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REGGIE BECTON INTERVIEW

Reggie Becton | reggiebecton.com
Photography: Nehemiah Brent 
Creative Direction + Styling: Paco Lampecinado 
Interview: Nana
Photography Assistant: Phillip Lewis 
Styling Assistant: MaryJo Hingano 

 

above Reggie wears – hat TOMBOGO, top MAVI

Reggie Becton is a bold storyteller, who shoots straight from the heart with every emotion emphatically oozing out of his suede vocal tone. His music is an audible depiction of the emotional complexities that millennial men face when dealing with love, life, and loss. The PG County native’s music is a unique fusion of classic R&B, Hip-hop, new-age soul, and funk-Rock. Here is a curated conversation between Reggie and one of his frequent collaborators, rising rap phenom Nana, they sat down to explore Reggie’s sonic journey, his inspirations, and the world he was hoping to create with his latest project Sadboy Vol. 1.

Nana:

I’m going to just kick it off, man. We all know that you are from PG County (Prince George County, Maryland). What was the experience growing up in PG County? 

Reggie:

I think one of the cool things about PG is that you have this holistic approach of class and classism. There’s middle class; there’s lower class, and upper class. That’s what they would call it. I think they all function in the same 10-to-20-mile radius. I got to experience different things culturally and see Black rich people, but also see Black, impoverished people or Black people living in poverty and how to navigate both of those spaces to be able to understand life a bit more. 

Culturally and musically, there’s so much music going on there. 

In DC, you have Go-go, an eclectic assortment of all these different genres and pockets of music. That teaches you to bend, bend genres, and open your eyes to more music that you would probably not hear or gain access to in other places. 

Nana:

Did you enjoy your experience growing up, though? 

Reggie:

For sure. I got access to a lot of things that helped my development. I went to a tech high school. We got to study media and communication, so it gave me a head start. There are so many programs in DC for inner-city youth that you can carve out your path if you can access them. 

vest and pants TOMBOGO

Nana:

Who would you say are some of the artists, other than yourself, that you see camaraderie and that are coming up? 

Reggie:

Out of D.M.V. (D.C, Maryland, Virginia): Alex Vaughn. She’s having a great year. Alex is an amazing singer and songwriter. Ari Lennox is one of the ones. Matt McGee is great, too. Kilo is super dope. She’s been going at it for years, and she’s got one of the most creative brands, and I’m still a big fan of GoldLink. He does well. For me, those are some of the tops. 

Nana:

That’s dope. Who would you say inspired and motivated you from the 90s? 

Reggie:

Tank, Avant, and Brandy to me. They are on the list of my favorite vocalists of all time. So anytime I’m approaching a record or trying to write something today, I look to those three. 

Nana:

You know how I feel about Brandy. When we talk about harmonizing and stacks, she is the G.O.A.T. 

Reggie:

I’m happy that she gets the G.O.A.T. title. I’m seeing more and more artists coming up, praising her. You see more and more fans online giving her 100% the credit she deserves. 

Nana:

What’s your favorite Brandy album? 

Reggie:

Full Moon 

Nana:

Who else inspired you? 

Reggie:

I always tell people Marvin Gaye and Prince, because I just feel those two are just icons and when we think of vulnerability and male R&B singers and writing from the heart. Marvin also is a hometown hero. He’s from D.C. So there’s that connection as well. 

There are some session files of his floating around between engineers and producers. It’s the original session, has all the vocals and production stems, and is just phenomenal. You would think they had all the technology we had to record these records with how clean everything sounds. 

Nana:

That’s crazy. What’s a Reggie Becton session like? What does that consist of?

Reggie

For me, it’s all about people. So, Marco is probably one of my favorite people to record with. He’s been engineering me and producing for me since 2018 since my first project.

I’ve been trying to have as much fun as possible lately. Whatever comes to me that day comes, but I’m not judging it. I like a candle, a good candle. A nice scent is always helpful. Other than that, it’s just trying to get as clear-minded as possible and asking God to put whatever I’m trying to talk about in my heart and let me have his work.

