A year has passed since then Ray J, Sammie, Bobby VAnd Pleasure P took the stage in a Verzuz opening show like no other. But viral memes and cultural classics weren’t the only outcomes of this performance. RSVP was also born on this day.
Ray J’s way of describing their collective is a “male band” and the “only group that are solo artists in a group”. They all credit Bobby V with the name — an acronym that highlights the artist names that each put them on the R&B map.
RELATED: Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V and Pleasure P rehearse for their first-ever photoshoot in response to their new group
Sammie describes himself and Bobby as laid-back, easygoing, and eccentric RSVP members. Ray J “what you see is what you get” and Pleasure P “don’t make things difficult” and keep the party going!
One thing becomes clear when RSVP joins TheShadeRoom.com Editor Cassandra Santiago in a virtual interview: these R&B icons are brothers who believe RSVP is meant to be.
“I’m learning in this group that it shouldn’t be structured, it shouldn’t be one plus one two. We were created and assembled from dysfunction and for some reason it just seems to work for us,” Sammie tells TSR.
In the months following the hit-for-hit battle, RSVP worked on their debut album. They spent the months of August and September locked up and laying the tracks. But her debut single “Money Everywhere” only premiered in December.
RSVP’s debut album is finished and Mr. “Nasty Time” is their official second single (listen exclusively)
And the album – although completed and eagerly awaited by fans – has still not been released. But the group assures TSR that the project is coming THIS summer. According to Sammie, fans can expect “eternal music.”
“We just have to really get the music out, really. “Money Everywhere” was just a teaser. We wanted something sexy, we wanted something bold because that’s what the group is all about. But as far as the records we did on the album go, we have something for everyone,” added Sammie. “We have love music, we have sex music, we have island music, we have a crossover record, we have a summer hit with Hitmaka. So it’s just about putting out the music and letting everything build on that. Our star power kept growing [us] over, which I appreciate because everything we’ve done has been lit up because they wanted to see us together, but once we put the music out it really puts it into perspective that we’re great as a group, as a collective.”
So what’s holding her back? Bobby V tells TSR it’s a combination of building a structure and handling the business side of music.
“In November we were just on the fringes, and over time we started to get more and more of that structure,” Bobby said. “Actually, the music business is the business of music. We’re just trying to make sure we get the deal done.” He added, “We’ve got a really great first album. I’m so ready to drop this album but I know we need to put out more music to show people we really mean business. We mean business, we have a good time when we’re together. We talk shit to each other and play around a lot, but we have a great album that P kind of orchestrated.”
As for the surprises of the project, Pleasure P says they have an Afro beats single called “Rock The Boat” that is “unexpected of anything.” [supporters] Usually I knew [them] for.”
Meanwhile, the group exclusively shared a snippet of their second single, “Mr. Nasty Time” with The Shade Room – another sexy record with raunchy 90’s/2000’s vibes.
You can find the exclusive first listening pleasure at the top of this article.
RSVP revitalized his group energy after performing at the i Love RnB Festival
When asked about their studio sessions, Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V and Pleasure P respond that it’s the “easy part”.
Our interview is messy in the best possible way – full of lighthearted remarks about Bobby’s love for his piano, laughter at Pleasure P’s persistence in dating, and Ray J showing off his horses before he quits early.
Bobby tells TSR’s Cassandra that the interview reflects how RSVP operates in the studio – “lots of talk and nonsense.” Then Ray J is quick to clarify that they are sometimes “uncut” and “scattered all over the place,” but have textured imperfections in their arrangement . The energy is “simply different,” they say.
The group members were reminded of their different moods as they performed I love the RnB festival End of May. After months of stray engagements for her male group, the festival reignited the spark that brought them together a year ago.
