Prince Raphael Shawan
Prince Raphael Shawan a multi-platinum recording artist with eight Billboard Music Awards, four ASCAP Awards, a pair of nominations for American Music Awards, and a Soul Train Award to his credit.
The ultimate challenge for a recording artist is to be on the cusp of the next big thing – the elusive, game-changing new sound. Enter – or rather re-enter – Prince Raphael Shawan (PRS), a visionary and revolutionary “new” artist who’s worked in the music industry for more than a decade. Fans worldwide know him as “Tweet” as member of the multi-platinum trio, NEXT. The group is responsible for some of R&B’s more memorable hits – including the chart-topping singles “Wifey,” “Butta Love,” “I Still Love You,” and “Too Close” (which ranks #24 on The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs).
But now he’s going it alone, embarking on a new musical mission, and he’s created a new and universal sound – world music, if you will -- to showcase his multi-dimensional talents. His new persona will showcase the unique innovative singing/songwriting talents of an artist who is a consummate performer. Prince Raphael Shawan will release his debut solo album in 2013. In addition, he is developing several projects that are guaranteed to reveal his original and thought-provoking perspective. “I don’t think I left anyone out,” Prince Raphael Shawan insists. “I didn’t seek to make a sound that everyone would like. I’m just true to myself. I chose to share a more positive experience. It’s like a motivational speaking CD.” But with bangin’ beats and incredible vocal range mixed in. “There’s some rock there, there’s some alternative, some world,” Prince Raphael Shawan excitedly shares. “There’s even techno-music. I can’t even explain how the sound came about. The tracks just spoke to me.”
Teaming up with renowned producer Colin Wolfe, Prince Raphael Shawan quickly developed a formula for how he would create his album. He chose to write to the tracks cold, instead of living with the music before his sessions, and recorded the first thing that came to mind. Never writing anything down, he created all of the choruses first, a process that took only about five minutes per song. Once the verses were complete, history was in the making. “There are no two songs that are alike,” Prince Raphael Shawan notes. “What we came up with was gumbo. Some good gumbo!” The result is entitled “The Age of Aquarius,” the eagerly anticipated album from an artist who heretofore shared the spotlight with his two fellow group members.
Now, all eyes and ears are on Prince Raphael Shawan, as he sets out to demonstrate musically that “every day is another gift, another jewel, another opportunity to do something great.” Life experiences served as the primary inspiration for the songs on “The Age of Aquarius.” In the single, “Anti-Drug,” Prince Raphael Shawan confronts his earlier, misguided behavior. “It’s a celebration of my triumph over controlled substances and the fact that in my life, love replaced the need for drugs,” Prince Raphael Shawan proclaims. “‘Anti-Drug’ is saying that the love of my life is so good that it’s better than drugs, drinking, or any other form of self-destructive behavior.” Other future hits include the summer anthem, “Hot and Sexy,” the sexy song “Slow Love” (featuring Lambo Lux and produced by Ryan & Smitty), and “The Girl is Mine,” as well as “Time Machine” and “Change the World,” two tunes with provocative, thought-provoking lyrics.
For an artist who’s experienced an incredibly painful past, Prince Raphael Shawan manages to focus on the positive and the future. “But through God’s grace, I’m here, I’m healthy and I’m focused. I have a shot to do what I’ve always planned to do – leave a positive mark in the universe.” His formula for making music sounds refreshingly simple and straightforward – concentrate on peace, love, success and enjoyment. “Everybody thinks that sex sells,” Prince Raphael Shawan observes. “I challenged myself to not go with what sells and go with what’s true to me. If it happens to sell in the process, cool. I believe songs about love and happiness have more longevity than music about sex.” The finished product offers a message of hope. “It’s never over,” Prince Raphael Shawan proclaims. “If you are still breathing, you still have a shot. My album is a prize for perseverance, testimony to anyone who believes in him or herself. I believe this is just the beginning. This is the first of many installments.”