As fads come and go, it’s nice to know that some things never go out of style. Case in point: power-packed R&B as delivered by soulful singer/songwriter Avant.
The masterful crooner is back on point with his seventh album, Face the Music (Feb. 5, 2013). Inspired by the R&B legends—Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Luther Vandross and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds—who have been guiding lights in Avant’s career, the project marks the singer’s first release on the Capitol/EMI-distributed independent label Mo-B. But the set does more than just pay homage to R&B masters. Thanks to Avant’s inventiveness, Face the Music cooks up a tantalizing blend of contemporary and traditional sounds.
“It’s a taste of new school and old school,” explains Avant. “You might hear a piece of, say, Stevie Wonder or Babyface, then I spin right back around and offer up some new age R&B. It’s a well-rounded album with something for everyone. At the end of the day, Face the Music is about who we are and what we live by; it’s about respecting that as well as the music.”
Jumpstarting the buzz about the forthcoming album is lead single “You & I,” Avant’s long-anticipated reunion with duet partner Keke Wyatt. Already a top 10 hit on Billboard’s Adult R&B chart and currently climbing the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs tally, the searing love ballad revisits the natural magic Avant and Wyatt conjured on their first hit together, “My First Love.”
“Keke was only 16 when we did ‘My First Love,’” recalls Avant. “I’d never heard a voice like that coming from someone so young. She still possesses that same amazing spirit and soul when she sings.”