There’s a story behind every track. Or at least the good ones. Listening Room is our (somewhat neglected of late) music feature devoted to discovering new music and learning the story behind the tracks from their creators.
Today we’re talking with vocalist RaShaan Houston. RaShaan is currently celebrating the reissue some 14 years later of “Be With You”, his hit record with the Pound Boys. There’s a new package of remixes with the bundle, which is available in promo release now (and currently climbing the charts) at Traxsource. Listen above and we’ll talk to RaShaan below.
You mentioned to me earlier that this record had a special place in your heart. Why is that?
“Be With You” represents a time and space in my life that holds mostly fond memories. At the time if the original release I was 26, I’m 40 now, and so much has changed in my world, the world at large, and the world of music. It reminds me of a time that for myself was a lot more carefree. Also, I’ve just always loved the vibe of the song and have always considered it one of my best offerings. There is an R&B/Pop version from around 1995 that was on my demo which was submitted by the producer to the MIC awards and nominated for best R&B song. We didn’t win but this song has continued to reward me for years.
Can you walk me through the production process of putting this one together? It was released in 2000 – when was it recorded?
The original production was recorded sometime in 1999. It was actually the first time I was with both Pound Boys in the studio at the same time. When we recorded “The Right Way“, Craig C. wasn’t able to be there for my vocal session so being there with both of them made me a bit nervous. The stage is my home and I come alive during a live performance much more than in the studio so it’s always a bit of a challenge.
Dealer sent me the track after our first record and it fit so well to the song that I just made a few minor tweaks to make it more housey. The session went by so quickly and smoothly that I left the not sure if we got what we needed until about a week later when I was sent the production and realized we had a winner.
Do you have any question of the Pound Boys place in history and your place within that history? This interview jogged my memory a bit and thought to myself, “if this whole crew were coming to my town with RaShaan, Dealer and Craig, I’d be really excited.” These records sound REALLY good today.
I have no question that the Pound Boys are musical geniuses. They had many epic records they should be very proud of that stand the test if fine because they were ahead if their time. I hear so much EDM formats lately that are so similar to some if the work they’ve done in the past. If you listen to my records with them – [like] “Shine” and “Power” – and remember that they were releases in 2001 and 2002, you will realize just how ahead of their time they were. I am humbly proud to be associated with them. I know our names will always be connected in musical history and because I have respect and love for both of them I wouldn’t have it any other way. Although they went on to do numerous vocal projects with a who’s who of artists, I will always hold the title of the first vocalist of Look-At-You Records.
So why did you pull this one back out? It’s been 14 years so I think it’s time for a revival, but how did you decide to release it with Mes and Guesthouse?
The idea for “Be With You 2014: The Remixes” came directly from Mes himself. He’s always been a huge fan of the record and has played the original for the past 14 years! He initially reached out to me in 2003 and sent me some of his mixes with the song in the mix. I instantly became a fan and kept up with him. A couple years ago he got back in touch with me and eventually asked how I would feel about a re-release with remixes. Without hesitation I agreed and I just couldn’t be happier that this song is getting a second life. It’s a bonus that Mes us such a well respected and loved DJ/Producer and he has built Guesthouse into a reputable label. I’m in great company.
How do you feel about the new remix?
I love the new remixes so much so that I can’t stop listening to them. I’ve already had the pleasure of performing the remix version live a couple times and should be doing a few more live performances if it soon. I enjoy the vibe, the energy and the feel of them and the support has been incredible. I must say thank you to everyone who supports my music and myself and please get yourselves ready. This is round 1 of the remixes with a second round coming soon!
“Be With You” (2014 Remixes) is available now from Traxsource.