Sometimes you have to let go of something you love to find it again. That's exactly what Royce Lovett did. For a year, the singer/songwriter stopped
listening to music.
"What I was hearing didn't inspire creativity," recalls Lovett, who also raps and plays guitar. "Everything talked about giving your life to Christ, which
is great. But what's after that? I needed something more. I was praying one night when God told me something I've been doing ever since-write for those who
know and write to those who don't."
Out of that conversation bloomed Lovett's self-described "lifestyle music": songs about the joy and pain of everyday life framed against a compelling
fusion of hip-hop, pop, rock, folk, reggae, Gospel and R&B. Mainstream music fans were introduced to the indie artist's progressive and invigorating
sound on his first Motown Gospel EP, 2015's Write It on the Wall. The five-song suite takes an honest look at living in a world seemingly spinning
out of control as on the anthemic title track/lead single. The mini-set also features the equally spirited-and empowering- follow-up, "Show Me Love."
"It's about being purposeful in your life," explains the 27-year-old. "Write It on the Wall speaks to love being the one way that we can change
With love still at the heart of his work, Lovett tackles more personal themes on his forthcoming Motown Gospel EP, LOVE WINS . Reuniting with producer/composer Nate Butler (Luther Vandross, Backstreet Boys), Lovett reflects on his life/career journey through five new
Drawing from Lovett's hip-hop roots, "Reach" uses a hard-driving drum beat in relaying the message to always "put your hands in the sky today / though your
dream seems miles away." The slower-paced "Go" explores the pressure of holding fast to the faith you have in yourself despite what friends and others may
say. The rollicking "That's Dat Jesus" embodies the fervor of the hymns Lovett's grandmother used to sing when he was younger, while the
track "I Wanna Love You" outlines the blueprint for winning at love and marriage. "Don't tell me we lost, 'cause I want to win," sings Lovett to his
significant other in a gliding tenor. "Love is hard but you've got to fight for what you want in the end."
Providing the through-line for LOVE WINS is the upbeat declaration "Freedom." Lovett wrote the song in response to the title
track of his debut EP. "Thought I was free, thought I was free," goes the refrain, "but I couldn't hear the voice that's locked inside of me. I want to be
free from bondage my brother /my friend / so we can dance again."
"That's my heart cry," adds Lovett. "I want everyone to be free so they can follow their dreams. Nothing can stop you if you're focused and purposeful."
Lovett began internalizing that message while growing up in Tallahassee, Florida. The youngest son of an elementary school teacher mother and city worker
father, he was very active in the local church where his parents worked respectively as worship leader and minister. Coming from a family that loves to
sing, it was no surprise when Lovett made music "my Plan A" at 14.
Honing his craft as a "hardcore hip-hop/gospel artist," the high-school graduate hit a crossroads in the mid-2000's. That's when he discovered he needed
something more to re-stoke his creative fire. After a year spent away from listening to music, Lovett embarked on what he calls "the musician thing,"
teaching himself to play acoustic guitar and sharpen his singing/rapping skills while broadening his musical scope.
"In trying to find myself, I began listening to insightful songwriters like Bob Dylan and Bob Marley," says Lovett. "Folk, rock, reggae … I fell in
love with all kinds of genres as I began crafting who I am musically and lyrically. That's why you hear so many different instruments and styles fused
inside of what I create."
A year's stint in college as a history major and a later job selling cell phones at Radio Shack only solidified Lovett's determination to seriously pursue
his music career. By 2009, the indie upstart had released his first album, Ought-ism. Over the course of the next five years, Lovett released two
more albums (Acoustic Incentive, My Hopeless Romance) and booked several tours of Europe before signing with Motown Gospel in 2014.
Now LOVE WINS, Lovett simply wants to do one thing: continue to bridge cultures through music. "I could care less what people
label my music," he says. "I'm just talking from my soul about life to the hipster, the hip-hop head or whoever, no matter the person's racial or cultural
background. I'm now doing what God called me to do: writing for those who know and writing to those who don't."