While the world is dealing with a pandemic, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Stokley Williams is taking time to reflect and finding the silver lining in the midst of it all. His single “She,” from his upcoming album “Sankofa,” is a current favorite amongst both old and new fans. The single has earned two weeks at no.1 on the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary Chart. While speaking to Stokely about life, I recalled our conversation three years ago and before he released his first album, “Introducing Stokley.” Furthermore, we covered the success he has had since then. On this album, Stokely reconnected with his mentors, super duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. He also collaborated with Snoop Dogg on the second single. titled “Vibrant.” Stokley’s acknowledgement of where he came from is the driving force for “Sankofa.”
On a recent pleasurable visit to Blakeslee Recording Studio in Burbank, California, I sat down with studio owner Raphael Saadiq to discuss his latest project “Jimmy Lee.” Saadiq shared glimpses of his childhood growing up in Oakland, California and his emergence as an artist, songwriter, and producer, as well as the creation of what the world now knows as the album “Jimmy Lee,” named aptly for his brother. It is a collection of songs that most can relate to in one way or another. Raphael is candid, humble, and brilliant. His artistry has touched and crossed over a multitude of facets in the entertainment industry including movies and television. The first single from the album, titled “Something Keeps Calling” featuring Rob Bacon, came in recently at no.1 on the Urban Contemporary/R&B chart.
Enjoy my conversation with Raphael Saadiq at Blakeslee Studio where his hits come to life: