It’s been a year since ray j, sami, bobby vand pleasure p he took the stage at a Verzuz opening show like no other. But viral memes and cultural classics weren’t the only results of that performance. RSVP was also born on this day.
The way Ray J describes his collective is an “all-boys band” and the “only group that are solo artists in a group.” They all attribute the name to Bobby V, an acronym that highlights the stage names that put each of them on the R&B map.
RELATED: Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V and Pleasure P arrived at rehearsal for their first photo shoot as their new group RSVP
Sammie describes himself and Bobby as easy-going, laid-back, and out of the way RSVP members. With 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 am learning in this group that it should not be structured, it should not be one plus one equals two. We were built and built out of a dysfunction and for some reason it seems to work for us,” Sammie tells TSR.
In the months after the blow-for-blow battle, RSVP worked on their debut album. They spent August and September locked up and laying the tracks. But her debut single, “Money Everywhere,” wasn’t released until December.
RSVP’s debut album is complete and “Mr. Nasty Time” is their second official single (exclusive listen)
And the album, although complete and highly anticipated by fans, has yet to be released. But the group assures TSR that the project will arrive THIS summer. According to Sammie, what fans can expect is “timeless music.”
“We just have to get the music out for real, for real. ‘Money Everywhere’ was just… a preview. We wanted something sexy, we wanted something bold because that’s what the band is. But as far as the records we create on the album, we have something for everyone,” added Sammie. “We have love music, sex music, island music, we have a crossover record, we have a summer hit with Hitmaka. So it’s just about getting the music out there and letting everything build around that. Our star power has been getting the better of us, which I appreciate because everything we’ve done has been ignited because they’re coming to see us together, but once we get the music out, it’s really going to put into perspective that as a group, as a collective that we’re amazing.”
So what has been holding them back? Bobby V tells TSR it’s a combination of setting up structure and managing the business side of music.
“We were kind of crazy in November and as time has gone on, we’re getting that structure,” Bobby said. “Really in the music business that’s really the music business. We’re just trying to make sure we run the business.” He added: “We really have a great first album. I’m so ready to release this album, but I know we need to release more music to show people that we’re really serious. We’re serious, we have a good time when we’re together. We talk shit to each other and play games a lot, but we’ve got a great album that P orchestrated a bit.
As for the project’s surprises, Pleasure P says they have an afro-beats single called “Rock The Boat” that is “unexpected from what[fans]normally knew them for.”
Meanwhile, the group exclusively shared a snippet of their second single, “Mr. Nasty Time,” featuring The Shade Room, another sexy record with raunchy ’90s and ’00s vibes.
Get the exclusive first listen at the top of this article.
RSVP reinvigorated their group’s energy after performance at i Love RnB festival
When asked about their studio sessions, Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V, and Pleasure P all say that’s the “easy part.”
Our interview is chaotic in the best of ways: full of light remarks about Bobby’s love of his piano, laughs at the persistent pairing of Pleasure P and Ray J showing off his horses before leaving early.
Bobby tells TSR’s Cassandra that the interview reflects how RSVP behaves in the studio: “a lot of talking and bullshit.” Ray J is then quick to clarify that they may sometimes be “uncut” and “all over the place,” but their arrangement is a structured imperfection. Energy, they say, “is just different.”
The members of the group recalled their different environment when they performed in I love RnB festival At the end of May. After months of scattered dedication to his group of men, the festival reignited the spark that brought them together a year ago.
“It’s exciting, I left the group every other day, but when we did the i Love RnB Festival and we went out and we all just had a good time. Because we’ve done hosting and stuff together where we were just in the club, just kicking around and making songs. But when we did the show a couple of weeks ago at the i Love RnB festival, I think it really reinvigorated all of us and really gave us the vision again that this is a big thing and something that can be done at a high level. I feel like it can be bigger than anything else. I feel like the sky is the limit, so I’m excited about that.”
According to Ray J, minutes before they hit the festival stage, they were down two members (Sammie and Bobby) with no recorded rehearsal time.
Pleasure P suggested that they make the stage their party, so they collectively did. And the ATE performance, surprising and refocusing the group.
“…I think what really surprised us all was this i Love RnB Festival where we had never rehearsed yet, and we were like 5 minutes away from going on stage. We still didn’t know who was going to go first, second or third. We never rehearsed the songs, we didn’t know what we were going to do. And we just decided to go out there and do all the songs together as one group…it just became this event, this party,” said Ray J. He added, “It gave us the energy to get back out there and we really like to close it out. I felt like we saw a new vision once we all got on stage and sang together. (i Love RnB Festival) was really our start as we got back together.”
And they will return to that festival stage in July. This time, as headliners, the festival’s public relations representative, Kalisha Pereraconfirmed to TSR.
RSVP is here NOW for culture and brotherhood, despite what the critics say
In RSVP, there are no leaders. Role players, for sure. But in general, men agree that they are equal partners. They are past phase one, which included balancing their solo career experience with their group experience, and phase two of putting out music.
Because right now? For fun, culture, brotherhood, and the state of R&B. Make boy bands great again? Yes, that too.
“We also do it for the culture. I feel like R&B dies, and really R&B in general, we don’t collaborate, we don’t kick it, we don’t get together,” said Bobby V. “So, we tried to set the tone and change the vision of R&B. See, rap is so big and flashy because all the guys mess with each other. They get together in the studio, they’re going to hang out. R&B guys act like ‘Oh I’m bigger than him, oh I’m better than him’.
“I’ve been a soloist my entire career, so when I’m with those guys I get to tap into 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 them individually… We have an opportunity to bring back the boy band or the boy band and make it great again. We’re superstars on our own, but together we’re like an Avengers R&B group. So I have fun though, which is why I said yes because I really love (these) guys. I admire them, I look at them as brothers. For me, it’s all about the fun aspect. In this music business, it’s easy to lose the fun because there are so many different obstacles and barriers that you have to overcome. With RSVP, you just show up and have fun and I appreciate that at this stage of my life.”
If you’re wondering what’s different about Ray J, Sammie, Bobby V, and Pleasure P this time around, you’ll agree that it’s next to nothing. They already have the fans, the talent and the experience. So RSVP is all of them combined and “on steroids,” says Sammie.
“It’s not that different anymore, it’s just magnified. You’ve got the greatness that Pleasure brings, the greatness that Bob brings, the greatness that is me, the greatness that Ray J brings, and you’re putting that in a little gumbo. It’s really like amazing music. I think that’s why the album came out so great, effortlessly because individually, we’re ready to perform, ready to sing live, ready to write our music and write our verses and bring our sauce, and that’s basically the RSVP concoction. . . So I wouldn’t say it’s any different, it’s just on steroids. We together, there is a different synergy, a different energy, a different magnetic force that we cannot explain, nor do we plan. That’s what happens when the four of us get together.”
Meanwhile, Bobby V said that they are bringing back “real R&B like ’90s and ’00s R&B” instead of trying to keep up with today’s rap influences in their genre.
And RSVP isn’t concerned about critics, including those with “old” comments. Pleasure P says they are focused on who loves and supports them.
“For me, I only care about the people who care about me and us and what we have accomplished. There are so many people trying to take it from us, calling us old heads and all kinds of things, and we’re still young. And we’ve got our thing, and we’ve managed an entire era, and we’re still here doing what we love. We are blessed to be here.”