Published on July 6th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


Reggie Becton: Straight From The Heart


Now let’s hop right into this lead single / video, “SadBoy” — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?

“SadBoy” is one of my favorite songs off the new project. It’s one of those songs that defines the exact sound and approach we wanted to take with the project. It feels gritty, ‘Gotham City-ish’; it’s dark and moody, but it’s also vulnerable, soft, and super honest. I think it’s all about knowing better. I’ve dated, I’ve fallen in love, and I’ve been hurt by love enough times to know I won’t think twice and I won’t be fooled. For the video, we wanted to embrace that energy and give people this narrative without it being on the nose or having a beginning / middle/ end kind of pace. We intentionally throw you in the middle of a scene / scenario and let you figure it out as the video progresses. The video for “SadBoy” was shot by one of my creative directors, Ryan Thirston, and my partner in film, Chris Felix, and we got it done. We shot it the weekend of Coachella, which was cool because we went to Oakland. We wanted to shoot it somewhere outside of L.A., and somewhere not easily identifiable. I think that helped with the mysterious nature of the song…but, yeah, I love that record, especially the guitar solo at the end. It’s just a vibe through and through.

Of course “SadBoy” comes courtesy of your semi-recently released EP of the same name —Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?

The title SadBoy represents my intro to my inner self. To the world, I appear as happy, and I appear as bright and light…but I always play with my manager and say, ‘I’m a dark person.’ Internally, that’s how I feel. My inner emotions are where I keep my biggest and darkest secrets. We tried to reflect this on the cover; we wanted to have this smile on it, but also have this x-ray negative feel to give you this inverted outcome of ‘I wear my inner feelings on my sleeve.’ In essence, that’s what I wanted to accomplish with SadBoy. I wanted to show people that sadness comes in so many different forms. You have a song like “Self Control,” where it’s super sad and right on the nose of what you think a SadBoy would feel like, and then the next song after that you have “Lettin’ Go,” which is bright. It’s the prettiest breakup ever, but it’s sad. Throwing those juxtapositions, showing sadness, and showing all the colors of sadness and how it’s like any other emotion that we sometimes judge. From this project, I really wanted to develop a body of work that allows people to embrace their sadness and emotions.

As a songwriter, when you sit down to pen your lyrics where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from everything. My favorite thing to do when I’m working with other artists is to get in the room and converse about what they’re going through. I feel like that’s how the best songs get written. When you do that, you pick up on their thoughts, how they would say something, or phrase something, and what certain things mean to them. I feel like we have a dictionary, and the dictionary tells us what these words mean…but to me, that just gives us a foundation. When you apply those words to the real world, a lot of these words become layered, and they take on new meanings depending on a person’s perspective or experiences in life. I feel like when we write for other people or with another person, we have to make sure we’re working from the same dictionary. That’s why I think it’s essential to converse and talk through things to get that inspiration from the different experiences, the different moments you’ve lived in life, and things like that.

What particular string of events actually led to your current signing to / with ONErpm?

There wasn’t really a string of events. I was just in a place of wanting a bigger team, and more people to push and propel my artistry forward. ONErpm reached out, and at the same time we were meeting with a lot of people…but ONErpm stood out because it was a place where I felt they valued me, would make me a priority, and would give me what I was worth at the time. It still allowed me to remain independent, and keep control of my music and all of those things that we as creators want in this day and age. That’s how ONErpm stood out to me from everyone else.

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for REGGIE BECTON?

I’ve been interested in music all my life. I’ve been singing since I’ve been talking, so singing has always been part of me. Singing is cool, but then I started looking at people like Ne-Yo, Keri Hilson, LaShawn Daniels, and Babyface. I started studying songwriters, how to craft songs and really focusing on that. If you wanna be one of the greats, you have to know how to write really great songs. So from middle school-high school, I would write songs almost every day. That’s where my love and fascination for songwriting came from. By the end of high school I was ready to take my artistry seriously, so I decided to upload my first song to SoundCloud and I was so scared. I thought everyone was going to hate it. Then I went to school the next day and nobody said anything about it. Which kinda taught me, “It’s all in your head!” We put so much more energy into what other people think when the reality is you’re not even on their radar or in their worldview. That gave me that. By the time I left college, I graduated and had my degree and realized this is the fork in the road. Either I use my degree and go fully corporate, or I go with my music career. I then moved to L.A. to pursue my music career, and it’s been fun ever since.

