Tuesday, November 15, 2011


In 2007, I was listening to DJ Baker's award-winning podcast, and he was talking about this song called "I Likes Him" by this singer named Sanchez and how hot and catchy it was. He was write. The song had a nice beat and catchy hook that many people quickly fell in love with. Well Sanchez, who now goes by the name Rudell C has been making his mark in the LGBT industry by recording Gay versions of many popular hits and doing his own videos with guys two guys as well as forming a clothing line American Punk and an networking website which is doing well. I had the opportunity to speak with the southern business man during the past winter/early spring via telephone about his career, love songs, the reason why he shut down his clothing line, and things that makes northern boys wants southern boys.

DA-PROFESSOR: How are things going?
RUDELL C: Everything's been going good. Can't complain.

DA-PROFESSOR: A few years ago, you dropped your single "I Like Him" under the name Sanchez. What prompted you to write that song?
RUDELL C: When I wrote that song, I was in the early stages of writing and recording on my own. I was looking up beats online and I found this hot beat, and it was going to be my first time recording in a studio so i found the beat I liked and I was like I gotta write a hot song, so I put it out and it was the greatest song. Everybody like that song. Straight people like it and boys made up their versions instead of saying "I Like Him", "I Like Them."

DA-PROFESSOR: It was released under the name Sanchez. What made you decided to go by your current name?
RUDELL C: When I first came out, Sanchez was the name somebody gave me from a Gay family I was in. They just kinda gave me the name. Once I got to a certain age, I knew that I wanted to do something that would make me famous and I wanted to go by my real name and not by an alias. Singing, writing, whatever it's art, writing, everything I do, I use my real name.

DA-PROFESSOR: Which singers and artists inspire you?
REDUELL C: Oh my goodness. Number one. I know this may sound cliche, but I'm a huge fan of Beyonce. It's funny when I did "I Like Him" I was having a Beyonce feeling inside of me, but she's like a great artists and a great performer. Another person would be Michael Jackson. I've always loved MJ since I was 5 playing my tape player and dancing to his videos and music. And another person I like is India Arie. She has that raspy voice and I like how she uses it.

DA-PROFESSOR: You also had a clothing line out. What prompted you to start your own clothing line?
REDUELL C: I was having a conversation with one of my friends. We were texting and he called himself a cunt. When I got that text message, I saw Cunt and a T-shirt, and I'm like we should have our own clothing line. We see girls walk around with their shirts and boys have their little silly stuff, and I'm like Gay people dont' have shirts with their slang on it. I was like I ought to do this. I know I could do it.

DA-PROFESSOR: How was the feedback?
REDUELL: It was good. Everybody loved the shirts. I had a suggestion box on the website, and I got alot of emails. I really got positive feedback from the community.

DA-PROFESSOR: You recently closed down American Punk Why did you do that?
REDUELL: One thing about me is I don't really do something I'm not happy with. I wanna be happy with doing it and I thing with American Punk in the beginning, I think I over drove myself and it was wearing me out in the end. I did have a web designer when it came down to it. The shirts were hand made. Plus I have a full time job, so it just kinda got hard and I put a whole lot of pressure on myself to get everything done. It's crazy, it's not that I don't trust people, but I wouldn't feel comfortable handing it over to somebody I know.

DA-PROFESSOR: I'm glad I got my shirts.
REDUELL: (Laughs) So many people hit me up afterwards. I'm glad you got yours.

DA-PROFESSOR: You're from Tennesse. Tennesse is known for producing several Country Acts like Dolly Parton and Soul acts like Tina Turner and Al Green. How do you feel you're gonna add to their legacy?

REDUELL: We do have a music background and everything, and music is a big part of our culture. We have Country music fans. We have bandelo. We have big concerts and things like this. It does impacts us in those type of ways. The way I like to add to the legacy is to be a good artist and work hard and make good music. My legacy, especially with the LGBT community would be to make music that people can relate to.

DA-PROFESSOR: There are many guys who love southern guys. Tell me Reduell from your prespective, what is it about southern guys that makes northern guys wanna get with them?

