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CLOSE’s “Base Level” column features the hottest new artists we’re buzzing about. Before they make it to the summit of superstardom, we spot them at base level–the beginning of their hopeful journey to the top. This week’s newbie is ReVaughn Brown, Ne-Yo latest vocal discovery.

If you have ever been around Ne-Yo, chances are you have seen RaVaughn Brown. She’s the gorgeous young woman with a fierce hair cut in the near distance. The one whose vocals are delicate and fresh. RaVaughn is the voice behind the song “Same Old Bulls**t” on the “Think Like A Man” soundtrack.

I was introduced to the California native, around the same time Ne-Yo was promoting “Red Tails.” She and Adrienne Bailon hung close in the eating area of Phillipe Chow, for an intimate celebratory dinner. She was with her mother, who looked more like her sister. Both ladies were equally respectful and kind. We sat down and talked over orange glazed chicken and sautéed string beans.

She was a delight, just like the second time she and I sat down at the Norwood. During our dialogue, I learned about her chance meeting with Ne-Yo musical inspirations and the hunger of an upcoming artist!

Here’s the basics on RaVaughn:

Age: A lady never tells…

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Musical Influences: Lauryn Hill. Her album “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill” made me want to be a singer. That’s when I decided I wanted to sing professionally. Anita Baker because I play the piano too. Aretha Franklin, The Clark Sisters.

What does your music sound like?

Hmm. What we’re trying to do is get back to the way music used to be. That old school Mary J. when you could feel what people were talking about or saying something. You felt like they’re talking to me, like that’s my story–that kind of music. “What’s the 411,” like that.

How did you get your start?

It. kinda depends. With Ne-Yo, I met him after doing a demo for a producer I used to work with. I had done tons of demos for different producers and writers in LA. And a producer I worked a couple of times, he called me like ‘Where are you? I really need you to come and do this demo for me. I know it’s really late, but it will be really quick. Please.” I didn’t know who the writer was, but I said “I’ll come do it.” I walk in and the writer was Ne-Yo I’m like I was so glad I didn’t say no. It was amazing. I went to do a demo for another artist, I did the demo and he was like ‘Hey, I’m gong to give you my number. I’m going to call you for some other demos.’ And I’m like ‘He’s not going to call me.’ Before I got to my car, leaving that session he texted me like: ‘Store me. I’m going to be hitting you up.’ He called me for two more demos, then a week later he texted me like ‘What is it? You Crazy? What’s going on?’ and I’m like ‘Huh. What do you mean?’ He’s like ‘we’ll you sang for all these people, I did background for like Brandy, Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole and he’s like: ‘All the record labels and executives know who you are how come no body has ever tried to sign you? There has to be a reason.’ I was like ‘I’ve been presented with things before but I wasn’t comfortable or it fell through.’ And, he said: ‘Well I think you have so much potential and I really enjoy working with you and we have really good chemistry. Want to try working?’ and I’m like “Of Course!’

Your Big Break?

After signing with Compound U, which is a base record production team, which is Ne-Yo and Tango…I recorded maybe 10 or 12 songs and we chose the best four songs to give to Columbia and I had my first meeting with Columbia and I didn’t do a showcase or anything, they just loved the sound of my voice. They were like “We’re very interested. We don’t have anything like you here!”


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BASE LEVEL: RaVaughn Brown Is The Next “It” Girl  was originally published on