HHW: Talk to me a little bit about your goal with your new album?
Musiq: I make music for people. So I think the music I make should be about stuff that people care about. I want people to relate to what I’m saying.
HHW: Your album cover is a denim globe shaped like a heart. Explain the concept behind the visual for your new album?
Musiq: Then denim is to let people know it’s all denim all day. Because its something people can identify with, and that’s what I want people to be able to do with my music. Being relate-able best represents the music I create. The reason why the denim is shaped into a heart, has to do with what the album’s full title which is, “Life on Earth in Love, or in Dealing with Love.” So that’s why in the heart, you can see the globe. Now, the rip in the middle is not just a rip, but it’s stitched together, and that lets people know that sometimes they’ll get their heart broken, but they will be able to move forward, repair, and love again.
HHW: Who are some of your musical influences?
Musiq: Musically, I get a lot of inspiration from people like Donny Hathoway, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye to name a few. There are many others, but those are the ones that stick out to me because I didn’t go to school for music. They were my way of learning. I learned how to be a better songwriter, a better producer, and a better overall individual that appreciates music in a real way.
HHW: It seems like you have a deeper connection to your music. What is your personal relationship to the music you make?
Musiq: I’m not here to just be cute and make money from this. I’m concerned about how the music effects peoples’ lives, and what role I play in not only the music culture, but the human culture. I want ten role I play to have a positive influence and effect on humanity through what I’ve been blessed with, which is music. I have a true love for the arts. I don’t do what I do now just to get attention from it.
HHW: There seems to be a lack of good R&B music these days. Would you consider this album an R&B album?
Musiq: It’s about the different variations of the message of love. It’s not just about romantic love and it isn’t fair to just say this is just R&B music, because R&B music focuses on the romantic love and that’s not all that I do. Yes, I do acknowledge that I make R&B music, however that’s not all I make. People tend to want to force me into one category, and it’s not really accurate. And the more open people are to that, the more they will get out of what I’m giving them rather than be disappointed.
HHW: Which song on your new album do you feel has the most powerful message?
Musiq: Each song has an equally powerful message for the listeners. I’ve been working in this album for the last three years. But there is one song on it called, “Alive and Well,” and I feel like that message is really strong. If you are who you are, just be happy about it. As long as you have your health, be happy with that. And if you want to be better, than do better, but don’t let the pursuit of being better than where you are, and who you are, lead you to not appreciate where you are at. That’s the message. It’s about learning to love yourself and being secure with yourself. Be alive and well, and I think a lot of people need to hear that especially with social media.
Read the full interview on Hip-Hop Weekly Magazine.