Bringing good R&B back

Performing at the Breakfast in Barbados concert.

Introducing the newest “R” in R&B, Ravaughn.

With fresh-faced looks and sugary voice, she is working hard to be one leading ladies behind the drive to bring “good” R&B back.

“I think Miguel is bringing it back… and Elle Varner [as well]. I feel like we were missing it back in the States, it is definitely about “turn up” music and dance music. Music used to tell a story and you used to listen to a song and say, ‘that’s about me’. We need that, we’re missing that and I think people are craving that now,” she explained.

Signed to Ne-Yo’s Compound University, Ravaughn whet the musical palettes for the Grammy winner in front of hundreds of patrons at the recently-held CHUM 104.5 Breakfast in Barbados concert.

Paving the way was how Ravaughn got her start in the music business. She was the demo singer for tracks done for the likes of Nicki Minaj, Natasha Beddingfield and Ne-Yo. As Ravaughn sat with Bajan Vibes for a lightning-quick interview at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, the singer revealed she was content with the gig and thought it would be the extent of her music career.

“I think everyone got used to me doing the demos, so nobody was really thinking of me as an artist… I was making good money and I didn’t have any bills, I was fresh out of college and living with my parents. It was fine and I figured I wasn’t supposed to be an artist.”

Ravaughn has also worked as a back-up singer on FOX’s hit show, Glee and even tried out for American Idol, but surprisingly did not make it past the first round.

Ne-Yo noticed something more in her, however, and encouraged the Manhattanville college alum to be more than a voice behind the voices.

“He is like a big brother to me. I am the oldest of three, so I never had someone to look up to like that. He is one of the greatest songwriters of our time, he is so laid back and so chill and he motivates me. He works so hard and I am signed to him so I have to work hard too. It is great to walk in a great person’s footsteps.”

Since then, the former journalism major has been working on Love Always, her first full album slated for release in June. Teasers can be found on major hip hop and R&B websites, featuring Better Be Good (featuring Wale), Best Friend and Loving U, all performed at Holder’s Hill.

As her star begins its ascent to fame, Ravaughn has assured she will remain focussed – with help from her support circle.

“The people I surround myself with are laid back and [focus on] who you are as a person. Because my upbringing was great, I know that if there is something that you want and I don’t want to give it to you, I’m sorry, you will have to find somebody else,” she stated frankly.

It is this kind of fearless grounding that has caused Ravaughn to focus on uplifting women.

“Ne-Yo renamed me the new voice of women, so I am just here to remind women that sometimes when we get into relationships, we forget ourselves. I am here to remind women that we need to think about ourselves. Sometimes these men don’t be treating us right and we can be bad all by ourselves,” the songbird said.

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