22-year-old music artist Vedo is a name that you shall hear ringing through your speakers for years and years to come. The suave gentleman from Benton Harbor, Michigan is looking to help revive the state of R&B and put it back at the forefront of the musical art form. Do not be misguided by his age, classic rhythm and blues runs deep through his old soul and is evident when you hear his music.
He is far removed from his days on the hit reality television music competition, The Voice, where he captured the world’s attention as well as the attention of R&B legend Usher. Studying and learning from the great one himself, shows in his music and his approach to the art form. So much that you forget that the guy is just getting warmed up. Vedo dropped his first “structured” project, “93”, late last year which was named after the year he was born and also gave a salute to the classic R&B of the 90’s. “It was fun. 93 is a mixture of everything I wanted to say in my music in 2015 and also some of the things I wanted to get off my chest.” I asked him what was the biggest difference between this project and his last mixtape, “In This Room”. “Honestly just time. In the time span between In This Room and 93, I grew up a lot. 93 was more focused and planned out.”
Listening to the album, you can tell that the Platinum Power Moves artist is a student of the game as he shows off his renditions of classic R&B tracks like my favorite, “Knockin Da Boots” originally from the late R&B group H-Town. All the while, the vocal-phenom maintains his own style and creating his own legends with tunes like “Classic”. Speaking of classics, I wanted to find out what his top 5 R&B albums of all-time were. His answer: 100% Ginuwine (Ginuwine), Confessions (Usher), Usher (Self-titled album by Usher), Songs in the Key of Life (Stevie Wonder), and the Motown Christmas album. We notice two of his mentor’s albums made his list as he doubled back to his Usher’s self-titled album pick. “That album was crazy! That was the album that really took Usher off. I was listening to the music and the sequence of the music and just the topics of the songs and the quality of the music, I can see why that was the album that popped Usher off.”
Pretty impressive list but let’s keep it real, we are far removed from those golden years of R&B. Nobody can turn a blind eye from the decline of what use to be the most powerful genre in this musical art form. And don’t think the new school don’t notice. Instead of trashing their true artistry and ditching it for “what’s hot right now”, the new wavers like Bryson Tiller, Kehlani, Tink, and Vedo himself are ready to walk through the inferno of the forgotten to rekindle a genre they love and cherish. “[R&B] needs help. But it’s slowly coming back. The whole 2014-2015 R&B wasn’t really R&B. It was kind of turn-up, hip-hop, rap-sing kind of music; which is cool because it got the job done. I don’t hate anything like that.” He continued, “But even now, it’s starting to comeback with all of the new artist that are starting to come out using these old 90’s samples; you have the Bryson Tillers and the Tory Lanes, even Drake as well as myself with “93”. So it’s slowly coming back but we have a lot of work to do.”
As far as I am concerned, the new wave of timeless R&B is in good hands with the help of Vedo. His old school, soulful sound and musical genius will secure him a spot on the Mt. Rushmore for the new resurgence of traditional Rhythm and Blues music. As for the future of Vedo, “You can expect a bunch of things from major placements, to a role on Empire,” he expresses jokingly after confirming that there is no word on the rumored role on the upcoming season-three of Empire but would be all for it if so. “But you can expect major collaborations with artist. We’re shooting more videos for the most popular mixtape songs. So we moving. We not standing still.” Make sure you check out Vedo’s album “93” and his hit singles “Classic” and “All I Wanna Do” all available on iTunes right now.