My homie Aiden has pictures of Marvin Gaye in his studio. So sometimes, if I record at his studio, I’m just always looking at the images like, “Marvin, what are we doing today?” If I get stumped, I look at Marvin. You have to call on your ancestors.

tank MR. SATURDAY, pants BOBBY DAY

Nana

I know you are living in Los Angeles and coming from the East Coast, there’s a certain level of expectation when it comes to food. I know you guys have more variety, right? 

Reggie

(Smiles) Yes.

Nana 

What would you say is your favorite food, living in Los Angeles. What’s the go-to for you? 

Reggie

That’s a tough one. It’s different. There’s a sushi spot, I think it’s downtown, by Staples Center. That’s my sushi spot. Don’t go blow up my sushi spot. The staples of LA food are good soul food, man. 

Nana

Got to, it’s mandatory. Anything else you want to share with the people? 

Reggie

SadBoy, how did it feel to be the only feature on it? 

Nana

Man, I felt honored. The last song too. I feel when it comes to albums everybody’s always looking forward to the last song. I felt that was the cherry on top of every other amazing song that SadBoy has. The other seven amazing songs. I felt it was such an honor to have not only been the last song, but be the only feature on the album. I told you I got a couple of my favorites off of SadBoy. But that, and no bias, not only because I’m on the song, it’s literally one of my favorite songs. 

Reggie

What was your thought when you first heard it? 

Nana

It felt like the atmosphere of where I was, I was literally on the beach. That’s a great place. It felt good. It felt like Los Angeles in the summertime, the vibe. But also it felt moody a little bit and it was easy for me to get like in my zone. My rap moody bag a little bit. 

Reggie

I appreciate you getting that, I feel a lot of times, rappers will run away from the R&B song because especially if it’s too R&B and I feel, call it this happy medium, but I feel a lot of people would hear and be like, “Oh, you should just add another verse.”

Nana

Tell the people more about SadBoy (the album), what were the inspirations? what messages did you try to convey with this eight songs project?

Reggie

Man, that’s a layered question because Sadboy is so many things to me. First and foremost, it’s a reflection of what I think it means to go deep into one of the biggest parts of the human experience: sadness. It’s where I find myself understanding the duality of finding pockets of joy during moments that don’t feel the greatest. Which is so funny to me because recording these songs was a great experience! I had a lot of fun during these sessions, but again I think that’s what I wanted to reflect – the duality of it all. When you look at songs like “Lettin’ Go” it’s a song about a love gone wrong, but the production is light and “feel good”. I wanted listeners to know that it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be vulnerable in accepting that, and find some comfort in knowing we’re always living in a constant state of ups and downs. 

The inspirations were really rooted in my love for comic books and films like Kill Bill and The Dark Knight Trilogy. I like to call the project R&B music for the people of Gotham City. Production wise, I’m in a space where I feel like I’ve really found a home. It drifts pretty seamlessly from the Badboy “bounce” to the Pharrell “groove” and the ever-classic Timbo “knock”.

Nana

It was such an honor. I tell you this all the time. Not only because you are my friend, not because you’re the homie, but you are literally restoring the feeling of what I feel, brother. Everybody be like, “Oh, R&B dead.” If so, You’re looking in the wrong places, you’re not really looking. You can’t spell Reggie Becton without R&B. That’s the truth. Feel me, it was such an honor. Thank you, Reggie. Straight like that. 

Reggie 

Yes, sir. 

shorts and socks KEISER CLARK, shoes DR. MARTENS
suit ATELIER CILLIAN

In the words of Nana, you can’t spell Reggie Becton without R&B. His creativity and vulnerability has allowed him to give millenial men a voice through his music. In the words of the young crooner, he ‘bares his soul to feed your spirit’. This level of intentionality sees Becton making his mark in the world of R&B with his sights set on creating an impact in the tv/film space as well. Be on the lookout for the highly anticipated follow up to Vol. 1 of Sadboy and the release of his audiovisual series that tells the story of Sadboy through film. You can keep up with Reggie and his journey on all major social media platforms at @reggiebecton.