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Raphael Saadiq Re-Embraces The Road

Of the Oakland Press

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Since the demise of Tony! Toni! Toné!, Raphael Saadiq has staked his reputation in the recording studio with myriad production and collaboration credits, including Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, The Roots, the Bee Gees, Joss Stone and many others.

But “The Way I See It,” his fourth

solo album, has rekindled the R&B auteur’s appetite for the road.

“I’ve never really toured as a solo act,” says Saadiq, who was also a member of the short-lived all-star group Lucy Pearl.

“I would do a record and go out for 12 dates and come back but never really went out there for a long tour.” But pride in “The Way I See It,” with its echoes of vintage Motown, Philadelphia and Chicago soul, inspired Saadiq to slot some more time in for touring, including an opening stint for John Legend in the fall and now his own headlining run.

“I just wanted to get a record out there that I thought would match the world — every type of person, people all over the world from the states to Europe to Russia to everywhere,” he explains. “I felt like that style of music works all over the world, and I wanted to make a contribution in ’08 and ’09 and ’10 and create something that would take me around the world.”

He’s not abandoning the studio, however. Next up is production work with “American Idol” winner Fantasia, for whom Saadiq hopes to record “something soulful but really strong, something like maybe a little bit of Aretha (Franklin) mixed up with a little bit of LaBelle. I think that would sound really good on her.”

Raphael Saadiq performs at 8 p.m. Sunday (March 15) at the City Theatre inside the Hockeytown Cafe, 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $25. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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