In “Love Lives,” pop singer Raph Solo boldly declares that he is no less equal than any other person for who he is or who he loves.
“I have worked very hard to gain the self-respect and acceptance I enjoy today,” he explains. “It’s been a difficult journey but I’m finally at a point where I know that I don't need anyone’s approval to feel comfortable in my own skin.”
Written and produced by Solo, “Love Lives” is an R&B, modern pop groove; melodic with an edgy tech feel. Sonically, its very different from Solo’s previous tracks, and for good reason. Solo has evolved since his last album, Good Morning London, and “Love Lives” reflects his current state of artistry.
“I wanted to take my sound onto the streets and into the clubs,” he says. “These days, more and more damning rhetoric is being directed at anyone who belongs to a minority. I’m a minority, not only of the LGBT community, but of race as well.”
He says he wasn't originally planning to release the song. He recorded it on his birthday as a special gift to himself. Ultimately, however, he felt the message in “Love Lives” was too important to keep to himself. He saw it as his duty to let it be heard.
The message is simple: “Love is Love”. It’s a sentiment that entered the mainstream vernacular when Lin-Manuel Miranda passionately declared it during his Orlando tribute at the 2016 Tony Awards, however, Solo has expressed similar feelings in many of his songs, including “Glass of Wine,” his hit track from 2013.
“People's attitudes towards one another needs to change,” he says. “Too many people speak in the name of God with no divine authority. Who is anyone to judge another human being? Focus on yourself, practice love and work toward being a better person before seeking to change another person. I respect the rights of others to dislike me for who I am and who I love as long as they respect my right to be me and they do not infringe on my freedom and right to love who I want to love.”
Born to Lebanese/Chilean parents on the Gulf of Guinea in Nigeria, West Africa, Raph Solo is a singer, songwriter and music producer. He has released three full-length albums, including last summer’s THE ANONYMOUS ICON, featuring “Star” and “Good Morning London”.
Today, he is a proud gay man in a loving relationship — with an English man from the East Midlands who shares his core values and beliefs — but it wasn’t always that way. Just a few years ago, he fought his feelings for men and even underwent reparative therapy in an attempt to cure himself of his homosexuality. In the end, it was even more damaging to Solo and his self-esteem. “It made me feel like a failure because no matter how hard I tried, I could not change my feelings.”
Along with the release of “Love Lives,” Solo is unveiling a brand new music video that shows a different side to the artist. “I dance a lot in this one! It’s all very tongue-and cheek compared to my previous story-based, cinematic music videos. I hope fans like the choreography and chutzpah.”
In the meantime, Raph Solo is putting the finishing touches on his next full-length album. “I had hoped to get it out this year but it’s not going to be ready in time,” he explains. “I don't believe in rushing things. It's a new sound for me so it’s taking a little more time to master but I have faith that the final product will be worth the wait.”
Raph Solo’s “Love Lives” is being released globally through Angel King Musique and will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon as well all other online retail outlets. Its music video is available on YouTube.