On his sixth studio album, “Lost in Time,” singer Eric Benet wanted to make the world safe for “real” soul music again. Or vice versa.
“I wanted to make something that felt like the R&B I used to grow up with,” says the 44-year-old Milwaukee native. “When I listen to the radio now, authenticity is lacking, the authenticity of raw talent, even the emotion and the passion that went into making music.
“So I wanted to make this record ... almost a homage to that level of artistry that was R&B of the mid-’70s. There are few artists out there now that are holding the torch for that kind of commitment to music, so I felt it’s important for us to keep fighting the good fight.”
And who does Benet — working the single “I Never Want to Live Without You,” which he wrote for his fiancée — consider to be his brothers and sisters in arms in that battle?
“There’s artist like Maxwell, Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton,” notes Benet, whose “Lost in Time” guests include Faith Evans, the O’Jays’ Eddie Levert, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele and Benet’s daughter, India. “I think their respect for the creation process is a little bit stronger than thinking too much about the outcome of the song — that’s another way of saying they’re not really trying to chase radio when they’re in the studio.
“They’re just trying to stay true to their craft or stay true to the music, which is the same thing I’m trying to do.”
Eric Benet performs with John Brown at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Blvd., Detroit. Tickets are $25, $30 and $35. Call 313-237-7711 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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