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Every songwriter worth his weight in catchy hooks has a story to tell - one that is gripping and compelling in its intensity. Raheem DeVaughn is that gifted storyteller, a man with volumes of short stories.
DeVaughn's story begins with music - his mother's vinyl collection to be exact. "I always loved music so I would sneak into her record collection when she wasn't around and play her stuff," says DeVaughn. Although his parents were not together, his father, noted jazz musician Abdul Wadud, was an influence as well. "Music was just always around me. I can remember at a very young age, standing in my mother's living room, listening to music and saying to myself, 'I'm going to be an entertainer.' It was that simple for me. I think I just always knew."
The dream would have to wait some time to come to fruition. Raheem DeVaughn graduated from High Point High School in Beltsville, Maryland, and then headed to nearby Coppin State. It was the first day of college that would change the course of his life. "I saw a group of guys standing outside singing, Boyz II Men style," remembers DeVaughn. "I just went up there and started harmonizing with them. Before I knew what was going on, I was in a group, cutting class to write lyrics and record." Although the group did not last, the direction DeVaughn's life was about to take would have a lasting effect on his music. After winning $2,000.00 in a talent show at Bar None, a Washington D.C. nightclub, he decided to go for broke and invested all of his winnings into a CD burner. Several independent releases led to a showcase with Jive Records and the road to a major label debut finally caught steam.
Forget about placing Raheem DeVaughn in the neo-soul category. DeVaughn's voice, velvety, chalky, pristine and gut-wrenching borrows heavily from generations before him.
Raheem bridges the gap between an older generation of R&B masters and their all too few modern counterparts. He is obviously a student of the culture.
"I'm just trying to be the voice of people who can't speak for themselves: kids who are stuck in the ghetto and don't know why, people who don't understand why we have to go to war. I'm the person who is going to talk about all of that."
Hit songs include --
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