RATED NEXT: Shaliek Talks Success Of ‘The Past,’ Songwriting, His Debut Album & More

Photo Credit: Shaliek/Facebook

R&B’s latest crooner Shaliek is set to release his debut album “Blood Sweat Tears” this summer. The album’s title acts as a retrospective of the blood sweat and tears he’s endured to secure his spot in today’s R&B world.

Shaliek was born in The Bronx, New York until his family moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he resided until he graduated high school. While his father enjoyed playing the drums and his mother sung, he saw their love for music bubbling inside of him. Leaning more toward his mother’s pastime, he took his singing abilities more seriously and performed at talent shows and even the “Showtime at The Apollo” which he even won a few times.

After moving back to New York, Shaliek found himself singing backup for music icon James Brown and opening for Ashanti to being a part of the Universal Records roster briefly. It seemed he was on his way to making some major noise in the music industry as solo artist.

Yet even with a single (“Get 2 Know Ya featuring. Juvenile) released and being fortunate to work with Alicia Keys, The Underdogs and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on his Universal debut, it still did not make its way to shelves. While he was released from the label, his days there were not useless. He picked up the musical trait of songwriting before he signed to Pendulum Records. “I wasn’t much of a songwriter before I was to signed to Universal Records,” said Shaliek. “Vincent Herbert used to bring me to the writers and producers and they would create music and songs for me. I would just sit back, watch and wait for them to be ready for me to record. I was always intrigued by the process but no one knew.”

R&B groups Day 26, Jordan Knight and many others would later recognize his songwriting talents during his time as a member of the songwriting team, The Hitterzz.

Now with a new attitude, all new material and a new label home, Shaliek starts getting the solo artist recognition he’s always desired. In summer 2013, his Pendulum Records debut single “The Past,” reached No. 12 on the Urban Adult Contemporary radio chart.

To be his first top 20 single, the achievement came as a shock. “I got to admit I was blown away to see the song rise on the [Urban AC] radio chart,” said Shaliek. “But when I found out it was the most added song in the country in my format, I knew we were on to something big.”

While Shaliek was always optimistic about the success of “The Past,” he did have his doubts.“I didn’t think people would get it so soon because of the tempo and how different it was from everything else on the radio.”

To help ease his worries, Shaliek’s label head, Ruben Rodriguez, CEO/founder of Pendulum Records offered his thoughts on where the record could end up. “He would say to me, ‘This is the type of record that will either sink miserably or swim like an Olympic champion.’ Either people are gonna get it or they aren’t,” Shaliek said.

Like Shaliek, Rodriguez still knew it would be a hit with listeners, “I believed in the song and I thought it was a big record. He thought it was a hit so he was willing to take a chance,” Shaliek said.

Now more experienced as a songwriter, he found writing on his debut album easy — especially the title track. “The words wrote itself,” said Shaliek. “It was an incredible energy in the studio that day. It’s kind of even hard to explain. Chino Stringss produced the song, so we were both in the room building the song from scratch. I don’t think I ever put the pen down.”

While penning the title track came easy, his top 20 single, “The Past” did not. “The hardest [song to write] was probably the bridge on “The Past” said Shaliek. “fredthewriter set the bar really high for me with the verses and the hook.”

Photo Credit: Pendulum Records
Photo Credit: Pendulum Records

However, the songwriting that took place on his debut album will not be in vain, as Shaliek hopes to bring a “classic feel” to 2014’s rhythm and blues. “I want this to be a project that people feel and connect with,” he said. “The plan was to deliver a timeless album, so throughout the process all I listened to were timeless albums like Anita Baker’s “Rapture,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and all of Luther Vandross’ albums.”

To help create his first soulful offering, he reached out to songwriters and producers he thought were amazing at their crafts like Joe Ryan (Ledisi, Trey Songz), Bernard Malik (Danity Kane, Day 26) and Rockwilder (Janet Jackson, Destiny’s Child).

The latter produced “I’ll Give It Up,” off the new album, is a record Shaliek, calls an R&B game changer. “When Rockwilder played it for me, it blew me away,” he said. “I remember feeling like I was floating. I know that may sound crazy but it’s the truth. That last note in the song took my breath away. That’s the song on the album that I knew I had to really murder vocally.”

He also believes the same for his song “Like I Was Never Here,” a record he wanted to match with the same passion of “I’ll Give It Up.” “It was that big of a song,” said Shaliek.

