciate it, everyday, like I said, I dont take nothing for granted anymore. When you come into the music business, it's easy for you to have a perception of the game like youre going to be an overnight success and for some people thats true. Like you can get on American Idol, but I didnt have those outlets and stuff like that but you cant build no house without no foundation thats going to stand, so thats what I am.
So youre as much apart of N.C.s soul roots what can you say about the state and the kinds of artists we put out? You got Anthony Hamilton, you got Jodeci, you got people like that and you fit right in with them. How do you feel to be among that crew?
I mean it feels good. They are the keepers of real music ... WE are the keepers of real music, not just they, but thats what we do. You know I grew up with K-Ci and Jo-Jo. And you know Anthony hes doing his thing, and hes keeping it real as well, so its all good man to be a part of that elite crew from North Carolina.
So what can people look forward to on the album coming out tomorrow?
Tomorrow I have 11 songs on there, that were some of Bobby Womacks greatest hits that I felt like, you know, he had some many, so I picked 11 songs that I felt like would really make a statement and introduce people that dont know anything about Bobby Womack to who he is, to his music, to his greatness and so thats what youre going to get. Youre gonna get "110th Street," "Stop On By," "Im Through Trying to Prove My Love to You," "Hairy Hippy," "Love Has Finally Come At Last," "American Dream" ... did I say "Daylight"? (laughing) I can go on and on, until I get to 11 of course, but thats basically what youre going to get.
Why Bobby Womack?
I say, why not? I mean Bobby Womack is the greatest storyteller of my time, our time, that I know of and my style is just so similar to Bobby Womacks. My first album that I recorded 10 years ago, I did a cover of I Wish You Didnt Trust Me So Much and who would know 10 years later Id go back and do a whole cover of Bobby Womacks songs man just to pay homage and tribute because thats whos shoulders Ive been standing on for the last 10 years.