Grown Folks Music caught up with R&B vocalist Case. If you been missing him as we have you’ll be glad to know that he has returned to the music scene and has recorded a new album called Heaven’s Door. We spoke to Case about his new album, which he describes as “straight R&B”, what brought him back to music and who is he as an artist today. Oh, and we asked about that time 16 years ago when the biggest star in the world (now) starred as the leading lady in his music video. Read and enjoy.

case

GFM: The Grown Folks have missed you. Where have you been and what have you been doing? Tell us.

Case: Well, I had taken a little bit of time off from doing music. I kinda fell out of love with it and didn’t want to do it anymore because of the business side of doing music. It kinda got to be too much for me. Eventually I got back to a place where I decided that music was what I wanted to do again. I kinda fell back in love with it and so I started on the new album which will be out March 31– Heaven’s Door. Throughout that the time I was still doing concerts, but that was about it.

GFM: You mentioned the new album, Heaven’s Door. Can you tell us about it?

Case: Basically, it’s a straight R&B album.. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s a lot of melodies. The subject matter is dealing with real-life issues… a lot of different perspectives. I just wanted to make an album that put love back in the music. I feel like that’s missing a lot in today’s music. I wanted to put that back into the music.

GFM: You described the album as “straight R&B”. What do you mean by that… in terms of the sound… the lyrics… the delivery? What do you mean by “straight R&B”?

Case: I mean all of it. The sound of it definitely. I’m not trying to fuse it with hip-hop, or fuse it with EDM music or any other things that you might hear. It’s a classic R&B album. So definitely the sound.. the subject matter… everything about it. Everything about it is R&B.

GFM: In your bio, it reads that you were in the wedding when hip-hop married R&B and it helped to pioneer a sound. Fifteen years later, it seems that hip-hop has become the dominant partner in that merger and R&B has lost its voice a bit. What’s your take on it?

Case: I think I would agree with that to some extent. I think that’s the biggest thing, like I said, is that there’s not as much love in the music as there was before. Everything is about the club and going to club and sex. Which is fine… I mean everything has its place, but I don’t think that’s all that we should be about or singing about or talking about… in any music for that matter.

GFM: Do you think that’s the hip-hop side of it that has taken over where as R&B was (a) more dominant form of love communication?

Case: Yeah, I can see that. I definitely think that’s the truth.

GFM: Beyonce’ is everywhere these days, but before that she was the leading lady in your video (“Happily Ever After”) and I actually just realized that a couple of years ago. How did that come about?

Case: We were looking for a leading lady. There weren’t any around that I wanted to use. At that time “No No No” was out. I liked her and we called her up and played her the song and she said she wanted to do it.

GFM: And the rest is history…

Case: As they say.

GFM: What is your definition of Grown Folks Music?

Case: I don’t know that I have a definition of Grown Folks Music. My definition of music… of R&B (is)… I think that when you get to a certain age, you start to look at life differently. Just like there’s certain movies that you want to see that maybe weren’t the type of movies you wanted to see when you were fifteen, I think it’s the same thing with music. As you mature your musical tastes mature and you kinda want to hear something with some substance. I think that’s the biggest way I would describe Grown Folks Music– it needs to have some substance.

GFM: You mentioned earlier that you took a bit of break because you had fallen out of love with doing music. What brought you back into the love for doing music? Why do an album now? What is bringing you back?

Case: There were two things that happened. First, my grandmother–who was really someone who encouraged me to sing– she would give me the microphone and I would perform for company. She would encourage all of us… me… my cousins… all of us… to sing and perform. She passed away. When she passed, it got me to remembering all of those times and remembering when I first fell in love with music in the first place. A month after that, Michael Jackson passed. He was my childhood idol. That was another one of the reasons that I really, really got into music in the first place. So, the combination of those two things kind of sparked it back up for me.

GFM: Are there any artists out right now who you are enjoying or you think they are a good representation of R&B and promoting what you feel R&B should sound and look like?

Case: I would have to say my absolute favorite is Jazmine Sullivan right now. I love her. I love what she does. I love the sound that she has. I love her voice, so she would definitely be my favorite hands down.

GFM: After experiencing success and some of the highs and lows, and kind of being a little bit discouraged or disappointed with the industry, who would you say Case is now in 2015?

Case: I’m not a whole lot different. I’ve learned a lot just from different experiences and being in the industry 20 years. You have no choice but to learn from something like that. The biggest difference? I would say that now I approach the music differently. I wanna have more fun with it. I want it to sound brighter. A lot of times when I’m making music the best songs for me would be a sad song or something that invokes something sad in me. Now, the biggest difference is now I wanna have more fun with the music. I want it to sound brighter. Just things like that.

Heaven’s Door drops March 31. Get it at iTunes.

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Kimberly Kennedy Charles

I have questions. Artists have answers.