THE BREAKDOWN: RICHIE CAMPBELL’S [@RICHIECAMPBELL] ‘HEARTBREAK & OTHER STORIES’
Lisbon native Richie Campbell, breaks down his latest album Heartbreak & Other Stories – a fusion of R&B, Dancehall and Afrobeats.
On Heartbreak & Other Stories
‘To me, the interesting thing is that for a new audience this is just a mix of sounds and atmospheres that are very unique to somebody like me – coming from Lisbon. I grew up listening to a lot of Reggae and Dancehall – that’s pretty much all I listened to when I was growing up. At the same time, growing up in a country with a strong Cape Verdean and Angolan population, there was a mix of a lot of different influences. If you listen to my album, I think you could only get an album like this from somebody coming from Lisbon and growing up in Lisbon during the time I grew up in Lisbon. So in that sense, I feel like it’s a very original body of work that couldn’t have come from anywhere else.’
Silver and Gold
Silver & Gold features a Jamaican artist called Jah Vinci, who is one of my favourite artists of all time – I’ve always wanted to do a song with him. I had this contact through Notnice, who is one of the biggest producers in Jamaica as well – somebody I’ve worked with in the past. I did this song and I immediately could only hear Jah Vinci on the track, ’cause it’s a conscious, positive, uplifting dance track, and I just knew he would fit perfectly on it. I sent it to him and he took one day to get back to me; he just killed the song. I had to redo my verse, ’cause I wanted to make sure that I lived up to his verse. That’s my favourite track on album.
There’s another feature on the album called ‘Run Gimme,’ with one of the artists I’m listening to more at the moment, who is Bella Shmurda, a Nigerian Afrobeats artist. I love Wizkid, Burna Boy, all these big artists, but there’s something special about Bella to me – he has that underground feel to me, it’s just the rawness of [his music]. The realness of his delivery to me is special, so I wanted to have him on the album. It was true Kel-P vibes, and it came out perfectly.
[This is] the most recent single of the album. We dropped it with the album and we were trying to come up with a new sound for this song. If you listen to it, it’s a mix of an Afrobeats pattern but with R&B, Toronto style hints and atmospheres. I think this is one of the most interesting songs on the album in terms of it being a different approach to both R&B and Afrobeats.
Star is produced by Kel-P. I met Kel-P maybe two years back, and being a producer that has worked with so many big names like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Zinoleesky, Adekunle Gold, Wande Coal. I found out that he was a fan of my music before I knew him, so as soon as we started linking we just knew we had to do something together. I think it was early last year [he] invited me to go over to Ghana to spend some time with him and sometimes when the connection is good, music happens very naturally. We weren’t even supposed to be working that day, but he just played this beat for me and I feel like it’s the type of song I couldn’t have done anywhere else than in Ghana. It’s the vibe of the song, the message of the song, the way I dropped on it and the whole atmosphere of it – [it] just had to be made in Ghana – it’s something that I could never do if I was here by myself in Portugal. It’s one of my favourite tracks too.
4:14 Lisbon to Miami
The last track on the album is usually just a meditation of where I am right now in my life, career and everything. I had the same type of song in the last album. It was called ’23:23′ and this is ‘4:14′ – so there’s that connection there. It was basically me venting and looking back on all the challenges that we overcame in these past years – career-wise, Corona, everything. It’s a very special way to finish off the album. The album is probably 70% love songs, ’cause that’s what comes more easily to me, but I feel like this track is probably one of the most personal to me. It’s gonna be one of those tracks when I look back on my catalogue when I’m old and know exactly where I was when I dropped this album.
Listen to the rest of the album here.
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