From a young age, RVSHVD, pronounced RA-SHAD, harbored aspirations of a career in the music industry. Initially drawn to genres like hip-hop and R&B, he envisioned his path aligning with the beats of that musical vein. However, a significant shift occurred when he discovered the sounds of country music, influenced by artists such as Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson, and George Strait. The turning point was the 2009 hit from Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing.”
While RVSHVD’s initial musical love stemmed from Lil’ Bow Wow’s “Basketball,” he credited his father for broadening his musical horizons. “My dad would listen to all kinds of music, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, gospel. He did all kinds of jobs, and had me out working with him, washing cars and hauling scraps. He would listen to country while he worked.” RVSHVD’s mother, employed in a school cafeteria, also played a role in steering the singer toward country music. He recounted a moment when his mother, tuned in to CMT while working, introduced him to artists like Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line.
Infusing His Unique Style into the World of Country Music
Shifting gears to country music, RVSHVD made his mark in the industry with the 2020 hit “Ballin’,” amassing 21 million listens on Spotify. The following year, he continued to make waves on the platform with his country remix of “Colt 45,” racking up an impressive 34 million listens.
Blending genres proved to be the key for RVSHVD not only to break into country music but also to land a performance at this year’s CMA Fest. Reflecting on this significant opportunity, the singer humorously shared, “When they told me I was going to be playing CMA Fest, I thought it would be a little stage outside in the front of the stadium, and my wife Angel kept telling me, ‘No, it’s in the stadium.’ I couldn’t believe it, and when we started walking out there, I was like, ‘Oh, man, this is playing in the stadium.’”
While RVSHVD will forever cherish Keith Urban’s “Sweet Thing” for introducing him to country music, he revealed that his dream collaboration would be with J Cole. Explaining his choice, he said, “I always like how just real and honest his music was, and I always related to it, the way he talks about coming up and stuff.”