Soul singer, songwriter and producer Dwele, will release his highly anticipated 3rd studio album Sketches of a Man on June 24th through RT Music Group/KOCH Records. Sketches of a Man, a long time in the making, will be lead by the soulful single “I’m Cheatin’,” produced by G-1, the man behind Dwele’s breakthrough hit “Find a Way” (from Subject). “I’m Cheatin’” is a mind bender which tells of a man who loves his girlfriend’s conservative side as well as her care-free side and dreams of cheating on one with the other as if they were two different people. “It’s based on a true story that I put a spin on. Unless you really pay attention, you might get the wrong idea,” Dwele admits.
This year, Dwele was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” category for his interpretation of “That’s The Way of the World,” from the Stax Records compilation, Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire. He also appeared on long-time friend Kanye West’s Grammy-winning mega hit “Flashing Lights” and on rapper Common’s Grammy-nominated single “The People,” which made Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Best Songs of 2007.”
“Sketches of a Man is ultimately what I am and where I am in 2008,” Dwele explains. “It is inspired by life and love, and it is about finding out how I fit into these different musical genres, or how I would fit into these new cultures. Like, if I spoke French, how would it sound?… I think that’s what inspiration is.”
Sketches of a Man finds Dwele writing, producing, arranging and playing all instruments on nearly all of the tracks on the project. One of the few exceptions is “A Few Reasons,” a bouncy groove with a hip hop feel written and performed by Dwele with production from Nottz (Snoop and R. Kelly’s “That’s That”). Dwele shows us his hip hop side on Sketches… with tracks like “ Body Rock,” and funky ballads like “Open Your Eyes,” (a Bobby Caldwell cover), and “Love Ultra,” but doesn’t stray too far from the soulful roots that we love on tracks like “Vain.” On “Vain” Dwele speaks of how difficult it is to hold on to a relationship. “With my music I try to touch on things that everyone can relate to. Things like, being a musician and trying to find the balance between work and love,” Dwele says of “Vain.”
One of the most refined and stylish singers to emerge in recent years, Dwele infuses the musical traditions of Motown visionaries Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, who he listened to growing up on Detroit’s west side, into his own contemporary sound. He taught himself to play several instruments including piano, trumpet, guitar and bass before embarking on his journey as a soul singer. His demo tape, 1998’s The Rize, got significant buzz around the Motor City and collaborations with fellow Detroit hip-hop group Slum Village also helped Dwele gain visibility.
He released his critically acclaimed full-length debut Subject in 2003, and cemented his appeal to European audiences with an extensive tour that summer. His second album, Some Kinda, followed in 2005, and featured production from the late J Dilla, as well as Mike City and G1.