5Q: Raz B
This week’s 5Q is pretty special for anyone that grew up on 90s MTV boy bands. If this song by B2K doesn’t ring a bell, then you either didn’t have a childhood or were simply too old for MTV at the time, which is totally reasonable. In any case, there was life after B2K for one of its members, Raz B. The R&B star chose to try a non-label project after his boy band days while living in China and the results have been nothing but encouraging since.
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We hear you’re in China now. How did that happen? Where? How is it?
Well, I believe in speaking things into existence. Since our B2K days, I’ve wanted to go back to China. An opportunity presented itself where I could tour out here and it came at a time when I needed to clear my head so I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve performed in Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and many cities around China . I’m having a wonderful time out here.
When do you think about when you look back on the B2K days?
It totally depends on where my mind takes me. When I’m just thinking about performing and hanging with the boys during the good times, it’s followed by a lot of smiles and laughs. When I think about what could have been, sometimes I really hate what we did to our fans.
You had the #2 self-released single in May 2007. Was that when you realized going DIY could still be effective as a working artist? How do you compare it to working under a big label?
After B2K broke up, I considered going solo under a big label. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I could really trust managers, labels, etc. When I started working independently and looked at the quality of work I was producing, I was very confident in my ability as a solo artist. Working under a big label you have more money, which is always a good thing. I don’t think there’s a huge difference. If we were able to land at #2, then obviously I have a great team behind me and they work hard. More money always helps, but what’s meant to be, will be. I just like making music and continuing a relationship with my fans.
What’s a good way to maintain your audience’s engagement with online marketing?
It’s hard to say because you never what they’ll like. I just try to keep putting out good music and keeping them involved. I understand the role they play and continue to play in my life.
What’s the one thing you’ve noticed about yourself as a musician since B2K?
I think I’ve evolved musically. I’m free to do what I like and cross genres.