Bobby V Interview
|Label:||Blue Kolla Dreams|
|Next Project:||The Rebirth (February 10)|
|Twitter:||Bobby V on Twitter|
|Website:||Bobby V's Website|
As of 2009, the game is still in a state of transition, and in order to achieve continued success, musicians and businesspeople alike must be able to adapt. With some major labels struggling to find a strategy that will work in today’s musical and economic climate, jumping ship is becoming a popular decision, and Bobby V is a prime example of an artist who has no regrets about taking the plunge.
Three months after our last interview with Bobby V., in which he revealed his decision to leave Disturbing The Peace/Def Jam, the singer inked a deal with EMI to house his own imprint, Blu Kolla Dreams. With Lil Wayne collaboration “Mrs. Officer” under his belt, the gifted vocalist is now preparing for the February 10th release of his third studio album, The Rebirth. Successful lead single “Beep” and its follow-up, “Butterfly Tattoo” find Bobby V. in top form as he enjoys his newfound creative control.
In an exclusive interview with our own DJ “Z,” Bobby V steps into the Booth to discuss his new label situation, his music’s power to say what men can’t, and whether or not he really finds those butterfly tattoos a turn-on.
Listen to the Interview
Bobby V Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on, everybody? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is a man reborn. Gearing up for the February 10th release of his new album, The Rebirth, off his own label imprint, Blu Kolla Dreams, please welcome a good friend of mine, Bobby V.
Bobby V: Yes, yes, yes, I’m kickin’ it with my homie, Z. I’m in the Booth, representin’.
DJ Booth: That’s right. How you doin’, my friend?
Bobby V: Man, I’m blessed. Just workin’ hard right now, out on the road, promotin’ this album, The Rebirth, in stores February 10th. I’m very excited about this album, and I must say, I feel that this is my best work thus far. If you liked my first two albums, then you’re gonna really love this album, ‘cause it’s like a combination of my first and my second album.
DJ Booth: Sounds good to me. Now, as we both know, last April, when you joined me last time inside the DJ Booth for an interview, that’s when you revealed to the world that you had parted ways with DTP and Def Jam, and you were entering the next phase of your career. So, how has life been for Bobby V. since then?
Bobby V: It’s been a blessing. You know, bein’ with Def Jam and DTP was a good experience for me, but it was time for me to step out on faith, it was time for me to be in control of my own destiny and just really get out there and wear a different hat, still bein’ an artist but bein’ an executive and a businessman as well. Since I left, I’ve had a lot of success. “Mrs. Officer” was a big record for me, and that really helped me reintroduce myself to the world. My new single, “Beep,” was doin’ real well, I’ve got my album comin’ up – I’ve just really been gettin’ a lot of love from the people, and that’s what makes me feel good, is when I can get the love and the support from the people, and that’s what drives me to continue to do what I do.
DJ Booth: Since your departure, DTP has only released one album, and that’s, of course, Ludacris. Are there any feelings of regret, disappointment over the past, or knowing what you know now, was it one hundred percent a good move?
Bobby V: Nah, man; this is one hundred percent, for real. I actually talked to Luda a couple days ago, and, really, he respects my decision, and he respects my work ethic and everything I do, and I’ve got to say I respect him. Like I said, it was a stepping stone for me, it was a learning experience. I tell people that, my fans and people that are listening that if there’s anything in your life that you wanna do, that you might be scared to do – like, it wasn’t an easy step for me to take; DTP was a real comfortable situation for me, it was real comfortable, but sometimes you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone to achieve greatness, and to achieve greater things, you know?
DJ Booth: At the time, when we talked, I asked you what the next step would be in your career, and you answered, “I’m just looking for the best situation, the best support system, where I can just kind of do me and be successful.” Would you say, right now, that you are in that place with Blu Kolla Dreams at EMI?
Bobby V: Oh, yeah, most definitely. When I was at Def Jam, [they] had a hella-fide roster; Def Jam has probably the [biggest] roster out of any major label. Capitol, on the other hand, they don’t really have a lot of artists, so I can get more time and more focus on my projects, and I have more creative control than I had. I’m in control of my own destiny, I’m the executive producer on my album. So, you know, I’m doin’ me. I really am doin’ me. I’m really puttin’ together albums that don’t have politics involved and all that stuff by bein’ involved in a monster label like Def Jam. Capitol, it has a great history behind it, but they’re kinda evolving right now, just how I’m evolving in my career, so I feel like that’s what’s gonna make this situation work.
DJ Booth: As we mentioned in the open, and as we’ve stated throughout, the new album is called The Rebirth, which is a very appropriate title considering this moment in your musical career. Bobby, talk about musically what you are able to do here that maybe you were not able to do in your previous situation.
Bobby V: Be in control of my own budget, that’s one thing. Havin’ my joint venture with Capitol and EMI, it’s definitely a lot more work. Like I said, DTP was more comfortable, Def Jam was more comfortable, because they did every thing for you. You just had to go out and do your radio promo. But now, I have to know where I’m spendin’ my money, I have to approve all of my artwork, I have to be hands-on when I’m gettin’ my album mixed and mastered, I’m A&R on my album, too; it’s just more hands-on in every facet of this project. And because I’m representing myself, I want everything to go out as professional and as quality as possible. So it’s a lot more work involved, but I ain’t complaining – it’s a blessing.
DJ Booth: So it might be more work, but the payoff is much larger this time around.
Bobby V: Yeah, definitely. I’m very excited, and when The Rebirth drops, I’m just askin’ the people to go out and support Bobby V. February 10th.
DJ Booth: Okay, well, as you mentioned, the album drops February 10th. I’m calling it the Valentine’s Day showdown – Ryan Leslie’s also dropping new album. Head to head, Bobby, who’s gonna win?