While the majority of his musical influences like Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson and R. Kelly may not appeal to the masses of today’s popular radio, he still believes his soulful melodies has crossover appeal. “Soul music is a big deal. People downplay it a lot but a lot of songs that have crossed over have had heavy soul appeal,” said Shaliek. “Everything from Robin Thicke and Alicia Keys to Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake. Those are huge artists with huge songs, which either performs or samples soul music. So I don’t feel like my music is in a box.”

As Shaliek continues to put the finishing touches on his debut album, his newest single “Ain’t Supposed To Cry” is already looking to another top 20 single. According to Billboard.com, the truthful track stands at No. 22 on the Adult R&B Songs chart and at No. 21 on the Urban AC radio chart after entering less than a month ago.

His team at Pendulum Records is currently going through different treatments for the “Ain’t Supposed To Cry” music video. Shaliek hopes to have a full video out for the single in April.

During the week of his album release, he will be embarking on a promotional tour to spread awareness about the album.

After his debut album arrives, Shaliek doesn’t have a five year game plan in place just yet. But he has one goal though, “If my music is still out here inspiring a whole new wave of artists and musicians, I’ll be happy.”

Shaliek’s debut album “Blood Sweat Tears” is slated to drop on May 27 via Pendulum Records. His current single “Ain’t Supposed To Cry,” is available now on iTunes.

Be sure to follow Shaliek on Twitter @officialshaliek and like him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OfficialShaliek‎.

Antwane Folk is the editorial assistant at RatedRnB.com.


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Meet R&B’s New ‘Pretty Girl’ Rhyon Brown

With roles in That’s So RavenLincoln Heights and Get Rich or Die Tryin, Rhyon Brown has made her mark in the film and television industry. Now the millennial entertainer is expanding her entertainment resume in the field of music.

Under the guidance of Grammy-nominated producer Harmony Samuels, the West Coast native is making waves with her debut album, Pretty Girl. Released last month on BOE Music Group/EMPIRE, the project features her catchy tune “California,” as well as her emotional track titled “Gone.” 

In support of her debut album, Rhyon released a short film with the same title. The premiere event attracted plenty of Hollywood influencers including Kofi Siriboe, Megan Good, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Paige Hurd, Tasha Smith, Keith Powers, Niecy Nash, Skye Townsend, Nicki Micheaux and Insecure’s Y’lan Noel, to name a few.

Rated R&B recently chatted with Rhyon about her debut album, working with Harmony Samuels, her short film and more.

Check out our interview below.

What is the inspiration behind your debut album Pretty Girl?

My inspiration initially was simply to be honest. I’ve been in the entertainment industry for a long time but this was my first introduction into the music industry and I knew the only way this would ever work was for me to be honest. People see through an artist not being who they are, fans are smart. Now, my inspiration has changed, and its to encourage people to recognize how great God has made them.

The album surprisingly doesn’t contain any features. Is this by coincidence or something you did purposely?

We didn’t have any features per say as far as my track list is concerned. I wanted to grow my fan base organically, with people finding me, liking my music and enjoying my message. I didn’t want people to like me only because I had another artist on my record that they were fans of. But I can say I have two songs graced with the presence of Andre Troutman, incredible artist and the best person I have ever had the pleasure of seeing work a talk box. No one does it better than him.

Along with your album, you have a short film. Tell us your experience creating that.

It was a rollercoaster. We pulled off a large feat with a group of very talented and dedicated people, but also a very small group. There were a lot of people wearing many different hats. Making this film and seeing how it is affecting people its literally a dream come true, but it took a lot of long days with very little sleep.

What is your definition of a Pretty Girl?

Someone that recognizes that her beauty isn’t found in anything this world can provide, and she shares that inspiring other people to feel and act the same way.

What’s your message to a girl who may not feel like she’s pretty?

The world does a really good job of telling women what they are supposed to look like and how they are supposed to feel, its not on the world to determine that for you. Being pretty is a choice, because everyone defines beauty differently. But when you choose to be pretty others will chose to look at you the same, because your belief makes it undeniable.

You’re signed to Harmony Samuels’ label BOE Music Group. How did you connect with him and is there anything you’ve learned about yourself while being under his wing?

I met him through someone that really believed in me that got Harmony Harmony to take a meeting, and rest was history from there. I’ve learned so much from him, the guy is a genius and one of the hardest working people I know. But its the fact that he’s a risk taker, and when God tells him something he’s willing to put everything on the line to make that happen and he reaps the benefits of that trust. So its made me be more of a risk taker, and more of a believer in my own purpose.

