B. Howard has displayed an exceptional career internationally and nationally as a singer, songwriter, and producer. He has a plethora collaborations with some of the top artists in the game such as Ne-Yo, Trey Songz, and Chris Brown and has continually exemplified that his talent can take him to the top of the charts.
TUC had the pleasure of speaking to him about his music, inspirations, and what is next in store for his artistry.
Breanna: When did you first realize that you were passionate about music?
Howard: I kind of first realized that I was passionate about music when I was a kid, playing around with shoe boxes and little keyboards. I had a lot of fun doing it.
Breanna: You just released a new single, “Night and Day 3.0/ Girl You Gotta Know.” What were the motive behind this song and the creative process?
Howard: Well with music and stuff I’ve been creating for a lot of people like Ne-Yo, and my music, in particular, has been mostly pop and dance. I felt like I wanted to do something special for my roots by giving back to the R&B community. And I love Al B Sure! He’s one of my mentors. I thought it’d be a great thing to do sonically, to recreate this song, to make it my own and at the same time give something back to that community. The music community that I helped to create.
Breanna: Do you have any musical influences besides yourself?
Howard: I love Drake, Lorde, and I really like what Cardi B is doing. They’re all great.
Breanna: Do you have a specific creative process when writing songs and producing?
Howard: It varies between creating songs or writing for people. When I’m creating “Night and Day” it started off with my friend Des and I talking, creating the track, and coming up with the concept. It was actually three different steps. It started off at my house, the next I’m looking in Vegas over the city and coming up with ideas. Then, I go in the studio and knock it out. I really don’t write on paper. I’ll just go into the booth and say what I feel.
Breanna: You have amazing accomplishments such as being number 11 on the Billboard charts. How do you feel you have evolved from then to now?
Howard: I feel like now most of my stuff came from the fact that I’m able to do more with my feelings, and more of a mixture instead of doing what I know how to do. My first record,’Dance Floor’, I created something that I loved and was me, and I knew how to do it. Now I was able to take those things to that extent in a different way with “Night and Day,” which was a cool step. Every piece of my music and who I am evolves.
Breanna: Just recently this year you made acting debuts in the Lifetime film “Tales of Two Coreys” as well as staring in an animated show in China based on yourself. How did this come about and when did you decide to dabble in acting?
Howard: So first with “A Tale of Two Coreys,” Corey is a friend of mine, and we both have our relationships and stuff in our family. Because of that , he thought I’d be the best person to play it. I was like, it’ll be fun. It was something that I felt was dear to me. For the cartoon, my fan base in Asia where I started is really, really big, and they happened to show me some ideas and concepts through some meetings over the months which I thought it was great. They came up with something beautiful. I love the character and the drawing.
Breanna: What advice would you give to somebody who wants to pursue a musical career or a career in a creative field?
Howard: Call the stakes, work hard, follow your directions, follow your heart and be able to change. There’s nothing wrong with changing and growing.
Breanna: What else besides music and creativity inspires you and gets you going?
Howard: I love having fun and going out to movies and traveling. If I’m in LA, I’ll go to this place called Fig and Olives, and I also love going to New York and Paris. All these things inspire me. You get different feels for different locations and experiences.
Breanna: Is there anybody or anything that you would want to attribute your success to today?
Howard: There are so many people I can give credit to my success because you can never do things alone. You have to have the will, but everybody’s played a great part in shaping and being a part of my career such as being able to carry me personally through things that have happened in life. One person who I really appreciate in my career has been Gerald Levert. We kind of come from the same place and he gave me one of my first shots. He comes from a musical family and has combated stigmas he encountered which I really appreciated.
Breanna: What else is in store for B. Howard? What else can we expect?
Howard: Touring and creating for more people. I love creating for others. I’m looking forward to the tour which I have a lot of incredible surprises in store. I’m also moving back to LA just to make sure that I’m there, getting the best dancers, musicians, video team, and working with others at the same time.
Breanna: What does true urban culture mean to you?
Howard: The culture evolves as well as the music evolves. And at the same time, your music has to have substance. Partying music is great, but when you have party music that has some kind of substance inside it, lyrical content, that makes something really cool and really for the culture. Like Kendrick Lamar. He’s one of those guys who has fun stuff but substance in his lyrics. SZA is another one because she has storylines in her songs and a great voice. Urban is not limited to color; it’s more substance in the music that has that urban feel.