Bobby V: [laughs] I didn’t even know Ryan Leslie was comin’ out February 10th. Actually, that’s my homeboy. May the best man win, that’s all I can say. I don’t really get caught up in numbers and stuff. Of course I wanna sell a lot of records, I wanna put up big numbers, but I ain’t just doin’ this for the numbers, I’m doin’ this for the fans. So whether I sell a million first week or whether I sell 100 thousand first week, I want people to walk away and say, “Man, Bobby V. had a good album. I’m feelin’ the album, I’m really loving the album.” As long as people say that at the end of the day, I’m good.
DJ Booth: All right. Well, you’re following up the album’s first single, “Beep,” which has been steadily climbing the charts for the last three months, with “Butterfly Tattoo.” Now, real catchy song, Bobby, but be honest with me here – do you really like the women who have the butterfly tattoos? Does that turn you on? It’s kinda corny to me.
Bobby V: [laughs] Nah – it’s the essence of where that song comes from, and, really, that song comes from the strip club. That’s where the whole concept came from. I know that a lot of people have tattoos, and a butterfly tattoo is definitely a popular tattoo to have, but I kinda got the idea in the strip club. You know, some women have butterfly tattoos actually on their booty, know what I’m saying? It’s more of a creative edge, it’s more of a fantasy than anything.
DJ Booth: Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love the song. I’ve just met a few girls with the butterfly tattoos, and it just didn’t do anything for me…
Bobby V: [laughs] It’s a fantasy, like I said. The song, it’s all fantasy-driven, wherever you wanna take it.
DJ Booth: All right, well I hope it takes me somewhere good, I’ll tell you that much. You did the “wee-oo-wee-ooo-wee” siren on Wayne’s “Mrs. Officer,” you talked about it earlier, and of course your first single off this album is “Beep,” and let us not forget the crashing sound effect, “Rrrr,” on the special occasion bonus track, “Wreck.” So, Bobby, would you say you’ve now cornered the market on vehicle sound effects music?
Bobby V: [laughs] Man, let me tell you about when you’re puttin’ out singles especially: it’s gotta be catchy. When I’m making records, especially the ones droppin’ for a single, I might let my little nephew hear it. My little nephew’s 10; if he likes it, I know it’s gonna be a hit record. There’s a lot of music out there, the radio’s saturated with a lot of music, so you’ve gotta have something special about your record that people remember, that kinda sticks out. The sound effects, that might be my niche, so I’m gonna stick to it.
DJ Booth: From what I’ve read, there’s a song on the album called “Give Me Your Heart,” which you explain by saying, “Down the road, I don’t even have to propose, I can just play this song.” So, curiosity has me wanting to know, will the song work for me the same way, or do I need to write my own ballad?
Bobby V: Really, you can play this song, and she’s gonna definitely say yes. This is one of those songs that’ll make you cry. Even at the end, man, I’ll take ‘em to church on it – it’s a song that has so much soul, it’s pure, and it’s just innocent. If you really want to propose and don’t know how to say it, just put on this song. That’s what I do with my records, too, man. A lot of times men don’t really know how to tell their woman, “Baby, I love you,” or they don’t know how to tell their woman sweet things. I make my music ‘cause I’m a real dude, and I make it from a male perspective, so if you don’t know how to say these things to your loved one, you can pop in a Bobby V. CD and then bim-bam-bim it’s gonna tell your significant other what you wanna tell them, and you ain’t even gotta say nothing.
DJ Booth: Well, I think what I’m gonna do is, instead of just playing a copy of “Give Me Your Heart” for her, I might just call you up and have you sing it to her; I think that would work much better.
Bobby V: Well, you’ve got the Bobby V. direct connect, so if you need me to do that, I’ve got you.
DJ Booth: I appreciate that. Only problem is, I have to find the woman first – I haven’t found her yet.
Bobby V: Hey, that’s very important: you’ve got to find the right woman, ‘cause, if you don’t find the right one, you’re gonna be cold as ice.
DJ Booth: Bobby, The Rebirth, what does this album say about you and the future that you have in this industry?
Bobby V: You know, there are so many artists that are here today and gone tomorrow. I wanna be an artist that’s around for a long time. I really want this to be my career. I look at people like Ron Isley, he’s one of my mentors, a person that I look up to – when I met him, he gave me some tips on how to stay in this industry for a long time. I just want to be an artist that’s here, an artist that continues to put out good music, and an artist that can change people’s lives through my music. I’m trying to bring love back. I was tellin’ somebody the other day, the problem with music, especially R&B music, is that love isn’t in it anymore. I remember when I was like in the eighth grade, we used to have our eighth grade dances, and the highlight of everybody’s night was tryin’ to get that dance with that special one. But now, when you go to the club, people don’t even slow dance no more, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s not love. And that’s what I wanna do: I wanna bring back the essence of love, especially during these troubling times. I feel like love and music is a supplement to help you get through these tough times.
DJ Booth: Well, Bobby, I can tell you this much: I hope that your music is nothing but a soundtrack to happiness and love for myself and everybody else comin’ up here in 2009. It’s a new year and a new start – I’m very excited for you. Give everybody a website or a MySpace page so they can find out more about you, and, of course, the brand new album.
Bobby V: Y’all can go to my MySpace, myspace.com/bobbyvalentino, and make sure you all go get my album February 10th. It will be in a store near you, you can go to any retailer and it’s gonna be there. I’m your boy Bobby V., I’m back, I ain’t goin’ nowhere, I’m here to stay. I’m in the Booth – holla at your boy.
DJ Booth: That’s what’s up. Bobby, as always, I thank you for taking the time and joining me for the interview, and nothing but the continued best of luck, my friend.
Bobby V: Hey, man, I appreciate you, and thank you for takin’ time to interview me.