INTERVIEW: Adrian Marcel Talks ‘GMFU’ Album & Mentor Raphael Saadiq

Photo Credit: Keithan Samuels/ Rated RnB
Photo Credit: Keithan Samuels/ Rated RnB

Adrian Marcel was made for the music. A natural born star, the 24-year-old grew up in the music field highly encouraged by his family and hometown of Oakland, Calif. By attending the Oakland School of the Arts and continuously performing for his city, Marcel paved his way into the music game.

With the right connections and pivotal guidance, the singer was able to meet one of the best musicians in the business, Raphael Saadiq, who co-signed the singer and took him under his wing. Hence after, we were presented with mixtapes 7 Days of Weak (2013) and Weak After Next (2014).

Currently, Marcel is serving as special guest for songstress Elle Varner’s six-city December tour, while he rides the success from his Weak After Next mixtape and builds his growing fanbase for his upcoming debut album Got Me F****d Up (GMFU) due at the top of next year. Before the rising star hit the stage at The Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. for one of his shows, Marcel sat down with Rated R&B for an intimate interview.

In the interview, the young crooner shares lessons learned from his mentor Raphael Saadiq, reveals why he waited to put out a full album,  gives details on “GMFU” and if the “2 AM” singer really ‘spends the night alone.’

Here are excerpts from the candid interview:

On Getting Started:

Well, I started young, man.  Music is something that kind of chose me. Um, I was always kind of moving to music and dancing to it so I think my mom just tackled that early and it kept me focused, just kept me grounded in that field, along with my father and the rest of my family as well.

On His Mentor Raphael Saadiq:

I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from him is to never love myself and always stay in love with the music, it has to be a certain passion that you never lose and the moment you lose it you shouldn’t do music anymore.

On Why He’s Ready For An Album Now:

I’m more set on now an album for sure. I don’t want to just rush things and put things out. I know a lot of times today people throw so much music out at once, people get accustomed to putting it to the side and wanting more. So, I want people to understand that when there’s something that I put out I want you to sit with it. I want it to be something that’s a part of you rather than just a season.

On The Album Title “GMFU:”

I’m very into my emotions, I’m very into who I am as a person and what I feel and I’m not afraid to feel however I feel. So, with “Got Me F’d Up,” it’s so deeper than that. It’s I’m f’d up over your love, I’m f’d up over this heartbreak, I’m f’d up over the fact I don’t have my own time anymore, I’m f’d up that I don’t get to see my family as much as I want to. Um, I’m f’d up because I love women and that makes it hard to love one (laughs). All these different subjects that have come with me are the beginning of the chapter.

On Most Personal Track On The Album:

There’s an intro to the actual album and it’s very different and it’s a story. I’ve always looked at my father as a chief. You know, as a head Cherokee (laughs), you know what I mean, per se in those terms being the head of my household. There was a story I had in a previous relationship that he sat me down and talked to me about and I put it on paper. I can’t wait for that to be heard because it is truly an opening chapter to not only the album, but my life.

Catch the full interview below where Marcel talks about collaborations on his “GMFU” album including Raphael Saadiq and the album’s potential release date. The singer also tells us fun facts like his favorite holiday song and more. Also, ladies, the young crooner also admits that he indeed does not sleep alone. You don’t want to miss this short, but sweet interview.


Interview by Keithan Samuels 


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Adrian Marcel Announces ‘GMFU Tour’ Dates

Adrian Marcel will hit the road this winter to support his debut album, GMFU (Got Me Fucked Up).

Starting on February 20, the Oakland, Calif. native will bring his smooth vocals to Atlanta at VINYL. He will travel to other cities on the east and west coast including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Sacramento. The tour will conclude on March 8 at New Parish in San Francisco.

Last May, Rated R&B chatted with Marcel about his oft-delayed debut album and his most personal song from the project. “Eastside Story” because it was only two people who had anything to do with it — me and Jan Hancock. We produced it. We wrote it. Arranged it. Recorded it. It was the first record that we recorded in the process of doing this album.”

See his tour dates below.

