Last weekend, Raphael Saadiq opened up his wildly huge North Hollywood studio doors to our weary, sunburned selves. Tony! Toni! Toné! has been kind to this sensitive, soulful man. Amongst the pile of cool treasures amassed were: a fish tank, a guitar signed by Parliament-Funkadelic and lots of tie-dye and incense in this one room where he writes his songs. Raphael just finished mixing his latest album, done the old fashioned way (the only way, as he puts it), with vintage guitars, drum kits, and yes, Stevie Wonder. Right now, he’s at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, pre-screening his soon-to-be-released album to a group of 200 lucky ladies—the idea being that women talk, and talking is promotion. But before he left, we snuck a peek at the inner workings of his dark recording studio on a sunny afternoon.
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