Reintroducing Megan Rochell

Remember Megan Rochell? The Brooklyn native is best known for her 2006 song “The One You Need” with rapper Fabolous. Produced by Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, “The One You Need” gained traction on urban radio, peaking at no. 42 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Things seemed promising for Rochell, who was signed to Def Jam at the time. She was slated to release her debut album You, Me and the Radio. However, it didn’t come out.

“I think that the whole music industry as a whole was going through a transition,” Rochell tells Rated R&B over a phone conversation. “I think that project that we came to love so much started to become dated.”

With all the changes that were happening at Def Jam at the time, Rochell’s project got pushed to the side as they focused on other artists on the roster.

“LA [Reid] made the executive decision to say, ‘Hey let’s revamp.’ The label was going through so many changes — JAY Z had just become president…you had the Rihanna campaign…you had other artists on the label getting ready to roll out. So I think for competitions’ sake, maybe You, Me and the Radio wasn’t the introduction to Megan Rochell,” she says.

It’s been over 10 years since Rochell released “The One You Need.” Over the years, she’s shared a few one-off singles but now she’s making her official introduction with her new EP, Insight. In an interview with Rated R&B, Rochell talks about her early beginnings, finding herself as an artist, motherhood and future projects — which includes an album.

Check out our interview below.

RATED R&B: Looking back at “The One You Need,” what do you remember the most from recording that song?

MEGAN ROCHELL: Wow! I just remember being in the studio with Rodney [Jerkins] and LaShawn Daniels, who was the vocal producer. I also remember hearing Shamari Fears’ voice on the track and it just completely blew me away. And I was like, “Wow! How lucky am I to be a part of this moment like?” It was just so surreal. They really pushed me to my highest potential to get that record done. I’m totally thankful for that moment.

RATED R&B: You recently dropped your first EP called Insight. Would you say that is the official introduction to Megan Rochell? 

MEGAN ROCHELL: Yes, I appreciate that question so much because, as you see, it took me some time to get to this space. However, you know, there’s no time like the present and that had to happen so this could happen.

RATED R&B: What inspired the sound we hear on Insight and the songs that are on that project?

MEGAN ROCHELL: Wow! Even though it’s a short EP — it’s only four songs – so much inspired it: motherhood, my past…just trying to come to terms with who I am as an artist. It was just so many emotions boggled up, which brings the title of the EP Insight. I really had to do some soul-searching and figure out where I want to be in the music.

RATED R&B: Do you still feel like you’re a new artist?

MEGAN ROCHELL: Hands down, I am a new artist because I am a new person today. I became a mother so that just shifted the pendulum completely. So, I’m making the kind of music that I truly feel and truly relate to. I know that there are people out there that can appreciate it.

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RATED R&B: What else are you working on?

MEGAN ROCHELL: I am putting together a girls-only mixtape. It’s going to be about 15 really dope female artists and hosted by two dope female DJ’s out here in Atlanta. We hope to get the project out some time [this spring]. I’m also working on my new album that I want to release in the fall. I’m songwriting for some dope artists. I did a few records for Kehlani, K. Michelle and Keyshia Cole.

RATED R&B: What do you want people to take away from your first album?

MEGAN ROCHELL: Just a lot of L-O-V-E, honestly. I’m talking unconditional love. I want people to just spread love. It’s so easy to do. It doesn’t cost anything. The project will definitely show you how even in your most darkest moments, light comes from that. You have to be able to see things in a positive light in order for you to come out of that darkness so both sides are needed. Both sides are necessary. I’m excited about it! You got me revved up over here [laughs].

RATED R&B:  Anything else you would like to add?

MEGAN ROCHELL: The key to life for me is balance and I think that to live a healthy life, it starts with your mental — the way you think and how you view the world around you. All I see is love and light so I just pray to the universe that that’s what I get in return.

Stream Megan Rochell’s Insight EP below.

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Toni Braxton Releases New Song ‘Heart Away’ with Birdman

R&B legend Toni Braxton teams with her alleged boyfriend Birdman for her a new track, “Heart Away.” Produced by London On Da Track, the edgy tune is an interpolation of Cash Money artist Dez Deshon’s song “Hardaway.”

“He took my heart away, bad man with good manner / Played me like I was a habit / Middle finger, he could have it / I used to dream of livin’ lavish / Now a girl’s a livin’ legend,” Braxton sings.

Birdman raps, “I got something worth more than money / Go to church, free the birds on Sundays / So much pain I took you away from it / When I pull up on you I’m stunting.”

Last fall, Braxton released her single “Deadwood” as the lead track from her upcoming album, Sex & Cigarettes

Listen to “Heart Away” below.

Kali Uchis Releases New Single ‘After the Storm’

Kali Uchis New Single

Kali Uchis has just released her new single “After the Storm.”

On the soulful single, which features rapper Tyler, The Creator and funk legend Bootsy Collins, Uchis expresses hope for a better tomorrow, and suggest other do the same.

The sun’ll come out / Nothing good ever comes easy / I know times are rough / But winners don’t quit / So don’t you give up / The sun’ll come out / But we’ve been struggling endless days / Someday we’ll find the love / ‘Cause after the storm’s / When the flowers bloom,” she sings.

The BADBADNOTGOOD-produced single is the third offering from Uchis’ upcoming debut album Fool’s Paradise, which is slated for a Spring releases. Previously released singles include Nuestro Planeta featuring Reykon and the sensual summer stunner “Tyrant,” which features British R&B singer Jorja Smith.

You can catch Kali Uchis as a featured act alongside Jhené Aiko on Lana Del Rey’s LA to the Moon Tour, which runs through mid February. You can purchase tickets here.

Stream “After The Storm” featuring Tyler, The Creator and Bootsy Collins below.

Justine Skye Takes Us to ‘Heaven’ on New Song

Justine Skye is keeping the train moving with the release of her new song “Heaven.”

On the Charles Henshaw and Fred Ball-penned track, the 22-year-old songstress has finally met someone that has changed her life for the better.

“You got me feeling like I’m finally here / But it’s no wonder you gon’ leave me hurt / ‘Cause you make me feel like heaven all the time / All the time, all the time, all the time, yeah/I always feel like I’m forsaken / With you I feel saved, yeah / My heart has always hit the pavement / I’ve never been a saint but maybe that’ll change,” she sings.

“Heaven” is the fifth track release ahead of Skye’s debut album Ultraviolet, which is due January 19. Other single releases include “U Don’t Know” featuring WizKid, “Back For More” featuring Jeremih, “Don’t Think About It” and “Goodlove.”

Stream “Heaven” below.

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