Raphael Saadiq: From Heartbreak To Hitmaker
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Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Raphael Saadiq has been on the music scene for much of his life. The now 51-year-old toured with the late-great Prince in his late teens, started the hit-making trio Toni, Tony, Tone’ at the age of 21 and has produced hits for TLC, Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, John Legend, just to name a few. Not to mention, he was the music producer over the critically-acclaimed Netflix series, Luke Cage. Plus, remember “Cranes In The Sky” by Solange Knowles? It recently won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance. It was produced by Saadiq too. But looking at Raphael’s childhood, you would think he would have went down a different path.
Saadiq was born in Oakland, California, the second-youngest of 14 siblings and half-siblings. His early life was marked by tragedy; he experienced the deaths of several of his siblings as a young child. When Saadiq was seven years old, his brother was murdered. One of his brothers overdosed on heroin and another committed suicide because he was unable to deal with his addiction to the drug. His sister died as a result of a car crash during a police chase in a residential neighborhood.
“Music can shape you in many ways. I know firsthand,” explains Saadiq. “I’ve lost three brothers and a sister. My sister was hit by a car. A guy was running from a cop and the cop chased the kid into my sister’s car. She got permanent brain damage and we had to unplug her from the machine — actually, when I was recording that song, ‘It Never Rains In Southern California.’ So I still had to go back and make that record and I never really talked about it until years later. The only reason I spoke about it at that point was just to show people [that] you don’t have to be mad and put it in your records. Now, if you look back, you can feel me in these records. You can feel how it shaped me. You can hear the soul, you can hear the gut. You come see me at a show and you can feel all that stuff that I carry.”
Saadiq states that he does not want his music to be reflective of the tragedies he experienced, saying that “And through all of that I was making records, but it wasn’t coming out in the music. I did it to kinda show people you can have some real tough things happen in your life, but you don’t have to wear it on your sleeve.”
Now Raphael’s life is all about positive vibes and creating a positive daily routine. Here’s some of Raphael’s outward routines to keep him looking healthy.
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“I use a lot of coconut oil on my skin. And I like to have some type of natural deodorant. I’m using the Arm & Hammer baking soda one right now, but it’s the natural one. There are different kinds.”
In the shower, I like to use this line called…