REDUELL: I think one thing would be the accent. If you got a good little accent that would attract a good northern boy. A cute southern accent would be one and of course you know that they say, depending on what kind of northern boy it is, if you got a nice country booty, I'm sure they'll like that too.

DA-PROFESSOR: There are many northern boys who like southern tops (I laugh).
REDUELL: Oh. They want one of the country boys. Do you do the grills up north? The grills in the mouth. Is that a southern thing?

DA-PROFESSOR: The gold teeth? Back in the mid 1980's alot of guys used to wear caps in their mouths.

REDUELL: I guess the ones who want the southern tops, you can get the ruff necks (both laugh). With the grills in his mouth and the country grammar something like Nelly. I guess that what you would go for if you're looking for a southern top. The slang with the grills. Smile for me baby (both laugh).

DA-PROFESSOR: What else does southern guys have that makes northern guys want them?
REDUELL: I really don't know. I want to know about the northern guys. They seem interesting to me.

DA-PROFESSOR: What about cooking?
REDUELL: Yeah. How can I forget about the southern soul food (laughs). If you're from the south and you know how to cook, then I guess that's how you would keep your man at home. Keep them coming back and full (both laughs out loud). Southern fried chicken. Corn bread. Southern greens. Oh yes!

DA-PROFESSOR: In addition to singing, what other projects you're working on?
REDUELL: Right now, I have four projects I'm working on. I'm working on some writing projects. It's a Black Gay love story and it's pretty erotic and there are alot of twists and turns in that story. It's crazy because whenever people read the introduction, alot of people aske me is it real and I'm like, no. It's a fictional story and it's a good story and alot of people will be able to relate to the story eithe way because so much stuff happens throughout the the story that we in the LGBT comnunity can relate to.

DA-PROFESSOR: I read the story and it was hot and creative. What was the inspiration?
REDUELL: It came from no where. Writing has been something I've been able to do, but never done it. I've always written poetry and short stories. I did write one story once and that was when I was 16. I wrote one erotic story and I decided to give it a shot.I wanted it to be an interesting story. Not necessary a story about my life, but something realistic and full of drama. I wanted to tell a story and have people be able to relate to.

DA-PROFESSOR: You said how you like to write Black Gay love stories and Black Gay erotic stories. How important is it for Black Gays to have love stories on the market?

REDUELL: What got me interested was when I was 16, I wrote my first story and that's when I became interested in reading Black Gay literature and at 16, there wasn't much to look at. Especially in those teenage years when people are finding themselves in the community. We need that as much as we need Black Gay films. I love to see a Black Gay movie something that we can look at and say I can relate to that. It's very important because it's time we have those literature and those images we can read, and see and hear and it's something we can relate to. We haven't had our own Black Gay fiction and I'm trying to create that.

DA-PROFESSOR: If you can get anybody to be in your films, who would it be?
RUDUELL: If I had a caucassian, woman, it would be Angelie Jolie and if I had an African American character, female it would be Beyonce. I like everything she does. Alot of people think she can't act, but I think she's fine. When it comes to African American men, I would have to go with Will Smith and a caucasian man, I woud have to say Tom Cruise.

DA-PROFESSOR: If you have the opportunity to perform with any of your favorite artists LGBT and mainstream, who would it be?
REDUELL: LGBT. I would wannna perform with Bry'nt. Anye Elite. Dead-Lee. I'd like to work with him. Have you ever heard of God-Des?

DA-PROFESSOR: I met her in 2004
REDUELL: I'd love to work with her. As for as straight artists, I would have to say, I like to work with Trina. As far as female rappers. Male Rappers, if I had the change, Lil' Wayne of course. That would be interesting. Or maybe Drake. And when it comes to the singers, I would have to say Trey Songz. I really love his music, and females it would be between Rhianna and Beyonce. I like the old Rhianna alot. Alicia Keys is one of my favorite artists as well. I'm into slow love songs alot and Alicia Keys is really, really, really big. I love her music with a capital L and I like Lauryn Hill. That's one artist I'm feeling right now.

