Still Standing ‘From Dusk ‘Til Dawn’

Still Standing 'From Dusk 'Til Dawn'

The artist formerly known as Bobby Valentino returns with his 5th studio album

by Steve Rivers, October 30, 2012

Still Standing ‘From Dusk ‘Til Dawn’

Very few artists that begin their professional careers at a young age are fortunate to maintain relevance into their adult lives. Former Mista member Bobby Valentino is one of the lucky ones. With a slight name change to simply Bobby V, the Atlanta native is back with his fifth studio album entitled Dusk Till Dawn.

The ex-Disturbing Tha Peace singer sat with EBONY and spoke about his musical journey, his college experience, and much more.

EBONY: You came into the game at 16 years old, as a member of Mista. Now, you’re a solo artist on his fifth studio album. Talk to me about your experiences and what you’ve learned throughout your time in this industry.

Bobby V.: I’ve really seen the industry change. I was around when there was a lot of R&B music played, to the bare minimum of present day. I’ve had a chance to be a student of the game and now as an independent artist, I’m able to learn more of the business side of music. I feel like today’s more about the business of music, versus how good the music actually is.

I’ve been around during the time when people were selling 5 million records, to barely selling 500,000 – and they’re the hottest of the hot! I’ve just really seen the ins and outs of the game. But, I’m a survivor and I’m still here. I’ll just continue to keep grinding it out.

EBONY: In between your music career was a 4 year degree from Clark Atlanta University, along with a tryout for American Idol. Talk to me about those experiences and what made you decide to go to college in the middle of your music career.

BV: Both experiences were great – even me not making it on American Idol. I decided to go to college because as a group, we were working on our second album and it never came out. I had been out of school for so long, that I actually went back to the 12th grade. At that point, my parents played a huge factor in me enrolling to college. I earned my degree in Mass Communications with a focus in TV & Film.

Not making American Idol forced me to really go back to the drawing board and grind it out. That was the first season of the show, and I saw that I didn’t do a good job when I looked at the playback. My family really pushed me to try out, but once I made it passed the first round, I got so nervous! My nervousness prevented me from doing a good job. But, the overall experience was fun – being in front of Simon, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson was a great learning experience.

EBONY: Did missing the cut for American Idol affect your confidence as an artist?

BV: Nah, because it showed me that I needed to perfect my craft a little more. From that point, I began going to the studio every night. I started producing, I started doing beats – it showed me that I had to persevere. Fortunately, I stuck with it and landed in a better situation than if I would’ve been on the show.

EBONY: Talk to me about your new album Dusk Till Dawn.

BV: It’s pretty much a continuation of what I’ve done on my previous four albums. It’s real good R&B music – music that you can make love to from dusk till dawn. I actually co-produced on a few records and wrote all the records, as well. It’s difficult to really elaborate on it. I guess the only difference in this album is time. I’ve been able to travel more, see more, and really just embrace being a vet in the game.

I think I put 12 of my banging(est) songs on this album. I picked 12 bangers out of 60 or 70 songs recorded.

EBONY: What made you go so feature heavy with rappers on this album, and what were some of the recording sessions like?

BV: That’s what the people want. A lot of people want to see me work with a lot of different people, so I decided to really cater to the fans on this one.

The recording sessions were fun. K. Michele brought a lot of energy. Being in the studio with Gucci Mane was crazy. Red Café and [Lil] Wayne came down to record in Miami. Cassidy actually came down to Atlanta to record also. The entire process was fun because it was very hands-on. I like to be in the studio with the other artist. I like to be up close and personal, versus just sending them a song and have them recording.

It’s funny because I feel like I’ve worked with two different Wayne’s. I was one of the first R&B artists to collaborate with him, and he was just a rising star. Now, he’s this huge superstar! Believe it or not, I feel like he’s cooler now, than he was back then. You’d think it’d be opposite, but he’s a very real dude. He and I have a great chemistry – I love working with him.

EBONY: K. Michele found an avenue to promote her talents through reality TV in Love & Hip-Hop. Is reality TV something you’ve ever considered?

BV: When they edit TV, they can make a person look a certain way. K’s a real cool chick, and very down to Earth. I had a lot of fun recording with her. I’m looking forward to shooting the video for the record we recorded.

As far as I go, I don’t know. It’s possible. I’m actually working on a pilot with my family called Form School. It’s kinda like a reality show about my family and my family’s life. I’d never want to do something that’s degrading to me or what I stand for. A lot of people do those reality shows and they fall off afterwards because they’re depicted a certain way. If I do a show, I want to make sure it’s a good representation of me and what I stand for.

EBONY: What’s next for Bobby V?

BV: Aside from the reality show, I’m still working this album and working on a couple movies. I’ve done a few independent films – One with Ray J. and another called Should’ve Put A Ring On It. I’m also working on a clothing line and just trying to do as much as I can and continue working hard.

Steve Rivers has contributed to The Source, ESPN Rise and a host of other online publications. Follow him on Twitter: @TheKidSkoob.


Stay in the Know
Sign up for the Ebony Newsletter