Photos by Alexis Armstrong of 43North77West for INSIDE Monthly

R&B Singer Rashaad King was nominated for a Carolina Music Award (CMA).

North Carolina has a rich musical history. From George Clinton, Fantasia and John Coltrane to K-Ci & JoJo, DaBaby and J Cole, the state has been home to some of the best known artists of the past and the present. The Tarheel State boasts several amazing venues and is often one of the first destinations for entertainers on tour. Inside Monthly (INM) is the #1 source for what’s next and today we’d like to introduce you to Rashaad King.

He was nominated for a 2022 Carolina Music Award in the Male R&B category and will be performing live alongside fellow CMA Nominee Jewels during Makeup Battle (Live) at the Van Dyke Performance Space on October 28, 2022. INM had the opportunity to sit down with the R&B crooner for an interview at Picture Studios.

  • Discover why he grew up listening to Motown Records.
  • Find out why he wants to perform at the PNC Arena one day.
  • Learn about his upcoming music projects and performances.
Photos by Alexis Armstrong | Shot at Picture Studios in Greensboro, NC

Who are your musical influences as a performer?

Rashaad: I definitely grew up listening to a lot of Michael Jackson (of course), the Jackson Five and New Edition. When I was a kid, there was just certain older music that I felt like I could hear myself in. I don’t sing as high pitched as Ralph Tresvant from New Edition but the voice was similar. When I was younger, I didn’t feel like I sounded like a lot of things I was hearing on the radio. But when I would look back, I would say “okay I kind of hear myself with some of these people”. I also grew up with old school R&B, Motown Records and stuff like that.

Growing up, Deitrick Haddon was MY DOG. Before I started listening to Usher and Chris Brown, I was listening to Deitrick Haddon. I couldn’t sing as high pitched as him but I could hear myself in his voice. He’s that dude. His music is AMA-ZING.

What‘s the hardest thing about being a creative?

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Rashaad:  Sometimes the hardest thing can be just finding an actual focus. When you have a lot of different ideas, it can be hard to just pick one and say “this is what I am going to do and I’m going to focus all of my energy and time onto this specific thing”. It’s actually best for whatever project you are working on to be able to do that. That’s one thing that I have been trying to learn these past couple of years. Just pick one single and we’re going to focus on it and promote the one single. You know? I remember pushing ‘Sprung’ for the past few months. It’s the longest that I ever pushed just one song despite wanting to go off and do other things. Finding that ability to focus on one thing is definitely hard.

I don’t care if you’re making cakes. Somebody is going to eat it and not like it. You just have to get used to that if you’re going to be any type of creative.

Another hard thing about being a creative is that you’re just really vulnerable when you create. We walk around like we are the hardest and the coolest and the baddest of people but at the end of the day, we have feelings too. We’re all vulnerable and we’re human. When you put something out there to the world, the world doesn’t always like what you put out there and that’s just a reality that you have to get used to from the jump.

How would you describe your musical style?

Rashaad: Some people would describe me as a crooner which means that I sing with a light voice. I’m not the loudest at all but I try to sing smooth. I enjoy dancing and the type of music that is going to make you dance. If I could just put it all in one description, I’m a groover that likes to vibe and move. At the end of the day, I want you to have a good time. If you listen closely, you’ll hear bars every now and again because I used to rap. Kind of street but smoothed out on the R&B side like Bel Biv Devoe if you pay attention to lyrics.

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What can you tell us about your current project?

Rashaad:  I’m about to drop an album at the end of this year or early next year. I have been working on a number of singles and video work that you guys will see really soon. Right now, the title of the album is “Heavy is the Head”, which reflects what I have been going through this past year. When I named it, I didn’t think it would be like that. It was like premonition I guess. I just thought it would sound cool, you know? Heavy is the head that wears the crown and I want the crown so I’m coming for it. But it’s really turned out to be more than that.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown for anything that you want or see for yourself and everything that you do. Some of that weight is good and some of that weight is bad but at the end of the day, it balances out.

Photos by Alexis Armstrong | Shot on location at Picture Studios in Greensboro, NC

Where do you dream of performing one day?

Rashaad: I gotta do S.O.B’S (Sound of Brazil in Manhattan, NY). I would really also like to do Dreamville Festival. I have yet to go [actually]. The reason is because I want to be performing when I go. I don’t just wanna be in the crowd. Hopefully J. Cole won’t take that personally…ha ha. That’s just something I told myself a long time ago. When I first saw it I was like, “You know what? I would like to be on that stage!”. He’s from North Carolina and that means a lot. The PNC Arena in Raleigh because that’s where I saw Kyle. I’m a big fan of Kyle (best known for his single with Lil Yachty called “I Spy”). I like him a lot. He was performing with Logic and it was just a crazy night.

Makeup Battle (Live) in Greensboro on October 28, 2022

It’s a big spot. There’s just something about being in a crowd. He asked the crowd to light it up and I turned around and looked at the whole arena and it was all lit up. The sun was setting so it was just a crazy vibe. PNC Arena stuck in my head from that point on so those would be my three (SOBS, Dreamville Festival and PNC Arena). I know for a fact that I gotta be there. I gotta perform there.

Rashaad King describing why PNC Arena is one of three places he wants to perform one day.
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