Although he has been making music behind the scenes with some of rhythm and blues most famous singers for more than a decade, singer Jeff Redd is excited to be returning to the other side of the microphone.
The New York native and resident will be releasing “Take You Higher” in early 2011. He has dedicated the album to all the DJs in the world.
“I decided to dedicate the album to the DJs because in the 1990’s you sampled someone else’s music and sang over top of it. Well that’s what people have been doing to me for the last 20 years so this is my farewell to using samples,” Redd said.
Redd, who is a licensed pharmacist, is best known for his debut album, “Quiet Storm,” which spawned two top-ten singles, “I Found Lovin’” and “Love High.” At the same time he was gaining success with the album, he was featured on the soundtrack for the movie “Strictly Business,” which starred Halle Berry and Tommy Davidson. The single from the soundtrack, “You Called and Told Me,” was certified Gold.
Eighteen years after its release, the song is still a highly played song on WBLS and WRKS-FM in New York.
“I thank God everyday for that. I didn’t know that it would be around for 20 years. I turn on the radio and feel like good gracious. At that time, we were just making records that we enjoyed,” Redd said.
Redd came up with the idea for the song after a girlfriend called and broke up with him.
“I was given the song and I rewrote it based on what was going on in my life at the time,” he recalled. “A girl I was dating called and told me that our relationship was over and she hung up. Then she called back a few minutes later and asked me if I was just going to let her walk out of my life. I told her that she said things were over and that’s what I wrote about.”
Due to his quick rise to success, Redd was pushed into the executive side of the music business. He began writing and producing music for arts on MCA and RCA Records including Bobby Brown, SWV, Regina Belle, Field Mob and K-Ci and Jo-Jo.
He jumped at the opportunity when he was offered a position of VP of artist and recording at MCA.
His unique style of making hit records won him numerous awards including Grammys, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards and Soul Train Music Awards.
During his years as a record executive, Redd learned a lot of valuable life lessons that he carries into the next phase of his career and throughout his life.
“As a record executive, I learned how corporate America can swallow up an artist if they don’t know what to ask for. I had been the artist Jeff Redd and as an executive I had to put that ego to the backside and become Jeffrey Redd the executive. Executives have egos as well. You have to stroke them in order to get your project sold,” Redd said.
In addition to the “Strictly Business” soundtrack, Redd’s sound can be found on the “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “Eve’s Bayou,” and “The Hurricane” soundtracks.
He created his own independent record label, Sol Real Records, LLC.
“I created it because I wanted to shine the sun on the realness that exists in the music business,” Redd said. Right now, he is the only artist on his label.
The prolific performer said his next project will include him working with an orchestra and other live musicians. He is also working on putting an oversees tour together with soul singer Charlie Wilson and a stateside tour with singer Ginuwine in the spring.