R&B singer Noel Gourdin has definitely made a mark for himself in the music industry. With three albums under his belt, the independent R&B artist who describes his music as “soulful and honest,” has taken the steps to make his dreams a reality.
Most notable for his 2007 hit song “The River,” Noel’s music has evolved over the years as he is focused on staying true to himself and finding that comfort as an artist. “The music that I make, I call it retro-relevant. It has that retro and old feel, but it still has the concepts and ability to have younger folks gravitate to it as well,” says Noel. His dream collaboration, dead or alive, would be with Marvin Gaye, whose music Noel describes as “timeless,” and also provides that soulful feeling that he relates back to with his own music. As he has grown as an artist, Noel has learned not to be ashamed of the music that is within him to make.
When creating songs that embody a real and natural feel like “Heaven Knows” and “Beautiful,” Noel brainstorms a concept that people can relate to, or distinguishes a strong melody that will stick in listeners’ heads. From there, it’s all about the honesty and respectfulness that his music puts forth, which he hopes is what his music will say about him.
In relation to other R&B artists out right now, Noel believes he stands out in various ways. “I’m not doing something just to make a quick buck, or trying to make headlines as far as tabloids and stuff like that. I’m just a honest artist… I love the music that I make. I think I stand out because a lot of the spirituality in each and every record that I make, and the concepts that I come up with, they’re stories that a lot of people can relate to, and it’s real. I would say my vocal tone as well is different.”
At one point, Noel was signed with Sony, but now as an independent artist, he enjoys the creative freedom he has. “That creative freedom is great. The tougher part is the capital to put behind what you believe in. But now it’s great because you have to invest in yourself. You might not have the capital you want, but it’s all about making those small steps to be able to make those big strides,” says Noel. Working independently has also made it easy for him to stay true to himself. When offered a deal with other major labels, he turned those opportunities down because they wanted him to change up his style, which he believed would cause him to lose who he was as an artist.
As for Noel’s ultimate goal, his focus is on continuing to make good music. “I’ve always been adamant about making an album that is quality across the board. It is quality music…it’s not something that seems like it was just thrown together to pan an album around 2 strong records. I want to be known as that artist that makes quality music.”
Although there is not yet a due date, a third album is in the works and fans can expect some great features. “I’m really excited…right now we’re making a lot of great strides and a lot of great records for this next project. I’m working with a lot of great folks to make it special, because I’ve never really done a lot of duet work and features on my last album.”
by Deidra Brown