As the R&B component of Ludacris’s Disturbing tha Peace family, Bobby Valentino is readying up for his sophomore album release. The album titled Special Occasion has had the internet literally going nuts, as what many thought was a leaked version of the album was readily downloaded, reviewed and appreciated. Turns out that was just a little teaser to ensure his fans both in his native
So what do you love about
Well I love the way you talk, I love the way you walk.
You sound like you are ready to burst into song any minute [laughing.] Do you get a lot of love in
A lot of love in
Has the album been leaked? I mean there have been numerous versions of your album on the internet and I have even reviewed one and I am wondering if it was the wrong album.
It probably was, I mean I have been at the gas station where someone has run up to me and asked if I wanted the new Bobby Valentino CD and I would look at it and it is all the wrong songs. I have been working on this album for the last year in between touring as I have been touring a lot so I have recorded maybe 50 or 60 songs. So what happened is some songs you don’t use they may just end up on the internet. I have fourteen songs on this album and there are four interludes and the only songs that you have probably heard are Anonymous and Turn the Page. You may have heard snippets. The records you hear on the internet are to build my buzz to show that I am still here and I am still working and don’t go buy the bootleg, go buy the real album.
Do you feel that you stepped your game up on this album?
Definitely I challenged myself to grow as an artist and that is my whole thing; I could have easily done another Slow Down or another Tell Me but I wanted to grow, I wanted to step out of the box a little bit and do something different. So I think I grew vocally and as an artist holistically.
Do you think this is going to shock the fans, the growth you show on this album or do you have more surprises in store for them?
I think they are really going, my first album was mainly produced by Tim and Bob, and they did 90% of my album as I only had two producers on my last album. This album I worked with a lot of the big time producers like Bryan Michael-Cox, Timbaland, and Rodney Jerkins so I have different feels on this album and that is what I think is going to make this album hot. I have something that can relate to all different situations. That was why I called it Special Occasion as I got to work with all my favorite producers on the album and it has something for every occasion on there. Whether it is your birthday, your anniversary or whatever, I have a song for that.
We have seen some major artists suffer in sales when it comes to leaks on the internet; do you think that even though your album hasn’t been officially leaked per say the teasers that have been put out may effect your sales?
Well I see what I think is going to happen, the people who got the leak are going to be ‘well I already got the album,’ but then the people who go out and support it and buy the album, they will have a totally different album, but all it will do is force the people that are on the internet all day to go and buy the [official] album. But I want to let the people know that what was on the internet I did as a buzz. I did that to ‘bridge the gap,’ as it has been over a year since I put out my last and I had to get something out there for my fans for them to listen to just in the meantime.
Nowadays there isn’t the building the buzz factor when it comes to releasing a new album. Would you agree with that?
Yeah you have to build a buzz because now out of sight out of mind. If they don’t see you or they don’t hear from you they are going to forget about you and move on to the next person. There are a lot of artists out there and it has got real competitive. So by me just leaking songs, it is not a bad thing, as it keeps people talking about me and from this I got a real good internet buzz and that keeps me out there.
What was the best recording experience you had on this album?
I would say I have two of them, working with Timbaland and then working with Tim and Bob as they are like my brothers. When I am working with them, it is like a vibe and a feeling that nobody else can give me. It is like I am on a musical high when I am working with them. Working with Timbaland, he is one of my favorite producers, ever in life. I am a fan of his when he is in the studio and just watching him make the beat and just me and him vibing is overwhelming as I was blessed there.
Are there a lot of features on the album?
No I didn’t put out too many features. I have a joint with Fabolous on there and I have Timbaland on there, but I didn’t want to overshadow myself by putting a whole load of features on there. I don’t have anyone from the DTP click on there but I do feature on a lot of there albums, I am on Shareefah’s album, Field Mobb, Ludacris’s albums.
So you feel strong enough to stand alone when it comes to your craft?
Oh yeah most definitely.
Is there pressure on you due to the success of the first album?
Oh yeah there is pressure but I am not scared, because I feel like I have good following and dedicated fans who are really into me and I hope and pray that come April 3rd, the 800,000 people who bought my first album they will come out and buy the new album and maybe get 800,000 more.
Why has the album been pushed back?
Well I wanted to build up the buzz and I was looking at the fourth quarter and there was a lot of stuff coming out in that quarter. You had Jay Z coming out, Beyonce, Nas, so I didn’t want to get caught up with a lot of the artists that are household names.
Do you travel a lot; I mean I know you were in Africa with
Yeah I actually just got back from
Did you enjoy
Yeah but I love
You did a lot of writing on this new album, is this something you hope to maintain throughout your career?
Definitely because it is cool when someone else writes you a song they can write you a hit song, but it is nothing like when you write a song as then it is your soul and your feelings in the song. It is like you writing a speech as opposed to someone else writing you a speech it is always better if you write it; it is your words, your feelings, your emotions.
Can we expect to see you working more with European artists?
Yeah I would love to, I love it overseas and it is real cool, so if there are artists out there that would like to work with me, then I would love to do it.
How important was Ludacris winning a Grammy to the DTP family?
Well that is the greatest accomplishment in music to win a Grammy and then I am on his album so I can then say I was on a Grammy winning album. But I hope to get my chance to win a Grammy soon.
Talking about DTP though, was it important for you to be part of a collective of artists as opposed to just being on your own?
I think so because when you win awards there is a lot more respect from your peers and fans and I don’t think I got the respect I thought I deserved on my first album so I am looking for that with this album too.
It was your birthday recently, how did you celebrate?
Oh I went to the strip club, Fabolous was there, Rick Ross was there and Chaka Zulu was there and they all partied with me and I am having another party tonight and then one on Friday, then I am going to LA to shoot my new video.
Do you get really involved in the concepts of your videos?
Yeah always like to get involved in that. You know I am always on the conference calls when they come up with the concepts for my videos.