Bobby V said:
“It’s exciting, I left the group every other day, but when we were at the i Love RnB festival and walked out we all just banged it on and just had a good time. Because we did hostings together and stuff like that where we were just in the club, just having fun and just making songs. But when we actually performed the show at the i Love RnB Fest a few weeks ago I think it really reinvigorated us all and gave us all a renewed vision that this is something big and something that was being done at a big price can become high level. I feel like it can be bigger than anything else. I feel like there are no limits, so I’m excited about it.”
According to Ray J, minutes before they took the festival stage, there were two members down (Sammie and Bobby) and no rehearsal time was recorded.
Pleasure P suggested making the stage their party, so they did it together. And performance ATE – surprise and refocus the group.
“…I think what really surprised us all was this i Love RnB festival where we had never rehearsed and we were only five minutes away from the stage. We still didn’t know who would go through first, second or third. We never rehearsed the songs and didn’t know what to do. And we just decided to go out and do all the songs together as a group…it just became like this event, like this party,” said Ray J. He added, “It gave us the energy to go back out there and really do it like to unwind.” I felt like we saw a new vision as we all got on stage and sang together. [i Love RnB Festival] It was really a start for us, like getting back together.”
And in July they return to the festival stage. The headliners this time were the PR representative of the festival, Kalisha Pereraconfirmed to TSR.
RSVP is for the culture and fraternity NOW, despite what critics say
There are no leaders in the RSVP. Role player, of course. But overall, the men agree that they are equal partners. They are past phase one of balancing their solo experience with their group experience and are now in phase two of releasing music.
Why now? For fun, culture, fraternity and the state of R&B. Make boy bands cool again? Yes, that too.
“We also do it for the culture. I feel like R&B is dying, and actually R&B in general, we don’t collaborate, we don’t do anything, we don’t hang out,” said Bobby V. “So we’re trying to set the tone and change the way R&B is viewed . You see, rap is so big and hip because all the boys fuck each other. They hit on each other in the studio and hang out. R&B people are like, “Oh I’m bigger than him, oh I’m better than him.”
“I’ve been a solo performer my entire career and being with these guys allows me to discover a different side of myself that I didn’t even know I embodied until Verzuz. These are all my brothers. I have genuine love and respect for each individual… We have an opportunity to bring back the boy band or the man band and make them cool again. We’re superstars ourselves, but together we’re like an Avengers R&B group. But I enjoy it, that’s why I said yes, because I really love it [these] People. I admire them and consider them brothers. For me it’s all about the fun aspect. It’s easy to lose fun in this music business because there are so many different obstacles and hurdles to overcome. RSVP is just drop in and have fun and I appreciate that at this point in my life.”
Photo credit: Summer Nicole Photography
If you’re wondering what’s different about Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V and Pleasure P this time around, you’ll agree it’s next to nothing. They already have the fans, the talent and the experience. So RSVP is all of them together and “on steroids,” says Sammie.
“It’s not that different any more, it’s just magnified. You have the awesomeness that Pleasure brings, the awesomeness that Bob brings, the awesomeness that I am, the awesomeness that Ray J provides, and you pack that into a little gumbo. It’s really fantastic music. I think that’s why the album came out so cool and effortless, because individually we’re ready to perform, ready to sing live, ready to write our music, write our verses and bring our gravy, and that is basically the mix of RSVP. So I wouldn’t say it’s different, it’s just steroids. For all of us there is a different synergy, a different energy, a different magnetic force that we can neither explain nor plan for. That just happens when the four of us get together.”
Meanwhile, Bobby V said they were “bringing back real R&B like the R&B of the ’90s and 2000s” rather than trying to keep up with today’s rap influences on their genre.
And RSVP doesn’t worry about the critics, even those with “old” comments. Pleasure P says they focus on who loves and supports them.
“I just care about the people who care about me and us and what we have achieved. There’s so many people trying to take it away from us, calling us old heads and all sorts of things, and we’re still young. And we’ve done our own thing, we’ve led a whole era, and we’re still out here doing what we love. We are blessed to be here.”