Calvin Richardson Keeps Giving All Or Nothing, Two Decades Later

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R&B/Soul Singer Calvin Richardson Talks Seventh Album, Learning The Industry, & His Musical Legacy

You can’t think of Soul musical greats without mentioning the original ‘country boy’, the one and only, Calvin Richardson. Straight out of North Carolina, Richardson is known for his lengthy and admirable contributions to Southern Soul and R&B. With songs like “Your Love Is”, “Come Over”, and “Falling Out”, Richardson thrives on bringing quality music needed for the soul, and good for any lover’s heart. He has not only dominated the spotlight with his smooth sailing, one-of-a-kind vocals, but has held the title as a bonafide pro with the pen, writing classic tunes for heavy-hitters in the industry, such as Charlie Wilson, Angie Stone, Joe, and Raphael Saadiq.

Richardson is truly a man of many talents, esteemed talents that he’ll always be noted for. He is still that same ‘Country Boy’ who we’ve grown to love, over the years, since he first came to prominence in the late nineties. Now, coming up on the release of his seventh studio album, All Or Nothing, the 40-year-old is coming back stronger than ever.

Set to debut on September 29th, Richardson’s forthcoming album, All Or Nothing, will mark his re-emergence back onto the music scene after a three-year hiatus. The album holds eleven tracks, each made with love and the infamous Calvin Richardson soulful touch. More recently, Richardson released the lead single, “Treat Her Right”, exclusively on YouTube, garnering thousands of views from dedicated CR fans all over the globe.

Now, as the All Or Nothing album quickly approaches, we’re all anxiously waiting in anticipation to see what exactly Richardson has in store. He never ceases to amaze, so we’re confident in knowing that he has certainly lived up to its name, unquestionably giving it his ‘all or nothing’.

Check out our exclusive interview with Calvin Richardson below, as we talked about his newest project, growing up in the industry, and the legacy he wants to leave behind.


Parlé Mag: Your new album, All or Nothing, debuts on September 29th. Talk to us about the title. What does it signify to you?
Calvin Richardson: Well, All Or Nothing, for me, I touched on a lot of different things. I felt like I did. I’ve done so much, in the past, and I’ve always just kind of did things my way. If I couldn’t continue this way, couldn’t do everything or all that I wanted to do, I didn’t want to do anything at all. So, that’s kind of where I was at with it. I’m emancipated; right now, I’m at the stage in my career, I pretty much do what it is that I want to do and what makes me happy—when it comes to my musical contribution. That’s what this album is.

Calvin Richardson All Or Nothing

Parlé Mag: The lead single, “Treat Her Right”, is definitely a song that the ladies can gravitate to because not all men understand the importance of ‘treating their lady right’. But, I have to ask, as a man yourself, why do you think some men fail to grasp onto that concept in relationships?
Calvin Richardson: I think that they’re not being made to by women; they’re not necessarily being held accountable for the things that they do. It’s too easy for them. As a man, we kind of have it easier than it should be. Some women are a little more accepting of the things that men are able to get away with—as far as doing all of the things that they should do when it comes down to treating a woman like they need to be treated.


Parlé Mag: I agree.
Calvin Richardson: Somebody has to call them out on it. Somebody has to speak up for them.


Parlé Mag: So, for you, what do you think is that key element to treating a woman right?
Calvin Richardson: It’s important, for me, to see a woman happy, in every way. The reason we created this song was because of my desire to see people happy in their relationships. Ultimately, if the woman in the relationship is happy, then, obviously, the man, in the relationship, is going to be happy. You know? The number one thing is to give a woman what she needs and what she wants, and she will be happy.


Parlé Mag: A lot of artists tend to lean more towards the idea of doing album features, especially in this day and age. That said, what would you say was the reason behind you not including any features on All or Nothing?
Calvin Richardson: I’m all for doing features and stuff like that. When artists come together and collaborate with other creative people, it can be a great thing. This particular album, I had in my mind, I wanted to collaborate with a couple of people, but our schedules just didn’t work out to the point where we were able to get it done. I’m a huge fan of [features]. In the past, I have collaborated with a number of people. With this one, like I said, I definitely had a couple of people in mind, who I wanted to get on this particular project, but, due to our scheduling, it just didn’t work out.


Parlé Mag: It’s been about three years since your last album, I Am Calvin. Out of curiosity, why the wait to put out another one?
Calvin Richardson: Really, my schedule had been pretty hectic. I’ve been able to work, consistently, off of my previous project that I put out. Time just goes by so rapidly.

