Material: As the 16-year-old lead singer of a pop trio, artist The Reasn was once on the verge of signing a lucrative contract with a major label. But the taste of fame and fortune suddenly eluded his tongue. Due to unexpected turmoil within his band, the recording contract was voided before he could sign it. This spearheaded a series of events that resulted in a brief stint of homelessness, a daring move from New York to Los Angeles, a national tour with B.o.B. and his metamorphosis into an envelope-pushing solo artist. The Reasn has now synced his rock & roll, hip-hop and R&B influences with the electro-pop elements produced by Joei Jo and Issac. Together these three songwriters have created a working relationship that The Reasn compares to The Neptunes.
Musicianship: The liberalistic boundaries of alternative R&B served as an accommodating platform for the experimental essence of The Reasn during his performance at Live at Eric’s. His atypical approach to composing different variations of soul music makes his musicality comparable to artists such as FKA Twigs, Frank Ocean and Miguel. The Reasn sings in a vocal tone similar to Jussie Smollett, while his vocal range covers nearly three octaves, like the late Freddie Mercury from Queen. If The Reasn can master a spectacular instrument like the electric guitar, it could help maximize the entertainment value of his live shows.
Performance: The Reasn performed within within the urban music scene, just as Prince, the confines of a small and intimate setting. His black nail polish and genre-bending fashion sense appeared to rouse the interest of his spectators, as the sound of his music navigated through their senses. The artist concluded his set with a ballad called “Blue Flame,” a contemporary love song decorated in soul and rock, like “Purple Rain” by Prince.
Summary: By his own account, The Reasn intends to strongly push the stylistic boundaries of urban music, much like the exploits of Grace Jones and Santigold during their heydays. Hence, the notion of adding a dramatic component to the character of his live shows may help his cause. As an independent artist, The Reasn has already generated nationwide fanfare and the approval of several mainstream musicians. So it may not be long before the story of how he has created a distinctive brand of alternative R&B becomes a successful blueprint for up-and-coming musicians.