Levi's® Pioneer Sessions: Raphael Saadiq

Raphael Saadiq for Levi's; Saadiq is enjoying the third act of a distinguished R&B career. As part of Tony! Toni! Toné!, Saadiq (back then he went by Raphael Wiggins) turned out numerous chart-topping R&B singles in the late ’80s and early ’90s, several of which – including “Little Walter” and “It Feels Good” – ended up on the pop charts. He then turned his attention to Lucy Pearl, a supergroup he formed with En Vogue’s Dawn Robinson and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad. But Saadiq truly found his visionary voice when he struck out on his own. Released in 2002 his album Instant Vintage was, in its title alone, a statement of purpose. With one foot firmly planted in R&B tradition and another kicking forward, Saadiq offered the genre a direction apart from the tired New Jack sounds. Six years later he’d release a modern masterpiece with The Way I See It, a recording deeply influenced by classic Motown, with a lush modern production and topical lyrics.

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