The songwriter-to-artist journey is one that some of the greats of our time have taken. Frank Ocean had his Lonny Breaux days. Charli XCX served her time with the pen. Even Ye was Roc-A-Fella’s most reliable beatsmith for a few years running. 

reggie, however, is doing the whole thing backwards. If the world hasn’t already caught onto his soul-tinted rhymes quite yet, the Houston artist has a plan in place to introduce himself with what he envisions as a double-sided debut album full of ambition. Then, he’ll disappear into the songwriting abyss. Forever.

“It’s hard to get your way in this industry as a writer. It’s just like real life,” reggie explains. “You do four years of college then you go do a job and they tell you, ‘We need a n***a with experience.’ They’re not trying to work with new people. When I put out music, I get all these people who [suddenly reach out]. I feel like once I put out this tape with the songs it has on it, that’s when people will start to really, really wake up… I’m trying to disappear, my boy. Cut this hair off and be gone, I swear to God.”

reggie—full name Reginald Helms Jr.— introduced himself with a pandemic output of five singles: “Ain’t Gon Stop Me,” “Southside Fade,” “I Don’t Wanna Feel No More,” “Traffic” and “Avalanche.” So far,  his loosies have secured comparisons to some of the greats like 3 Stacks and D’Angelo, but now he’s working on material that’ll make you question any comparison you’ve ever tried to make. He’s played the new stuff for his sister, too, and she genuinely doesn’t like it. But to him, that works. It means he’s moving into uncharted territory. 

“Music I made before, my mama can like it, my daddy can like it,” he says. “But n***as who really be breaking barriers, their mama don’t understand none of it. I could be wrong, though. Maybe she’s just really not feelin’ it because it’s really bad. But we gon’ see. And that’s the exciting part. And if not, I got other songs. I’ll be like, ‘Just kidding, that’s not actually the album.’”

The album isn’t coming out until after reggie wraps the recording process. That should happen by June, so until then, he’s locked in the studio up in New York. As he starts to build a fresh creative circle outside of his existing ones in Los Angeles and Houston, he links with us over Zoom to explain his plan for the year and break down his plot to go full-blown Houdini once it works out.

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