R&B’s Next Household Name
By: K.G. Graham
Late December, on a cold Sunday evening, House of Blues Dallas was abuzz in anticipation of performances by two of R&B’s rising stars: the tour’s headliner, the lovely and talented Elle Varner, and the undercard, charismatic crooner, Adrian Marcel. I patiently waited for Adrian to finish his pre-concert routine, as I was readily prepared to interview what some would call the new sound of R&B music. Sporting classic all black attire, Adrian stepped out of his dressing room with a big smile and greeted the room. It was time to do what we do best, cosign rising talent in this COSIGN Magazine exclusive.
With the video for his lead single “2AM,” featuring fellow California native Sage the Gemini, currently sitting at over 19 million views, it seems that Mr. Marcel is experiencing success early in his career. This can only be attributed to the work ethic instilled in him in his youth and the fact that he has a powerful cosign from Grammy-winning musician Raphael Saadiq. Saadiq attached his name to Marcel’s first mixtape, “7 Days of Weak,” and took Marcel on as his protégé. “A cosign is everything! You need someone who has made a stamp or staple in their career and is somewhat legendary to stand behind you and let the masses know that you’re real. And to have a cosign from Rafael Saadiq is huge for me. It lets me know that others can see the passion and can see the realness behind the music that I do,” said Marcel.
When asked about his favorite “2AM” experience, “You have a window between 2 a.m. and 3:15. In between that time I took too long doing some things I needed to do and she ended up falling asleep. It’s cool. I left her there,” Marcel said with a laugh. It wasn’t my favorite experience but my most recent 2 a.m. experience.” It’s hilarious as I, and probably many of the fellas, can relate to that scenario, on more than one occasion. I’m sure from the love Marcel receives from the ladies during his performances, he has more positive than negative 2 a.m. experiences.
For an R&B artist, passion is everything. Fans and consumers make purchases based on emotions, something Marcel’s music is filled with. While doing research for this interview, I stumbled onto a great quote that Marcel attributed to Saadiq and that he references when confronted with negativity, “The batteries don’t work without the negatives.” Marcel realizes that if there is negativity, he’s on the right path. It also shows that he remains humble and is passionate enough to put out music that reflects how he truly feels.
The current state of R&B music is dominated by a new genre of artists that I like to call R&B thugs. These are artists who sing, but whose content is more similar to a Kevin Gates, T.I. or Lil’ Wayne record. When asked how he feels about the current state of R&B music, Marcel said, “I just stay in my own lane. I do what’s natural for me and what feels right. There is this sort of R&B thugness that’s kind of there but it’s always been there. R. Kelly was an R&B thug. But, I think that we’re missing the R&B side of it, we’re just thugs now. We forget the women, and women forget the dudes. We forget that we have to populate the nation we got to keep the world going. For me it’s about bringing people together. I stay in my lane of the blues. I’ve been hurt, and hurt others in relationships, which we all have. I focus on that and put a rhythm behind that. I think that’s the basis of R&B, the blues and being vulnerable. We’re too afraid to show those other sides of ourselves, I’m not afraid; it doesn’t hurt me, it always helps me in some way.”
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it was only right that we asked a ladies’ man for Valentine’s Day tips. He shared a couple of important tips on how we can make our women happy! (So fellas, pay attention closely and let’s not mess this up.)
Per Adrian Marcel, “Don’t wait until about 12 or 1 in the afternoon to hit your lady up. Call her at 6 a.m. so she feels extra special and knows that she’s the first thing on your mind.” Yes, it is sound yet amazingly simple advice. Also, “Find out what she likes. You really have to know who you’re with. Go above and beyond the standard roses, teddy bears and chocolates. Don’t be typical, it’s the simple things women enjoy. Let your lady know you see her, you notice her, and that you pay attention to her. Let her know she means something. Valentine’s Day is just a day to acknowledge your girl more than others. On this special day she should feel that no one could do what you did. But figure it out, ‘cause if you don’t I will,” he warned, with a grin and a laugh. Free game gentleman, and ladies, we just put your man on some next level chivalry; you can thank Adrian at his next show.
Marcel followed up our session with an impressive display of song and stage presence, much to the pleasure of a predominately female audience. This young man has a bright future in music, and before he becomes a household name, we’d like to stamp him with the COSIGN Magazine COSIGN. Adrian Marcel embodies what we call the #COSIGNLife!