After speaking to Columbia Records/Compound University artist, RaVaughn for approximately an hour, I had the same response her mentor, Ne-Yo did – “What’s wrong with you?” What I mean by that is, although her star is rising, I feel like her current level of ascension in the public eye should be far greater based on her immense talents as a singer/songwriter, her unique balance of confidence and humility, her sarcastic yet welcoming sense of humor, her obvious intellect accompanied by her stunning beauty and her connection to one of the biggest R&B artist of this decade.
The Carson, California native released her EP, ‘Love Always,” earlier this year and she hasn’t stopped since. Her current single “Best Friend” from her upcoming album is building popularity as it strongly resonates with women around the world while the men are still able to relate. I had the chance to the speak with the self-proclaimed “Cali Girl” about her life as an artist, the importance of her family, her struggle with weight, the current state of industry, working with Ne-Yo, the upcoming album, and what it takes for a man to her attention. This is Part 1 of our Drive Thru Interview with RaVaughn.
RaVaughn: God, family, and music. In that order.
Radio Facts : In your song “Best Friend” you sing, “I’m not your fuckin best friend, I’ve been sittin’ on this bench too long, while you’re playing with these, basic, fake chicks…” There are some that would say that the best relationships are built on friendship and that you want your mate to be your best friend. With that being said, how do you think you become best friends with your ideal person without falling into the friend zone?
RaVaughn: That is a great question. No one has ever asked me that before. I would say being honest about your feelings because all good friendships and relationships in general are built on honesty and trust. It can be hard but I think it is possible to find the balance of being someone’s friend and lover but I think that takes time to build a relationship like that. You want your mate to know you got his or her back like a friend but you are also their partner and love them in that special way as well.
Radio Facts : When your mentor Ne-Yo first met you, he simply asked, “What is wrong with you?” because he couldn’t believe you were not signed already. So RaVaughn what is wrong with you, what is your flaw, what are you working on?
RaVaughn: I’m trying to work on watching what I say. I have a sarcastic sense of humor and sometimes I don’t know how to hold back and that can get you in trouble. I’m an honest person so I tend to say what I feel but in interviews you can’t always say everything because it can be taken the wrong way but I still remain honest. I have also struggled with my weight. If you look at my pictures sometimes I’m small and sometimes I’m bigger. When Ne-Yo first met me I had just lost 40 lbs so when he told people he signed me, they were like oh that’s really cool or nice. He didn’t get it because he met me when I was smaller so he couldn’t understand why people were surprised. My sister, who is an actress (Rhyon Nicole Brown) can eat anything. We have two different body types but she doesn’t gain. I love food so that is not good for me because I gain easily. Now I like to keep the weight off for health reasons so it’s not as hard as it used to be. I love my family and I want to be around to enjoy them for years to come.
Radio Facts : In your song, “Better Be Good” you sing, “Let me give you that Lord have mercy, keep you thirsty, but first you gotta prove your worthy…” What does a man have to do get your attention to possibly experience RaVaughn’s “Lord Have Mercy?”
RaVaughn: I come from a family that has a strong belief in God and we were taught values at an early age so in regard to sex, I really value myself and that person needs to value you me as well. He definitely needs to be honest and secure because of the industry I work in. He also needs to be funny. I like a guy that can make me laugh because of I have good sense of humor and I’m sarcastic as I told you. Besides that, you know how they say a woman likes guys that are like their dad well my dad is hilarious, almost weird even. I will tell you a story. He once dressed up in a wig, put on messed up teeth, and he had on this crazy outfit. He looked like Jerome from Martin. He showed up outside of my high school waiting for me to get out. I was used to getting picked up from school but I kept hearing someone call my name like “Vaughnie” because that is what my family calls me but I didn’t see anybody I recognized. Finally I see this strange man calling me and I tell my friends I don’t know him. Come to find out, it was my dad. I was so embarrassed that I refused to get in the car with him until he took off that outfit. I was so upset that my mom let him come pick me up like that. So when you have a dad like that, any man has to be funny to keep my attention.
Radio Facts : How did you feel when a few of the blogs posted that you and Ne-Yo were dating after they saw you hit the red carpet with him at the BET awards? I personally felt it was bad journalism because you had been on many red carpets with him prior and I felt your name was big enough at that time, they at least journalist should know of you.
RaVaughn: I laughed it off but I was like – Really!? Ne-Yo is not only my mentor, but he is also like a brother to me. We work well together and he is always coaching me and giving me good advice. We are like family so I would never look at him in that way so when a few blogs posted that I couldn’t believe it. But it comes with the industry.