Now you’re a native of Prince George’s County, MD, correct? And growing up in the ‘Free State,’ who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

My strongest musical influences are Marvin Gaye, who’s a hometown hero, he’s from Washington, DC. I love Tank, who’s also a Maryland artist. I love Prince, who I found in college. Prince taught me it’s okay to be on the spectrum of masculine and feminine energy. It’s okay to be risky, it’s okay to be different, and it’s okay to cry. He taught me vulnerability on an extreme level, which impacts me every day when I go to create. I can do anything I want because nothing will be as fearless as Prince, but his fearlessness is what drives me to do the same in my music. Then you have Brandy and Avant. Brandy’s catalog alone is a masterclass in R&B to me, and then Avant, his vocal tone. He has this suave / smooth tone, with a rough / scratchy texture to it, that cuts through and makes you wanna hear more. Those 5 people to me are my major influences.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

I think my sound is contemporary R&B. We like to use the term ‘R&Bounce’ when describing my music because at times it gets funky, alternative, or rock-infused…but the foundation of all my music is always going to be R&B. Sometimes I like to play in different sonic builds of that, with a song like “Sway,” it’s a bit more alternative / rock infused experimental, then you have a song like “Rainin’ in L.A.,” which is like an acoustic R&B ballad. Then you have “Streets,” that’s like a Hip Hop-driven R&B song with a Drill beat. I approach everything with R&B first in mind, but try to make it as fun as possible.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

The same way Prince made me feel free to be, I’d like people to experience that in all forms and with every emotion. I want people to gain help with whatever they’re going through, and I want my music to help them through it all. It allows you to deal with it, and offer a different perspective. I also want people listening to my music to be comfortable. If you’re feeling sad, put on SadBoy and be sad. If you’re feeling in love, put on “Rainin’ in L.A.,” and be in love. I want my music to allow you to be, and exist with whatever emotion you’re feeling at the time, and make you feel more confident and secure in those feelings. ‘Cause feelings are not fact, but they are warranted.

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

PJ Morton, Ariana Grande, H.E.R., Kendrick Lamar, Brandy, Avant, Tank, Slim from 112, Usher, Prince. The main 5 are Slim, Usher, Avant, Tank, and Prince are my holy grails of R&B collabs.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

Super Bowl for sure. If there’s one show I’m working towards it’s Super Bowl. I think Super Bowl is the top of the top / icon / legendary status show to perform.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B?

I’m so happy with the state of R&B. I feel like R&B is right at the brink of this renaissance, where it’s re-emerging. I think things are so cyclical, too. When you see how Hip Hop has been the leading genre, but before that there was talk about Hip Hop being dead, then 2-3 years later it became the top genre in the world. To me, we’re in the same space of R&B where it’s about to burst. There’s so much R&B talent that’s making so much great noise. People just have to step out of the mainstream focus. You don’t even have to dig that deep anymore, you just have to dust off some different sounds and you’ll find really good R&B out there.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

Keeping God first. Following my ear, and following what I’m here to do, will be the key to my longevity. Trying to outdo myself, and being competitive with myself and no one else. When I approach artists to create, I always think, “How can I outdo California, or how can I outdo SadBoy?” And that’s only 20%. The other 80% is what is on my heart, what is the point I’m trying to tell, what do I have to say at this moment? Whatever it is, I say it. Another thing is not following trends. When you listen to my albums, every album sounds different. Like when you listen to “RM 143” or “Sway,” they don’t sound like trendy records. When you think about these records that are doing good, they’re just records that I was inspired to make. I wasn’t trying to make something like the next person…at most, I was trying to make music like my predecessors. The people who inspire me. When I think of those songs, I think of my predecessors. I love having the take of making something viral and new, but I think keeping it that main mindset, and not looking left / right, is my way to go.

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

Yeah, definitely. I want to direct a feature film…actually, I’m going to one day. I want to get more involved in theater again. In high school, I was in theater a lot. I even directed one of the plays we put on in high school, and I want to do that again. I want to direct and shoot a lot of visuals for other artists, too; that would be fun. I also want to do more correspondent work as well. Interviewing other artists, and hosting, things like that.

To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

There’s been so many. I’ve been in a place where I try to compare or value them all the same ‘cause they’ve been stepping stones to one another. But working with Rodney Jerkins is definitely a highlight, and still a ‘can’t believe moment.’ Selling out shows in L.A. and DC is one of those things that I can die and say I did, and most people don’t get to do that. Like having a song with Slim from 112 and a song with Tank, like are you kidding me? “Peaches & Cream” and “Dance with Me,” I went from singing as a kid to making a track with those same artists. Little things like that to me are mind-boggling. I feel like I’m living a fantasy.

You released your new single “RM 143” remix featuring Slim from 112? Can you speak on how this came about and what working with Slim means to you?

