Raphael Saadiq has an old soul. If his production on Tony ToniTone’s House of Music and his own Instant Vintage didn’t convince us of that, his next project certainly will.
His new album, The Way I See It, is a virtual time capsule of 1960s soul. The singer/ producer spent a month putting the project together and it’s a remarkable achievement in capturing the sound of decades past.
“I was born in the 60s so everything that was going on influenced me,” he told a crowd gathered at the Sony club in Manhattan. “Everything was authentic. We used Beatles mics for the kick drums. We looked in books to see what they used. 62 bass, Gibsons, bought an old drum set. I started doing it like that with a song I did for Leela James and for Mary J. Blige’s ‘I Found My Everything.’ That’s how I knew I could do it.”
Having the right instruments is one thing, but Saadiq had some serious help in recreating that vintage sound.
“I got a few real Motown cats on my record which means a lot to me,” he shared. “Paul Riser did all the strings.”
Riser is the legendary arranger behind “Love Child” and “I’m Livin’ In The Shame” for Diana Ross and The Supremes as well as “Rocket Love” for Stevie Wonder, to name a few.
“He called me ‘son’ and my engineer was jumping in pictures with him. James Jameson, Jr. is on bass.”
Stevie Wonder also makes a contribution to the project, playing his famous harmonica.
“He called me up like ‘this is Stevie.’ We had him on speaker phone and he was like ‘What’s up fool.’”
One thing is for certain, after hearing The Way I See It, it’s clear that Raphael Saadiq is nobody’s fool. Look for the CD in stores this summer.
-Jerry L. Barrow