5 UK R&B Artists to Watch in 2018

Here at Rated R&B, our mission is to deliver interesting and engaging content on the R&B genre of music. R&B talent comes in many different shapes and sizes and sometimes comes from different countries as well. You’ve heard of Jessie J, Marsha Ambrosius, and Daley, but in this piece, we’re going to put you on the game to the most exciting up-and-coming R&B artists in the United Kingdom. With voices that liken to Ariana Grande and Eric Bellinger, there’s surely an artist on this shortlist that’ll pique your interest. Check out our list of the 5 R&B UK Artists to Watch in 2018 below:

Mabel McVey UK R&B Artist 2018

Mabel McVey

Polydor Records-signee Mabel came in with a bang in 2017 when her hit single “Finder’s Keepers” reached the Top 10 on the UK Singles chart. The song, which features rapper Kojo Funds, also peaked at No. 2 on the UK R&B Singles Chart. Her breezy vocals, pop radio appeal, and charming style are on trend, and she already has found Top 40 success in her latest collaboration with UK artist Not3s entitled “My Lover (Remix).” If you like what you hear in the video below, check out Mabel’s 2017 EP Bedroom, which is available on all digital platforms.

Angel UK R&B Artist 2018


Angel’s career blasted off with a string of hits in 2012, including UK Singles Top 10 earner and UK R&B Songs chart-topper “Wonderful.” Now signed to Motown Records, the London-born singer dropped consistently catchy tunes in 2017, including the SWV-interpolated and Eugene Wilde-sampled “Take You Home.” If he can continue this upward trajectory and his formula of mainstream sounds with a 90s R&B twist, Angel could very well land a solid radio hit by year’s end.

Jorja Smith UK R&B Artist 2018

Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith was one of the buzziest artists of 2017 thanks to her features on Canadian rapper Drake’s multi-platinum album More Life. In addition to her criminally underrated summer collaboration with Kali Uchis called “Tyrant,” Smith also made some noise this past year with her 90s underground-esque banger “On My Mind.” Her knack for showing vulnerability whilst keeping her alluring mystique has set her up for riding off into the sunset of success in 2018!

Jacob Banks UK R&B Artist 2018

Jacob Banks

Banks broke big in 2014 for his assist of Chase and Status’ “Alive,” which peaked at No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart. Banks’ gruff and smoky vocals have been used in promotions across the globe, including popular sports game “FIFA 15” and popular TV shows like STARZ’s Power and USA’s Suits. After the release of his 2017 EP The Boy Who Cried Freedom, Banks is more confident than ever and ready to make a splash in 2018.

Ella Mai UK R&B Artist 2018

Ella Mai

Ella Mai might be the most recognizable name on this list, and that’s because this woman has been working! After a stint on the 11th series of X Factor UK in 2014, the singer signed with DJ Mustard’s 10 Summers label. She’s released not one, not two, but three EPs in a year’s time, and was recently one of the featured acts on Kehlani’s 2017 “SweetSexySavage World Tour,” which ended its run in November. Now working on her debut album and kicking off 2018 with a fresh single, Ella Mai is just one hit away from her big break, and if her current sound and relatable lyrics have anything to do with it, then she is well on her way.

Who’s your favorite artist on this shortlist? Let us know in the comment section below!

From 2008: R&B Albums That Turn 10 This Year

Another ten years has caught up with us in the realm of R&B music.

Let’s jog your memory for a minute. For starters, 2008 saw Mariah Carey touch the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the 18th time with “Touch My Body.” Usher showed his strength by “Moving Mountains,” while Beyoncé led ladies to the club, singing, “If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.”

We heard the debut projects from Day26, Jennifer Hudson, Tiffany Evans and Jazmine Sullivan. Also, 2008 ended listeners music drought from veterans Deborah Cox, Ashanti, Keith Sweat and Brandy.

Rated R&B has compiled a list of 31 R&B/soul albums that celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018.

Randomness: On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama won presidency, becoming the first African-American to be elected as President of the United States.

Raheem DeVaughn — Love Behind the Melody
Release Date: January 15
Record Label: Jive Records
Singles: “Woman,” “Customer” and “Text Messages”

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