Although you may be new to music, you’re certainly not new to entertainment. Your acting resume continues to grow. Is there anything you’re currently filming that you can share with us?

My episode of Irv Gotti’s new BET show Tales actually just aired on October 24th.

Follow Rhyon on Instagram at @RhyonBrown. Stream Pretty Girl below.

Shaliek Releases ‘My Love’ Music Video

With his new single “My Love” rising on the urban AC radio chart, Shaliek releases its accompanying visual.

In the Chris Lear-directed video, Shaliek travels to the countryside where he meets his love interest for horseback riding. He also shares a special moment with his lovely lady at the waterfall.

“Every day my praises go up / Cause I know you’re a blessing that came down / The future’s looking bright for us / Promise me you’ll stay around / Only wanna give you my love,” he sings.

“My Love” has marched to No. 34 on urban AC radio since its release this summer. The song will be featured on Shaliek’s forthcoming album, Rooted.

Get into Shaliek’s romantic video below.

Chart Check: Miguel Sets Sights on Urban Radio, SZA and Le’Andria Johnson Rebound on Urban AC

LeAndria SZA Miguel

LeAndria SZA Miguel

Welcome back to another edition of Chart Check! Each Friday, Rated R&B provides detailed insight to the weekly chart movements of your favorite R&B artists and R&B songs. In this updated format, we will discuss Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs (Urban AC) and Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop National Airplay (Urban) charts extensively. Read below for more information on the week of September 16, 2017:

On The Rise

HBO’s Insecure is one of the hottest shows this year and with the second season’s finale airing this Sunday, what better time for the show’s title track to start taking off on the charts? Jazmine Sullivan and Bryson Tiller’s “Insecure” duet received 4 adds at R&B radio this week, in addition to a 60 spin increase since last week. With today’s release of the second season soundtrack, which features work from SZA, Jorja Smith, and Kari Faux, the song will only get stronger as time goes on. Additionally, pictures from the video shoot for the song surfaced on Instagram this week, which you can view below.

Ne-Yo’s latest single “Another Love Song” has been a shining star in a week full of Urban AC chart declines. The upbeat jam saw an increase of 80 spins at Adult R&B, which is the most for the latest tracking week. The song is also tied for the most added song this week with six new additions at R&B radio. Ne-Yo is currently preparing for his Ne-Yo UK Tour, which kicks off in Manchester on Sept. 13.

New Developments

The haters aren’t the only thing he’s skywalking on; he’s also skywalking up the charts with his latest single featuring rapper Travis Scott. “Skywalker” was added to a whopping 13 urban radio station in the latest tracking week. But, the chart moves don’t stop there, as Miguel also received six adds at R&B radio, tying Ne-Yo for the most adds on the Urban AC chart. Will “Skywalker” be Miguel’s next runaway hit? Only time will tell.

Shaliek is ready to go with his new single “My Love.” The track is bubbling just beneath the official chart with 97 spins in the latest tracking week. The single is a follow-up to his song “All This Love,” which was released in March.

Leave (Get Out), but Come Back

Sometimes, an artist will release a song and it debuts on a chart, only to fall off the next week. When the single is officially sent to radio and starts to pick up steam, the song finds itself back on the chart, which is what is considered a re-entry. This isn’t necessarily the case on the Urban AC chart this week. Since there have been a host of declines and minimal spin increases in the latest tracking week, Le’Andria Johnson’s empowering “All I Got” and SZA’s “Love Galore” have found their way back on the chart this week at the No. 30 and No. 26 spots, respectively. Both songs debuted onto the chart the week of Aug. 26, with the former falling off the chart the next week and the latter leaving the chart the week of Sept. 3.

Quick Notes

And in quick notes: Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Makeup launch is definitely a cause for celebration, but she deserves an extra slice of cake as Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty,” which she is featured on, has reached the Top 5 on the Urban chart. Her other summer smash “Wild Thoughts” fell 1-3 in the latest tracking week; Brian McKnight’s “I Want U” is just one spot below the official chart this week, with 161 spins at R&B radio. The song is lifted from his newly-released album Genesis; Finally, Chanté Moore’s banging new single “Something to Remember” continues to heat up Urban AC with two adds and a 55-spin upswing at R&B radio. The song is lifted from her upcoming album The Rise of the Phoenix, which will be released next Friday, Sept. 15.

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