Razah x Maino x Troy Ave x Uncle Murda x Hello Brooklyn RAZAH - TRAP N B MIXTAPE RAZAH - NO GREATER LOVE

THE RAZAHLUTION ALBUM OUT NOW!! Click Here to buy on iTunes USA
The Razahlution - Razah
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The Razahlution(Bonus Track Version) - Razah

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


“When I make my records I try to make timeless music and songs that uplift people.  I was raised by a single mom so I believe in writing music that celebrates women”.

Besides, Razah knows better than to make music that he’d be embarrassed to play for his mother and his older brother and three sisters.  When Razah was four years old his mother packed up the family and moved from St. Andrews, a small town about three hours from Kingston in Jamaica’s lush countryside, to the (“Never ran, never will”) Brownsville section of Brooklyn.  She worked hard: saving money, studying, and eventually fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse.

“She’s such a strong woman it’s amazing,” Razah says.  “When bad things happen she just says, “Keep on going.  God put you here for this.”

With a stage name like Razah, you’d expect his vocals to be the stuff of crusty-toned, ragamuffin-style patois or jagged rhymes about the inner city’s hottest ‘hoods.  But the singer, born Martell Nelson, is slicker than that.  There’s more romance than thuggishness in his R&B.  His sound recalls the smooth edges of the soulful pop and reggae-tinged sounds of his musical predecessors, Michael Jackson, Beres Hammond and Bob Marley.

“I sing emotional songs, but my name is Razah,” says the 25-year-old Jamaican-born soul singer.  “It’s like a balance.”

Razah hopes to tip the scales overwhelmingly in his favor and allow his debut album to shine by enlisting new beat-making talent such as Rykeyz and Info, as well as a few well- known producers including EZLP, Green Lantern, Reef and super producer, JR Rotem.  “[But] I don’t want people to pick my album up for the producers,” he admits.  “I want them to genuinely like Razah.”

Razah’s warm, achy tone resonates with genuine passion.  Songs such as “Rain” and “Where Do We Go From Here” are more likely to strike an emotional chord, tug on a couple of heartstrings and even swell a few tear ducts.

“That’s what this game is missing:  no one wants to cry [with a song] anymore,” he explains. “I’m not sure if everybody is scared or that no one wants to be vulnerable.  But at the end of a long difficult day everybody’s vulnerable.”

Honesty and raw emotion are at the center of Razah’s self-penned songs. “I’m so confused, girl/ I’m lost without ya/ I can’t go to sleep because I toss without ya,” he sings over the breezy, lilting melody of “Where Do We Go From Here.” Razah is also not afraid to tackle some tough issues that many young women face: sexual abuse and drug use.  On the up-tempo synth-pop of “Runaway,” he sings in a breathy, near-falsetto: “She just wants to runaway from this town/ Don’t know what way she’s going.”

Elsewhere, on a track called “Dear Dad,” he sings bitter sweetly about the father he never knew.  Then on “Fight,” the topic returns to love, with Razah addressing the type of relationship that’s worth fighting to save.  But he’s quick to counter that he’s not all about being Mr. Sensitivity. 

“It’s not all about heartache, but it’s about real life situations,” he says.  “Rappers say they talk about true life situations, singers can do that too.”

He adds in an exasperated voice: “I don’t write about [any] crazy, fake stuff, like about my big cars. That’s corny.”

Clocking loads of radio play for the independently released single “Feels So Good,” a remake of Teddy Pendergrass’s “When Somebody Loves You Back,” Razah proved his talent couldn’t be overlooked.  Then through sheer determination Razah teamed with Houston veteran MC Bun B on “We Ridin’.” And his hot streak continued when DJ Enuff and Funk master Flex of New York Hot97 showed even more radio love to Razah’s track, “Where Do We Go From Here.” Those spins proved to be the difference.  The song caught the attention of Rihanna, who approached the singer to add her own verse to the remix.  Still, at the subsequent recordings session in Roc The Mic studios, Razah had little clue the two Caribbean born singers would be label mates.

“Rihanna was in the booth doing what she does, I was there chilling and then Jay-Z walks in, and was like what’s up,” Razah explains. “I was like, ‘Damn, here’s my idol walking in the studio.’ I gave him dap and he walked out the room.”

But when the Def Jam CEO pays a visit to your recording session, serious business is about to go down.  Days later, Razah signed a record contract with Def Jam, and only two weeks after that he played the finished album for Island Def Jam chairman LA Reid.

Now, Razah’s definitely in great company, poised to share his Caribbean-inflected soul music with the globe. Sad to say he no longer is associated with Def Jam due to unfortunate circumstances. Currently Razah is researching his options to come out with his new project. “I try to make big records so they’re not just [average] R&B songs or pop songs,” he concludes, “but I make them so that everybody can love them.”