Photo Credit: Claire Fagin
Written By Kelly Holm
Four years ago, Reggie Becton exchanged the East Coast for the West, and now he aims to take the industry by storm with his old-school R&B.
“2017 was the year something changed in me and I knew it was my destiny to have a career in music,” he says of his rise. “My first show as “Reggie Becton” was at the iconic Troubadour venue… I was really nervous because… I [was] opening for Daley… and it was sold out!”
He’s been gaining plenty of exposure since then. Becton has two EPs under his belt, Phases: A Conceptual EP and My Beanie’s Orange, the latter of which contains his latest single “Y.O.U.” Becton says the song was inspired by the Netflix show You, a thriller series that explores the line between love and obsession.
“After binging the first season, I wrote the song, and then after seeing the season two trailer, me and my team… came up with the treatment,” he said. “We really wanted to make something that encompassed the gut-wrenching and dark tone of the song. We also wanted to play with the idea of having the show… from a black man’s lens.”
The tune’s lyrics deal with passion in all of its emotional forms.
“I know my temper’s short/But I long for you/Just think about the stupid shit/That we’ve been through,” he sings. “It’s funny, love and hate/Can have a similar hue/Stripped down/All the way to the bruise.”
Becton also has a mixtape called California in the works. Though no release date for the full project is slated yet, he promises that singles will be available later in the year, as he’s constantly scribbling lyrics onto paper and taking them to the studio.
“[ California ] will be the next official project I will release,” he said. “I like to tell people I am not writing this project, I am living it… it tells my story for the last four years, the ups, the downs, and more.”
Musically, Becton’s influenced by classic R&B greats like Prince and Stevie Wonder and more modern sensations like Brandy and Kehlani. His personal values, however, also inform a great deal of his work. He aims to combat toxic masculinity and encourage men to be open about their feelings.
“When I make music, I hope my male listeners become more expressive with their feelings [and] emotions. I hope they feel empowered to tackle conversations, situations, problems and anything else in life,” he said. “I hope women listeners learn more about the male psyche in hopes to fix the disconnect found in millennial dating relationships.”
One such song is “Naturally,” found on My Beanie’s Orange . In it, Becton acknowledges his own struggles with emotional vulnerability.
“Cause naturally/I’m not the type of guy to say what’s on my mind/And naturally/I’m not the type of guy to put it on the line,” he admits. “Now you can’t even look in my eyes/And you can’t seem to remember the times/That I showed ya/Stood there as my feelings poured/Hoping nobody saw.”
He is transparent about his personal struggles within the industry, however. When one is on the come up, self-doubt can admittedly be draining.
“It is so easy to feel inferior and to constantly doubt yourself,” he says. “The journey of artistry is mentally taxing and difficult, but if you do not have the right people around you, supporting and empowering you to be great, you won’t feel great… I take any compliment to heart and truly appreciate all the support I get.”
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Watch Reggie’s Music Video For “Y.O.U”