Clayton Perry over at blog critics, has an excellent interview with Raphael Saadiq. He discusses his new album, career, “neo-soul” and thoughts about the current state of the industry. His latest album, The Way I See it, (Columbia/2008), is available now.

Excerpt below.

With all things considered, Raphael Saadiq is the thread that has weaved the fabric of contemporary soul music together.

His midas touch has turned the careers of countless “soul sisters”—Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige—and “soul brothers”—John Legend, Musiq Soulchild and D’Angelo—into gold. And while his artistic resume is largely unknown by the masses, such high-profile collaborations expose a mere fraction of Saadiq’s musical contributions.

After a successful decade as a member of Tony! Toni! Toné! and R&B’s pioneering supergroup, Lucy Pearl, Saadiq launched a solo career in 2002 with the release of Instant Vintage. His refreshing “gospedelic” mix of soul eventually earned him five GRAMMY nominations—a first for an artist who lacked a major record label deal. In 2004, Saadiq released his highly-anticipated follow-up, Ray Ray.

The Way I See It (2008) continues Saadiq’s life-long tribute to “old-school” music. Upon review of the album, Raphael Saadiq managed to find time in his busy schedule to settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry, where together they reflected on “neo-soul,” Kanye West and the current state of R&B.

More on Raphael after the break, full interview here.

“Love that Girl” (Live in Paris)