It came about because we were looking to do another remix of the song, and we were thinking of people who could be on the track. One day me and my manager went to see a billboard from ONErpm that had my name on it, and I noticed Slim from 112 being mentioned on the same billboard. I come to find out ONErpm does distro for Slim as well. I decided to start the convo with the ONErpm team, and see if they can bridge the gap. I presented the song, and the streaming stats, and mentioned wanting to do a remix with Slim. Orlando, who’s the president of ONErpm, said, “Hell, yeah, I think that’s a great idea!” So he reached out to Slim and his team. Slim heard the song, loved the record, and wanted to jump on it immediately. Honestly, we were supposed to release it at the top of the year, before SadBoy released, but it took time to get the feature as Slim and 112 are super busy. Week to week I was waiting by the phone, and sure enough 1-2 months ago they got it done. I heard him on the verse and could just tell he really gets R&B from his approach and execution, and I just had to add another verse to it. It’s such a great collaboration. It feels like we were in the studio together, and that’s my point in any feature I do. I want fans to listen and feel like my collaborations are the merging of a mega group. I’m still on a high from getting a feature from Slim.

What’s an average day like for you?

An average day is waking up, meditating, going to work from 9-5, and working for USC. After I go to work I have my own meetings, or I go to dance rehearsals, or go to a video prep call, a video shoot, a performance / rehearsal or go to the studio. It can be any one of those things. I do that Monday-Sunday. Lately, I’ve been outside. So I get off work, then after I’ll work out, eat some food, and get ready to go to events / release/ listening parties. The Sadboy summer has been fun.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

How I treat my friends is how I interact and respond to fans. I think one thing fans or people may not know, interacting with people who don’t know about your own art can be anxiety-inducing. I never want to give a bad impression, and even when I’m out and fans come up to me is something I’m getting used to. Like if I’m in the club and I’m feeling intoxicated, and if someone comes up to me and I’m acting weird, it has nothing to do with them or me trying to act Hollywood, I might just be in a different zone right now.. That happened to me recently, and I overthought that interaction the whole weekend after that. I was overthinking and hoping I didn’t leave a bad impression because in my head I was fighting for my life.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My least favorite is the business side of music. Every time I’m working on a new project and it gets to the release plan and marketing side of it, I hate it. Anytime I do the business side of music it becomes the worst thing in the world to me ‘cause the business side can get outlandish. I think my favorite part is seeing people connect with experiences and feelings that you’ve felt. Going on tour and seeing people sing my songs, and DM me about how they resonate with me and my music ‘helps me get through this’ is super powerful. I know how I feel about the music I listen to, and how it helps me get over things. Like when I’m driving and listening to my favorite songs, I’ll think about how somebody else feels the same way I do, or how they feel about “Sway” or “Self Control.” When you put it in that perspective, it’s a ‘wow’ of how connected we feel to the music that we love. Knowing someone can listen to my music with that same feeling / takeaway is mind-blowing to me.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

I would say that comparison is the thief of all joy. That’s a great one to me. You shouldn’t compare yourself to anybody. You should be going against yourself. That’s how you get to where you wanna be in life, by trying to outdo yourself. I also think you should be a good person. Even when you feel like people are going low, or doing things to you, remember light attracts light. Always be the person you hope to receive. If you want support, give support. If you want love, give love. If you want kindness, be kind. If you want happiness, be happy. That’s a guiding principle for me. I always approach things with love and grace because I want those things in return. Another thing is, this is the music industry. We’re not performing open heart surgery. Nothing is that serious. It’s music. Only a lucky few can do this, and only a lucky few can get to a level to go on tour. Independent artists have opened the floodgates for people to do it, but there are still a lot of people who can’t. Being grateful and always approaching things like that is key. Even for myself, I’m appreciative of the things I have and where I’m at now because a lot of people can’t have these kinds of opportunities. Be grateful for it all.

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

I hope I’m happy wherever I’m at. I hope I have 3 Grammys, a platinum album or two, and maybe I’m just starting on my feature film, directing. Maybe some kids running around, that’ll be fun. 10 years from now, that’s what I hope.

As for the immediate, what’s next for you, Reggie?

We have a ‘SadBoy’ short series that’s coming (later) in July. I’m super excited about that ‘cause people get to see me act, and people get to experience another world of SadBoy. I think we’re going to do a ‘SadBoy’ film festival to premiere the series, and partner with a couple of artists, because a lot of people did short films this year. We’re going to put them together and have a viewing party / short film festival. That’ll be super fun. Outside of that, I’m working on SadBoy Vol. 2. We’re working on that now, and I’m loving the music coming out of that. Super excited for Vol. 2, and then who knows what comes after that.

Any “parting” words for our readers?

Thank you to The HYPE Magazine for having me. Go stream SadBoy Vol.1, and follow me on all social media platforms.

Connect w/Reggie Becton Online:



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