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Sometimes you have to let go of something you love to find it again. That’s exactly what Royce Lovett did. For a year, the singer/songwriter stopped listening to music.
“What I was hearing didn’t inspire creativity,” recalls Lovett, who also raps and plays guitar. “Everything talked about giving your life to Christ, which is great. But what’s after that? I needed something more. I was praying one night when God told me something I’ve been doing ever since—write for those who know and write to those who don’t.”
Out of that conversation bloomed Lovett’s self-described “lifestyle music”: songs about the joy and pain of everyday life framed against a compelling fusion of hip-hop, pop, rock, folk, reggae, gospel and R&B. Mainstream music fans were introduced to the indie artist’s progressive and invigorating sound on his first Motown EP, 2015’s Write It on the Wall. The five-song suite takes an honest look at living in a world seemingly spinning out of control as on the anthemic title track/lead single. The mini-set also features the equally spirited—and empowering— follow-up, “Show Me Love.”
“It’s about being purposeful in your life,” explains the 27-year-old.“Write It on the Wall speaks to love being the one way that we can change the world.”
With love still at the heart of his work, Lovett tackles more personal themes on his forthcoming Motown EP, Love Wins. Reuniting with producer/composer Nate Butler (Luther Vandross, Backstreet Boys), Lovett reflects on his life/career journey through five new original songs.
Drawing from Lovett’s hip-hop roots, “Reach” uses a hard-driving drum beat in relaying the message to always “put your hands in the sky today / though your dream seems miles away.” The slower-paced “Go” explores the pressure of holding fast to the faith you have in yourself despite what friends and others may say. The rollicking “That’s Dat Jesus” embodies the fervor of the hymns Lovett’s grandmother used to sing when he was younger, while the guitar-driving title track outlines the blueprint for winning at love and marriage. “Don’t tell me we lost, ‘cause I want to win,” sings Lovett to his significant other in a gliding tenor. “Love is hard but you’ve got to fight for what you want in the end.”
Providing the through-line for Love Wins is the upbeat declaration “Freedom.” Lovett wrote the song in response to the title track of his debut EP. “Thought I was free, thought I was free,” goes the refrain, “but I couldn’t hear the voice that’s locked inside of me. I want to be free from bondage my brother /my friend / so we can dance again.”