The-Dream spoke with NPR Music's Frannie Kelly, and All Things Considered about tracks on his latest album, IV Play. While he focused on his project, The-Dream went into detail about working with plenty of artists—Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, to name a few.
However, he explains why the world needs R&B music, and that when he's writing music for himself, he makes R&B. Here's one excerpt:
Why does R&B matter? Why do we need it? People feel deeply about it. Where does that care come from?
"Because it's the closest point to the reality of love that there is. It's the closest point. Other music and genres, they're slightly – from R&B, there's a big gap of how close love is involved in the song. That's what rhythm and blues is based on; it's based on love and heartbreak.
[R&B is] the closest point to the reality of love that there is. It's the closest point.
"You need it because that's real life. So, when you take real life out of a song, suddenly we're dancing to a song that doesn't mean anything, that has nothing to do with my life after this. Like after I leave the club, then what?
"And that's what those great storytelling songs of the older days — when R. Kelly would do that and tell those stories and you're like, "Oh, man." That's what "Dirty Laundry" is. It's a song for real, it's not like, [sings] "I was at the club last night and I met my girl and she told me she loved me and I kissed her on the cheek." That never happens to no one else ever. It's like, what are you talking about?
If you take R&B away, you take away the feeling of one human being to another. You take away so many things. You take away the passion, and the love. And once you get out of R&B, actually, even if you're dealing with tempo records, that's still just about your love for music. It has nothing to do with human contact. Like, at all. It's just, "Oh man, we're getting off on this thing, and we're doing our thing, and these instruments, they are crazy." But what are you talking about?
If you take R&B away, you take away the feeling of one human being to another. You take away so many things. You take away the passion, and the love.
"R&B is a conversation that you should be able to sit down and have; that's what "Single Ladies" was. Even though it began to be a pop record, melodically, because its tempo was — underneath it all, it was a conversation about "When are you going to marry me? Because if you don't, I'm going to go over here and then, you're going to be talking about it later. What are we doing?" And that's what it was, it was summed up in that: What are we doing? Because Beyonce just told you, you better put a ring on it.
"You lose that whole conversation. It never happens. So we're just walking and living with each other, like never having any type of — and it's like reading about Osiris and how he used music back in the day from the Egyptian god, how he used music to civilize the world. Like, that's the point. You have to try and stay civilized, though, and you can't really do it without the genre of R&B because it's the closest thing to that."
Head over to NRP to read the rest of it.