In a well-lit penthouse studio overlooking the skyscrapers of New York City, R&B singer Dwele held a listening session to offer industry insiders a taste of his fifth studio album, Greater Than One.
As champagne traveled around the room, Dwele introduced the album track-by-track, while also mixing and mingling with the crowd, managing to explain motivations behind certain picks on the LP. Dwele keeps the momentum going with Greater Than One, sporting the classic neo-soul sound and feel that made him a talent to watch in the first place.
What makes Dwele one of the best at what he does is that he stays true to what he does well, and his loyal fans have remained at his side all along the journey. It's soul music - and singing about love never hurt anybody.
In 2007, Dwele appeared on Kanye West's Graduation hit, "Flashing Lights", and fans again were seduced by the smooth sounds of this crooner. Though he mentioned during the evening that he'd love to collaborate with Kanye again, nothing has been set in stone. His new album, however, features appearances from Raheem DeVaughn on "What You Gotta Do", along the "first daughter of soul," Lalah Hathaway.
It's not the first time DeVaughn and Dwele collaborated, as he lent his vocals on 2010's "Dim The Lights", a fan favorite, which is what brought them back to the studio again.
As the night progressed, tracks were played without many introductions, as Dwele became entrapped in the moment of attention, and industry attendees chatted, laughed, and enjoyed the complimentary open bar provided by Red Bull.
There's a track titled "Obey", where Dwele admits, "I haven't read the book, but someone listened to this song and said it reminded them of 50 Shades of Grey". At least here, you don't have to read the book to enjoy the song - "Obey" is the audio book report.
The takeaway is that Dwele's "Old School" sensibilities and musicianship are sorely needed on the modern, R&B scene these days. Thankfully, his Greater Than One is set for release on August 28.