In today’s generation of music, where the substance of lyrics have diminished and production echos the works of other artists recordings, it’s refreshing to hear R&B veterans such as Case releasing new albums.
Released via eOne Music, Heaven’s Door is the follow-up to Case’s 2010 release, Here, My Love. The album title reflects on a time in the New York native’s life where he found himself standing at the “doorstep of his personal heaven.”
“I had gone through a phase where I had fallen out of love with making music,” Case admits. “I actually was saying I wasn’t going to do it anymore. I was just going to do concerts.” However, two influential people made him reconsider his decision about recording new music. “My grandmother who was instrumental when I was young as far as music,” he recalls. “She had me listening to music and showed me and my cousins how to sing. She pushed us. She passed away. So it took me back to that time. Then when Michael Jackson passed, who was my first artist that I really wanted to be and idolized, I started listening back to all the old Jackson 5 [music] and all that type of stuff. It kind of just sparked it [love for music] back up.”
After regaining his passion for music, Case took everything he had bottled in for years and put it into Heaven’s Door. His main goal was to put the love back in the music instead of releasing an entire album with sex driven records. “I wanted the album to be real melodic, talk about real subject matter instead of just sex and going to the club and popping bottles,” Case explains. “I wanted to talk about real relationship issues, real life issues and at the same time have it be melodic and real R&B.”
Speaking on real relationship topics, Case says his “Difficult” is the most truthful record on Heaven’s Door. “It’s pretty much talking to a girl about how we love each other and we go back and forth, it [love] shouldn’t be so hard,” he says. “Like, ‘why something that simple have to be so difficult?’ I’ve dealt with that before and I know plenty of other people who have dealt with that. It’s like, ‘It’s clear that ya’ll belong together but for some reason things just get in the way.’”
After nearly two decades in music industry, Case is more comfortable signed to an independent label than a major label. While he doesn’t miss the big name record companies calling all the shots, he does miss their dedication and resources to getting his project heard by the masses.
Like many artists Case believes the internet and illegal downloading have made it harder for artists to make a living off their music. Yet, he feels it has it pros as well. “It’s so many different ways to get your music out to people and to share it.”
On most urban radios, there is a lack of R&B acts getting their music played. However, white artists like Sam Smith, who has been named the new face of soul music, have found a place on urban radios formats. Case says that’s how it’s always been done. “You can go back way in time when Chuck Berry and Little Richard invented Rock & Roll but somehow Elvis [Presley] is the King of Rock & Roll. But somehow, we don’t get the same push from the media like artists such as Sam Smith and Robin Thicke, for whatever reason. ”
While publications and critics might cite Smith as one of today’s leaders of R&B/soul music, Case has his own picks — Trey Songz, Chris Brown and Jazmine Sullivan. “I feel like they represent R&B better, ” he explains.
Although Heaven’s Door was just released, Case has already decided that he will release another album later this year. “In the summertime I’m going to start another album,” says Case. “I’m to start getting music together around May. Then start recording around June.” Case hasn’t decided on a name for the untitled project. Yet, he promises the title will be revealed soon after he decides on the album’s direction.
Even though Case hasn’t released an album in four years, he knows his core audience will go out and pick up Heaven’s Door. Still, he wants to reach new listeners who may not be familiar with his sound. “If they love R&B music, it’s an album that they will enjoy,” says the “Touch Me, Tease Me” crooner. “It’s straight R&B. It’s not any type of R&B fusion. I’m not rapping or trying to do a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s pure R&B. It doesn’t sounded dated. It sounds current.”
Although Case knows “melody will never be dated,” he believes it’s the production and emotional delivery of a song that can keep artists behind the times. “It’s all about finding new ways to bring across the emotion you’re trying to convey,” he says. “You can make an old Motown record, but it’s the production that will determine whether it’s dated or not.”
Pick up your copy of Case’s new album Heaven’s Door in stores and online.