Blending Soul, Funk and Hip-Hop, Musiq Soulchild has coined the twist of music that most musicians rarely have. His one of a kind music style is very well received that one week after the release of his album “Luvanmusiq”, Billboard Hot 200 crowned it at the highest spot. The album was sold 149,000 copies in the first week and consequently broke the 100,000 perimeter that has haunted US albums sales for four consecutive weeks. At the same time, his first single titled “B.U.D.D.Y.” constantly placing itself in the Top 5 of Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart for 16 weeks while scoring the airplay gainer. Through “B.U.D.D.Y.” he reintroduced the ‘soul’ part of him that he had abandoned for more than 5 years. He finally deserves to be called the ‘child of soul’ again.
Little is known of Musiq’s childhood, but for sure he has always been musical since he was a kid. He was born as Talib Johnson on Sept 16, 1977 in the middle of a strict Muslim family. He was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania along with his 8 brothers and 1 sister.
influence from the jazzy swing of Billie Holiday, the lively gospel tunes of Patti LaBelle and finally the soul and funk vibe of Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown. Instead of engaging himself in High School, he chose to attend several open mics that allowed him to perform the raw talent. As a teenager, he had attained Wilhelmina showcases and also Philly’s such as Five Spot. Under the management of Mama’s Boys, Musiq later on gained the attention of DefJam Records and his real venture had begun since.
In 2000 he released “Aijuswanaseing”, his debut album that instantly received praise from critics and garnered him recognition among fellow musicians. His album sale meanwhile, had gone through a mild reception at the first few months after the release date due to poor promotion. Gradually, through exposures and recommendations from US urban radios and Black Entertainment Television, the album sold a total of more than 1 million worldwide. The first single from this album titled “Just Friends (Sunny)” made it to be the soundtrack of Eddie Murphy‘s “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps”. Not only gaining popularity through one song, but he also hit the spot through other singles such as “Love” and “Girl Next Door”. Both songs along with “Just Friends (Sunny)” received a wide exposure in US and frequently played in urban and urban contemporary radio stations.
In 2001, he dropped the moniker Souldchild and introduced himself in the sophomore album as “Musiq” only. The album “Juslisen” (2002) became Musiq’s very personal and spiritual record that repeated the success story of the former one. It hit the stores on May 7, 2002 and two weeks later it rocketed to #1 in the Billboard 200 chart. Musiq’s ignorance of linguistic rules was shown here through the titles of the songs that he compacted into one word such as “Caughtup”, “Previouscats” and “Ifiwouldaknew”. All Music Guide eventually gave the album 4.5 stars and though didn’t sell as much as “Aijuswanaseing”, the album still went platinum at 1,2 million through singles “Halfcrazy” and “Dontchange”.
Getting busy, his work was not solely for himself. He provided the vocal for The Roots‘ “Break You Off” and also Carlos Santana‘s “Nothing at All”. Not only backing up, he contributed an equal portion through the duet with British soul singer Beverly Knight in “Beautiful Contradiction”.
In 2003 an LP titled “Soulstar” was out and presented single “Forthenight” and “Whoknows” that soared in Billboard R&B chart at #18 and 23 respectively. As LP, the piece enjoyed a sale of 800,000 units and therefore coined the gold certification.
After 3 records, Musiq moved from Def Soul Records to AtlanticRecords and restored the stage name “Soulchild”. He took his time at this moment to really prepare the material for the next album. He released “Luvanmusiq” on March 13, 2007 that really took a whole lot of higher level in his creativity ground.