R&B sensation Bobby Valentino knew that music was his destiny at a very young age and like every true artist was driven by the need to express himself through song. Citing influences by artists such as Marvin Gaye, Anita baker, Jodeci and Boyz II Men, Valentino was inspired by their talents to further realize his dreams of one day becoming an entertainer. In addition, platforms such as musical programs in school and singing in the curch choir throughout his childhood and young adult years would set the stage and launch Valentino in the front ranks of superstardom.
After a hugely successful debut album in 2005, Bobby Valentino returns to the spotlight with the release of his sophomore offering, "Special Occasion," released on DTP/Island Def Jam. Showcasing his vocal talents through a 14-track masterpiece, the album is beautifully balanced with harmonious, sexy, melodious ballads and mid-tempos synonymous with Valentino's signature sound.
"Every song on this album is for a Special Occasion, whether you're by yourself, going to the club or with that special somebody you love," explains Valentino, who also executive-produced the album.
Co-writing more than three quarters of the new album, Valentino worked alongside award winning hit makers such as Rodney Jerkins, Sean Garrett, Tim & Bob, Delite, Bryan Michael Cox and Dre & Vidal. On the album's buzz single, a Sean Garrett produced track, titled "Wreck" Valentino is heard singing and smoothly rhyming over a catchy, up tempo beat. Following the success of "Wreck" Valentino quickly introduced the first officiail single from the album, a Rodney Jerkins produced ballad titled "Turn The Page", a heartfelt and emotional song about trust, love and taking chances in a relationship.
"I wanted to see how other producers viewed me as an artist," he explains. "That's one reason that made me want to work with a variety of producers, step outside the box, and create a classic R&B album with a Valentino twist."
Indeed, Valentino's signature sound is heard on the classic remake of "Soon As I Get Home," by legendary singer, Babyface. "My whole inspiration for this album was to bring R&B back to its roots," says Valentino. "Soon As I get Home" is one of those classic songs that will forever resonate with true music lovers."
On a special track produced by Tim & Bob, dedicated to Valentino's female fans, titled "Tired Of Being Alone", Valentino sings an up tempo yet melodious ballad that speaks on his need to find that special someone. On this song, Valentino explains how he must be careful with his heart and is hesitant to overextend himself emotionally. It's a vulnerable song that provides an intimate look into Valentino's psyche.
"As an artist, sometimes you have to open yourself up so that people can really get to know you," he reveals. "When fans feel that personal connection to you, they want to learn more about you and are more inclined to purchase your album. On this track, I wanted to let the ladies know I'm tired of being alone and there's a reason. All those reasons are in that song."
Although classic R&B ballads are included on most of the album, Valentino also delivers club banger, "Checking For Me", produced by Insomniax. On this song, Valentino paints a scene where he and a lady toy with the idea of speaking to each other from across the room. "Checking For Me" is one of those tracks you can pimp in the car or move to in the club" says Valentino. "The fellas will know where I'm coming from in this song on instances when they notice a girl in a club and hesitate before making their move."
Discovered while singing on the bus, Bobby Valentino first made his mark as the lead singer in the hit teen group, Mista. As a new found member of the Organized Noise Family, Bobby learned firsthand how great music was made from icons such as Outkast, TLC, and Goodie Mob. In 1996 the group released their self-titled debut album and produced chart topping single, "Blackberry Molasses," which still remains a classic to this day. A second unreleased album was recorded with hit makers, Tim & Bob and Delite, but creative differences split the group. Shortly thereafter, Valentino decided to return to his studies and enrolled as a communications major at Clark Atlanta University. While in school, Valentino continued to record in his free time in hopes of one day returning to the stage.
After earning his degree in 2003, Valentino returned to the studio fulltime. By chance, a demo wound up in the hands of multi-platinum recording artist Ludacris. Immediately impressed by his talents, Ludacris and his business partner, Chaka Zulu (president of DTP) signed Valentino as the first R&B artist on Disturbing Tha Peace Records. Soon after, Valentino was re-introduced to the world as a solo artist and featured on the hit single, "Pimpin All Over The World" off of Ludacris' multi-platinum selling album "The Red Light District" in 2004.
Shortly after, In April 2004, DTP/Island Def Jam released Valentino's highly anticipated debut album "Disturbing Tha Peace Presents Bobby Valentino" which debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B charts and sold over 180,000 units in its first week. "Disturbing Tha Peace Presents Bobby Valentino" went on to boast sales of over 850,000. Additionally, Valentino garnered nominations from the 37th Annual Image Awards for Outstanding New Artist, Soul Train Nominations for Best R&B/Soul Single, Male and Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist. Later on that year, Valentino toured with Bow Wow, Omarion, and Marques Houston on the highly successful Scream Tour.
Currently learning how to play the piano and working on his new line of Bobby V jeans for women, Valentino has no plans of slowing down but he does want us to know that music iss till his first love. "As long as my fans keep buying my albums, I will continue to offer them quality music," says Valentino. "So many artists today are straying away from real R&B music and on this new album I'm going to give my fans a taste of what they've been missing."
This album is indeed a Special Occasion for Bobby Valentino - and music lovers everywhere.