As an illustrious singer, songwriter and producer, Babyface has done just about everything you can do in the music business. But the ESSENCE Festival holds a special play in the Tender Lover’s heart. “The ESSENCE Festival is the festival to play at,” said Babyface today on the national radio show Ask, Talk & Listen with Leroy Jones, Jr. “Once you’ve done the ESSENCE Festival, it’s kind of like being in Jet magazine…You haven’t really made it, you ain’t really black until you’ve performed at the ESSENCE Festival.”
Babyface—who will return for the 2016 ESSENCE Festival, June 30-July 3 in New Orleans—is expecting to have a mutual lovefest with the masses of black women in attendance. “That’s my audience,” he said. “That’s who I’ve always written to and written for. And so it is heaven for me to play there in front of everybody, to get to relive and go through part of the memories of their life.
“Fortunately I’ve been in it for a long time and I’ve written for a lot of other folks, and so I feel like I’m kind of family being connected to everybody in that sense. And so that’s always great for whenever I do the show. I always go through a medley of songs that I’ve wrote and produced for everybody. It takes us down memory lane.”
Check out the full Ask, Talk & Listen with Leroy Jones, Jr. interview here.