Musiq Maker

On his latest album, the Soulchild grows up.

"It's like recipes," he says. "There's only so many recipes you can use to make a cake, you know. Sooner or later, you're going to use flour, milk, sugar and eggs. Now, some people may not use eggs; some people might use something else. But that's the basis of a cake -- a formula. So it's what you do with the formula that matters. And there are a lot of different formulas in music, a lot of different genres -- and even inside a genre, there are different formulas. You've got blues, you've got jazz, you've got gospel, you've got reggae, you've got hip-hop, you've got soul, you've got funk, you've got classical, you've got rock. And inside those genres, you've got times and generations and moods and vibes. So just by listening to all of those different things -- taking them and digesting them and communicating them in your own way -- you develop your own style.

"It's difficult to accept the fact that people color me as an R&B artist, because there's more to me than just R&B music," he goes on. "To me, the highest level anyone can go to is soul music -- and to me, soul music is someone expressing themselves, their innermost thoughts, whatever it is that defines them, through music. And it doesn't matter what kind of music it is. It doesn't matter if it's drum and bass, alternative or computer-generated whatever. What it boils down to is people expressing themselves through words and sounds. And that's what I try to do."

Groupies are conspicuously missing from this equation -- and so, strangely enough, is romance. But the way Musiq explains these absences demonstrates why he's got so many groupies in the first place.

The man in the mirror: Musiq does a double take.
The man in the mirror: Musiq does a double take.

"To me, it's all about love and relationships," he insists. "But contrary to what people believe, I don't really consider myself a romantic person. I believe that what you do to people, it comes back to you sooner or later. That's what karma is all about. So I just try to respect people, that's all."

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