Raphael Saadiq – HuffPost 8.17.09

[Note: This is taken from my interview with Raphael Saadiq since concepts like what inspires artists and of really “listening” to music are discussed briefly.]

Mike Ragogna: …The Way I See It really isn’t a tribute album as much an application of classic soul elements to your music, right?

Raphael Saadiq: I think every artist pays homage to something since we’re all inspired by something, and I was inspired by great music, not just Motown, but all the Isleys records, all the Stax records. And I’m definitely inspired by a lot of reggae music…you name it, from Jimmy Cliff to Bob (Marley). All of them have some type of reference that you can hear from the Baptist church or gospel to blues and Albert King. So I’m just inspired by a lot of stuff. Like after I was in twelfth grade, I was inspired by so much funk and by playing with so many different bands.

MR: Are you surprised you made this type of album at this point in your life?

RS: There are so many things in your head you want to get out. It comes at a weird time, and this is the time it came out. One of my best friends, Brian Grant, he played for the NBA for about fourteen years, and it wasn’t ’til I started hanging out with him that I really sat down and listened to Dark Side Of The Moon. I knew about it and heard about it, but he said, “No, you gotta sit down and listen to it like this.” So different things come at different times in your life.

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