For the past ten years, Oxford resident and Ole Miss graduate Silas Reed has been known as the lead man of Silas Reed & Da Books but has now dropped the books to become Silas.Reed. Reed has released his first album, bearing his name as a solo artist, and Reed is ready to share his sound.
“This is my introduction to the world as a recording artist,” Reed said. “The work I’ve done with Silas Reed & Da Books felt more like what it is to be a musician, someone who does what they’re paid to do. Now as an artist I feel like I can truly develop my own style. An artist to me is someone who is a link to the population from whatever it is that inspires them. Being on my own is important to me because I can have my own sound, and I’m not just floating in the wind.”
After the band had suffered an identity crisis near its end, Reed wanted to ensure that, as a solo artist, he had a distinct sound. Now working as a solo artist, Reed recognizes how important it is to develop an identity and wants to learn from his past experiences.
“Whenever we began to change our style because the payout was higher, that’s when I knew we were musicians, not artists. People kept telling us we need to be specialized, and that’s what I want Silas.Reed to be. I want to get out there and find my audience, rather than chase a pay day,” Reed said. “Starting out as a solo artist is like being reincarnated. I’m a new artist, but I know the tricks of the trade that I didn’t know when Silas Reed & Da Books got started.”
The album was released during a performance at the Elbow Room in Chicago on December 8. Reed has made several trips to Chicago and has his sights set on continuing to expand his brand.
“Whenever I go to a big city for a performance, I want to have a new record for them because that’s how people will remember you. If I show love to these cities, I hope they show me love back,” Reed said. “I want to do everything I can to become a global artist, and I can only do that by building an audience in each city I play in.”
Silas.Reed is an R&B album with an emphasis on family. Reed has used voicemails of the people closest to him to introduce songs and influence the lyrics.
“I took voicemails and allowed them to open up tracks, added baselines and vocals. I narrated a lot of verses on the album which really allowed these stories to be told through the songs, which I am really happy with, and it’s a beautiful thing.”
With a focus on his family the album was completed, and when it came time for the release, Reed wanted to make a splash. He decided on Chicago, and while making arrangements to perform, he found a cousin that he never knew he had.
“I’m in Oxford making the record and made the decision to do the release in Chicago, and all of a sudden I find family up there after taking a leap of faith, it’s incredible,” Reed said. “When I got there she made me perform for them. You know Chicago’s a tough place, so they won’t back you unless they know you’re legit, so after I auditioned for them, they made some calls and next thing I knew we were performing at the Elbow Room.”
Silas.Reed is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play and Youtube. You can also find all of the tracks from the new album, and links to Reed’s social media on his website Silasreed.com.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.