DA-PROFESSOR: Alicia was in a slight scandal concerning her husband Swizz Beatz and his ex-wife. What do you think of the situation and controversy that was surrounding them?
REDUELL: If they were already going through a divorce and they like each other, you can't help what you like. If you meet a guy and he's going through a divorce, and you like him, are you supposed to stop talking to him until the divorce is final? You can't help who you love. Now if he was still with the woman and cheating and having babies and all that then I say that's definetly wrong, but if they was in the process of splitting up, it is what it is. It's gonna happen anyway.

DA-PROFESSOR: What are your favorite Alicia Keys songs?
REDUELL: One song I really, realy like from her and it wasn't a single. "If I Were Your Woman."

DA-PROFESSOR: The Gladys Knight classic.
REDUELL: I like her version. The ones I can chose between is "Unthinkable," "If I Ain't Got You," "Diary" and "A Woman's Worth."

DA-PROFESSOR: You also mentioned MJ being an influence. What do you admire about MJ?
REDUELL: My dad did alot of tapes for me and for me, Michael Jackson's energy and his performances would always have me dancing. That's what made me love Michael overall. It was mostly watching his concerts (and) of course, everbody would mimick his moves as kids so I would be in front of the TV trying to do the moves (Reduell starts to sing) 'wanna be starin' something. You gotta be startin' somethin'.

DA-PROFESSOR: What did you think of the video he did with his sister Janet?
RUDUELL: I think it's a great song. Of course with me being 5 or 6, I didn't really understand what it meant, but looking back now, it was a great song and great video they did together.

DA-PROFEESSOR: How do you feel that MJ made an impact on both the LGBT and hetero communities?
RUDELL: I think that Michael was a house hold name. People grew up listening to MJ, so I don't think he had he necessary had to try. MJ crossed all boarders. Black. White. Gay. Straight. Hispanic. There are countries who love MJ. I feel that MJ was one of those type of people who didn't have to necessary try to make people a fan.

DA-PROFESSOR: You also stated that you love love songs. Tell me why do you feel that Black Gay men loves listening to love songs?
REDUELL: For me personally, I'm one of the slow song type of person. I love love songs. I don't know because I haven't actually been in love yet. That could be the whole thing with Gay men. It's hard to find someone to love in the Gay world.

DA-PROFESSOR: There are several Gays who want to see openly Gay singers and rappers but sometimes it's hard for them to get booked at Gay Pride Events. How does it make you feel as an artist?
REDUELL: I don't think enough people want it. I haven;t been to alot of prides outside of Tennesse. I can't speak for every state, you know. I've never been to a major state like New York or San Diego, but I know we broght Bry'nt here for our pride and like nobody showed up. Everybody was in the clug, so it 's kinda embarrassing in a way to bring somebody down and to have less then one hundred people at the event and once the event is over, you go to the club and that's where everybody's at. It's like on my God! Are you serious? So from my experience, people don't want it. We're so caught up in the lifestyle of seeing who's at the club and meeting boys that alot of people don't care about LGBT artists. I got friends who still hasn't listen to my CD. Maybe that will be something that will change over time.

DA-PROFESSOR: I remember you having videos on You Tube and one of my favorites was your video version of Usher's "Trading Places." What inspired you to do that video with a guy.
REDUELL: Well both of us are Gay and most people on You Tube know that I'm Gay, so the channell was for me to be myself. Alot of times I used my best friend, which was the closet thing I could be to a boy at the time, but finally I got my central boyfriend to be in one of my videos and I decided to do "Trading Places", so of course I wasn't gonna get a girl because I don't like girls, but it ended up being a great project overall. I think we need to use ourselves more onscreen more than we do now.

DA-PROFESSOR: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
REDUELL: The next five to ten years, I definetly want to be a household name for more than the LGBT community. I wanna made a name for myself for the different projects that I do.

DA-PROFESSOR: How do you feel you're making an impact on the music industry and LGBT community?
REDUELL: I feel like I'm bringing different things to the community as far as music, literature, clothing. I feel like I'm bringign different things and different products to the community that we can have.

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