Musiq, who was born in Philadelphia in 1977, has a deep, calm speaking voice. During our phone interview, he also seemed very laid-back as well as very serious. Serious about his music, serious about life. Although his birth name is Taalib Johnson, he has gone by Musiq Soulchild most of his recording career, except for a few years when he was just called Musiq. His current album, Luvanmusiq (it's pronounced 'Love and music') represents a return to the use of the Soulchild surname. So what happened to the Soulchild name for awhile?
"It never went anywhere," Musiq answers matter-of-factly. "The name is Musiq. Sometimes I go by Musiq, sometimes I go by Musiq Soulchild." But then he gets to the heart of the heart of the matter: "I saw it was not good business decision to go by just Musiq," he said, and you can see his point: going by just 'Musiq' can confuse people.
Unusual SpellingsIn addition to his unusual stage name, another thing Musiq's known for is unusually-spelled album titles, going back to his 2000 debut album, Aijuswanaseing (pronounced 'I Just Wanna Sing.') His second albums was called Juslisen ('Just Listen'). He broke tradition by calling his third album, 2003's Soulstar, but is back at it again with LuvanMusiq.
In addition to album names, some of his songs, including ones on his new album have multi-word names with no spaces between the words (for example, "Bestfriend.") So how did the tradition come about?
"It was just something that happened in my mind," Musiq answers in a deep, relaxed voice. "It's like written slang. It's just something creative to do."
LuvanMusiqLuvanMusiq comes out within a couple of weeks, but when asked about it's content, Musiq was evasive. "There's nothing to reveal," he said. "I'm pretty much going to give you what you've been hearing (from him on past albums). I've done pretty much the same thing."
What that means, for those not familiar with his music, is smooth, seductive R&B and neo-soul, typified by the album's first single, "B.U.D.D.Y." (You can stream the video for "B.U.D.D.Y." HERE.)
Musiq didn't want to reveal too much about the album, but did say there's a few specific tracks for listeners to check for: "I would like for them to hear "Makeyouhappy," "Takeyouthere" and "Ridiculous," he said. He also revealed the names of some of the producers he worked with: Raphael Saadiq, The Underdogs and Warryn Campbell, among others.
And with a lineup like that helping out on the album, Luvanmusiq just might have people lovin' music a little more in 2007.