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EXCLUSIVE: Avant Talks New Album 'Face the Music' and Honoring R&B Greats

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Avant
Avant
Photo Credit: Avant's Official Website

R&B veteran Avant debuts a brand new record for fans today—just in time for Valentine's Day. Entitled Face the Music, he pays homage to the great voices of music in a collection of songs about life, love and more. ESSENCE.com caught up to Avant to chat about his seventh studio album, what it says about his music experience and if he makes love to his own sweet tunes.

ESSENCE.com: Why did you decide to name your album Face the Music?
AVANT: At one point, I think everybody should face the music. It's also about paying homage to the greats before us. There's a lot of music that's out right now and it's like, did you put thought into that? Is it real? Would it be appreciated by the greats? That's why I wanted to title the album Face the Music.

ESSENCE.com: If you had to pick any one song for fans to listen to off your album, what would it be and why?
AVANT: I wrote every record on the album. Everything is a different moment in a different period. The song, "You and I," it's talking about love. It's not talking about hurting somebody to sleep with them, it's not talking about sex. It's talking about the whole genuine aspect of love. I wrote this record for the people. The people that's going through things in life, whether it's good or bad. It's an extremely solid record.

ESSENCE.com: You've been in the music industry for over 10 years. How does this album speak to your resume?
AVANT: Yes! It really does. From the beginning album to this album it shows so much growth. I have more to talk about. I've been in love. I've had kids. There's a lot going on. The vocabulary expands deeper. With songs like "Gratitude" it pays homage to what music is itself. Every year you should show growth in your product.

ESSENCE.com: You mentioned you were influenced by a lot of great R&B artists. What are you doing to uphold the legacy of R&B?
AVANT: I'm always doing my research. It's just working hard. Just letting everybody know I don't have to do Marvin Gaye-ish type songs. I can bring that era to 2012 and do it the way Avant would do it. There are a lot of ways you can attack these things. I want them to know I have respect for those people. It's a little taste of what they would sound like at this time with an Avant feel.

ESSENCE.com: With Valentine's Day around the corner, we have to ask, do you make love to your own music?
AVANT: No! It's so funny because people think I do. I really don't because when I listen to my music, I'm my worse critic. I'm thinking of what I could have done differently. Even a record like "My First Love" that was done years ago, when I listen to the music, I'm still critiquing it. So if I'm doing my business, it won't ever be right. So I leave that alone.

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