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Interviews / Music

Reintroducing Megan Rochell

The former Def Jam artist talks comeback, new EP and more.

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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.”

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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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