Parlé Mag:
It does!
Calvin Richardson: Yeah, when you’re out here doing things. I think, for myself, I needed new music, in my life, of my own. There’s new music, every day, coming from somebody, but, I’m saying, ‘of my own’. There’s an internal clock—an alarm, that’ll just go off inside of you. Leading up to that point, it’s just not something that I think about. You know what I mean?


Parlé Mag: Right.
Calvin Richardson: You just don’t think about it. Then, you get to that point where you feel creative, and you want to get into the studio and come with new music. I think that’s basically what happened.


Parlé Mag: As an artist, who’s been in this business for a lengthy amount of time, and you’ve seen the ins and outs of it, what can you say is something they don’t tell you about it when you first start out?
Calvin Richardson: I heard it early on, when I first got into the business, that the music business is a ‘business’. It’s true. We have become so dependent on labels—whoever you sign with—whether it’s a production company or whether it’s a label, to work on our behalf and do all the things that we don’t think that we necessarily need to do, as far as promoting ourselves, investing in ourselves, making people aware of the fact that we’re out here, and doing a lot of the things that we think fall on the shoulder of the companies that we’re with. I found out the hard way that you have to be willing to work twice as hard as the people you sign up with. That’s just what it is. Even when it comes down to investing in yourself and spending money, you can’t sit back and think that just because you’re signed to somebody, they’re supposed to do it. For all intents and purposes, that could be true, but that’s just not how it is. You are your biggest asset, and, like I said,  you have to be willing to outwork the people who are working for you or around you. You have to be willing to outwork them, at least, three times. 

Calvin Richardson


Parlé Mag: Over the years, how do you feel the industry has helped you grow, from then to now, as a person?
Calvin Richardson: Man, I grew up in it. I’ve been in it for so long, so I’ve learned a lot of things. A lot of hard knocks, setbacks, disappointments, and stuff like that. But, again, it goes back to what I just said, I learned the business. I learned how to sustain myself in different things that are required, as an artist. It’s more than just being an artist and being able to sing. I’m a writer, producer. I came in being a writer, but not a producer. I learned that part of it, and then I started my own production company and all of that stuff. So, I grew in it, just being in it and being exposed to a lot of different things. I stayed close to the producers who worked on my previous projects, the engineers. I learned how to engineer; I can record a whole album by myself now.


Parlé Mag: That’s really dope!
Calvin Richardson: Yeah! I can engineer it, I can mix it, I know how to cut vocals by myself, all of that—which I do. So, I grew a lot and learned a lot, just by being exposed to it and not necessarily just going in and doing the job, walking away, and leaving it up to somebody else to just come back with whatever it’s going to be.


Parlé Mag: Throughout your career, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Calvin Richardson: To be honest, that’s a hard one. I learned a lot of things the hard way, and it wasn’t based on advice. I had to figure out a lot of things on my own, just by being thrown into it and having to just deal with it.


Parlé Mag: Right.
Calvin Richardson: It wasn’t a lot of advice. I didn’t have a whole lot of people, in the business, who I could go to and ask questions, ‘What was going to happen?’ and ‘How this was going to be?’ I just had to kind of learn my way.


Parlé Mag: What legacy do you strive to leave on earth through your music?
Calvin Richardson: My thing is, I’m all about real music. It’s what I grew up on. I’m about dealing with real things that people deal with. I want to be known for keeping soul music alive, real instrumentation alive. Touching things that touch people. Just being someone who always paid attention to the substance of the music, being a quality artist. I want that to be my legacy, just like the ones who came before me, Marvin Gaye, Al Green. I want to be mentioned in the same sentence as those artists, especially when it comes down to classic music, one day.


Parlé Mag: As we bring things to a close, for the sake of your loyal fans, I have to ask, will you be embarking on an All or Nothing tour in the near future?
Calvin Richardson: Absolutely! That’s one that I’m sure will happen.


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Ashley Blackwell

Ashley Blackwell is an entertainment writer and social media content creator whose only goals are to keep soaring for success. Born in the bible belt of the south, Alabama, her passion for writing rapidly grew at an early age. With a strong imagination and a love for the pen, Ashley used writing as a platform to express herself. Starting out doing freelance lifestyle blogging, Ashley soon discovered her love for entertainment and pop culture. She then went on to write for a variety of popular online publications such as Baller Alert, Kontrol Girl—a sister brand to Kontrol Magazine, and Polish Magazine. She is now a proud writer, celebrity interviewer, and editor for Parlé Magazine. Aside from writing, Ashley enjoys music, reading, all things beauty, traveling, and spending time with her family.

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