The Way I See It → Raphael Saadiq (2008)
“If you go back to the beginning of the Tony’s that soul sound has always been there. I knew we had to make those middle ground records when we were first starting. On The Way I See It I wanted to tell people, ‘This is the way I really see and hear things.’ This is who I’ve really been the whole time. It’s just that I had to dummy down at times to be a part of the business. Some of the coolest guys in the world to me were the Temptations, the Supremes and Eddie Kendricks down to Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes and those great Stax Records artists. I wish that I could have actually been in the ‘60s driving Cadillacs and making music with those artists.
I saw The Way I See It as a way to make my own road; not just taking Motown songs and making it my own. It was about making my own avenue, my own songs and my own feel. You could never be Motown or Stax. And I really didn’t sound like them, but musically I knew how to play in that style. Growing up In Oakland I played for older cats when I was 13-years-old who wore those same suits and played that same music. So I really didn’t have to go to Detroit.
People called The Way I See It retro, but I look at the word retro as attempting to be something. And I wasn’t trying…I’ve represented that soul sound way before I got a record deal. It was 100 percent important to capture the album live onstage. But that was the easiest part. It was harder to put it on record and get it out on the marketplace. I still had to walk the audience through the songs when we did them live at the shows. We would play ‘Love That Girl’ and people would be like, ‘Can you play ‘Anniversary?’ [laughs] And of course I did play ‘Anniversary,’ but at the same time when I came back to Washington D.C. I watched the whole audience sing ‘Love That Girl.’ That was a big deal for me on that tour. When the whole crowd was singing for me that’s when I knew I was on to something with The Way I See It.”