[Artists] - R&B Sensation Razah is on his Way to the Top

Name: Razah
Location: Brooklyn,NY
Genre: Hip-Hop/R&B/Pop
Label: Just-Us MUSIC GROUP

When I make my records I try to make timeless music and songs that uplift people.  I was raised by a single mom so I believe in writing music that celebrates women.

Besides, Razah knows better than to make music that hed be embarrassed to play for his mother and his older brother and three sisters.  When Razah was four years old his mother packed up the family and moved from St. Andrews, a small town about three hours from Kingston in Jamaicas lush countryside, to the (Never ran, never will) Brownsville section of Brooklyn. She worked hard: saving money, studying, and eventually fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse. Shes such a strong woman its amazing, Razah says.  When bad things happen she just says, Keep on going. God put you here for this.

With a stage name like Razah, youd expect his vocals to be the stuff of crusty-toned, ragamuffin-style patois or jagged rhymes about the inner citys hottest hoods.  But the singer, born Martell Nelson, is slicker than that.  Theres more romance than thuggishness in his R&B.  His sound recalls the smooth edges of the soulful pop and reggae-tinged sounds of his musical predecessors, Michael Jackson, Beres Hammond and Bob Marley.

I sing emotional songs, but my name is Razah, says the 25-year-old Jamaican-born soul singer.  Its like a balance. Razah hopes to tip the scales overwhelmingly in his favor and allow his debut album to shine by enlisting new beat-making talent such as Rykeyz and Info, as well as a few well- known producers including EZLP, Green Lantern, Reef and super producer, JR Rotem.  [But] I dont want people to pick my album up for the producers, he admits.  I want them to genuinely like Razah. Razahs warm, achy tone resonates with genuine passion.  Songs such as Rain and Where Do We Go From Here are more likely to strike an emotional chord, tug on a couple of heartstrings and even swell a few tear ducts.Thats what this game is missing:  no one wants to cry [with a song] anymore, he explains. Im not sure if everybody is scared or that no one wants to be vulnerable.  But at the end of a long difficult day everybodys vulnerable.

Honesty and raw emotion are at the center of Razahs self-penned songs. Im so confused, girl/ Im lost without ya/ I cant go to sleep because I toss without ya, he sings over the breezy, lilting melody of Where Do We Go From Here. Razah is also not afraid to tackle some tough issues that many young women face: sexual abuse and drug use.  On the up-tempo synth-pop of Runaway, he sings in a breathy, near-falsetto: She just wants to runaway from this town/ Dont know what way shes going. Its not all about heartache, but its about real life situations, he says.  Rappers say they talk about true life situations, singers can do that too. Then through sheer determination Razah teamed with Houston veteran MC Bun B on We Ridin. And his hot streak continued when DJ Enuff and Funk master Flex of New York Hot97 showed even more radio love to Razahs track, Where Do We Go From Here. Those spins proved to be the difference.  The song caught the attention of Rihanna, who approached the singer to add her own verse to the remix.  Still, at the subsequent recordings session in Roc The Mic studios, Razah had little clue the two Caribbean born singers would be label mates.

Rihanna was in the booth doing what she does, I was there chilling and then Jay-Z walks in, and was like whats up, Razah explains. I was like, Damn, heres my idol walking in the studio. I gave him dap and he walked out the room.

But when the Def Jam CEO pays a visit to your recording session, serious business is about to go down.  Days later, Razah signed a record contract with Def Jam, and only two weeks after that he played the finished album for Island Def Jam chairman LA Reid.

Now, Razahs definitely in great company, poised to share his Caribbean-inflected soul music with the globe. Sad to say he no longer is associated with Def Jam due to unfortunate circumstances. Currently Razah is researching his options to come out with his new project. I try to make big records so theyre not just [average] R&B songs or pop songs, he concludes, but I make them so that everybody can love them.

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