Roommates, Avant has been making R&B classics for 20 years now and on the heels of his new album “Can We Fall In Love,” he stepped into The Shade Room for an exclusive interview. He told us about how he’s managed to stay relevant all these years, working on new music with frequent collaborator KeKe Wyatt, what he thinks about modern R&B—and if he would be down to go head-to-head in a Verzuz battle!
Avant is back in the spotlight after taking a five-year break between albums to promote his new project, “Can We Fall In Love,” which is filled with the classic R&B we’ve come to know and love from him. We caught up with Avant and asked him a variety of questions, including which of his songs is his favorite and what he thinks about how much the industry has changed since he dropped his first solo album back in 2000.
TSR: How have you managed to have such longevity in your 20-year career? What keeps your music relevant for modern R&B fans?
Avant: “The way that I did it, is I try to stay true to myself more than anything and also trust my heart and what music is to me. So, at the end of the day, I know I’m giving my audience exactly what they need—and even the younger folks, I’m giving them a piece of what classic music is.”
TSR: The music industry has changed a lot since you first started, what do you love/hate about the current state of the industry?
Avant: “What I love about the music industry is it helps people, you know I use my music as therapy for people. A lot of people say, ‘what state do you think R&B is in,’ I think it’s in a good state actually. …if it was the same now as it was back in 1990 to 2020, people would be tired of that hard R&B, heartfelt R&B. By having a little break of different styles of R&B, I think it was a good thing. We needed that break, but it’s back…R&B is back with the new album “Can We Fall In Love.”
TSR: Fans love your duets with KeKe Wyatt, can we expect you two to collaborate again in the future?
Avant: “Of course I’m trying to bring that album together too and make sure everybody’s enjoying it, I’m just trying to figure out the right songs, if we do cover or if we do original songs, I just want to make sure it’s perfect for the people. Look for it, it should be coming soon.”
TSR: Finally, the Verzuz battles have transformed music in the COVID-19 era. Have you been tuning in? Who were your favorite battles so far? Could we ever get an Avant Verzuz battle?
Avant: “I tuned in to a few of them. I really, really enjoyed Snoop Dogg and DMX, and also Brandy and Monica, I thought that was classic. People ask me about Verzuz, at the end of the day, I don’t try to pit myself up against other artists, but I’m always open to whatever cause it’s all about the fans really. I really haven’t sat down and thought about who I could battle cause it’s really about the fans, but you let me know what you guys think.”
Avant’s new album “Can We Fall In Love” is currently available on all streaming platforms.
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TSR STAFF: Danielle J! @prettyaries16 ____________________ SWIPE: #TSRExclusive: #Roommates, #Avant has been making R&B classics for 20 years now and on the heels of his new album “Can We Fall In Love,” he stepped into The Shade Room to tell us about how he’s managed to stay relevant all these years, working on new music with frequent collaborator #KeKeWyatt, what he thinks about modern R&B—and if he would be down to go head-to-head in a #Verzuz battle.
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