Resh brings 'Change' to his latest EP
The man formerly known as Reshmonu is back, but now he is just Resh, leaving behind the second half of his stage name and signature cornrows.
After coming back to the scene following a 3-year hiatus, his latest hit "Half the Man" entered the Digital Radio Tracker Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Chart at number 8 more than two weeks after its release in the U.S.
The award winning singer-songwriter has opened for international acts such as Alicia Keys, The Black Eyed Peas and The Prodigy during their shows in Malaysia.
After more than 10 years and dozens of accolades including an Anugerah Industri Muzik award for Best Vocal Performance In An Album (Male), 39-year-old Resh believes it’s time for a change.
How long has this EP been in the making, and how do you feel about it now that it is finally released?
Reshmonu: The EP took about two years, I mean from conceptualising to the recording stage and actually going forth and recording the music video and restyling. I am stoked, the 6 songs are easily available on every digital domain, easily available on iTunes, Spotify and I'm very happy that it's out here and I can't wait for all of you to hear the other songs on the EP.
You have over 140,000 views on YouTube, and in the comments, people mistook you for Jason Derulo and Ne-Yo, how does that feel?
I ain't complaining, but I am honoured.
How do you define your new sound?
Like I said, we put on a blank piece of paper and then Jim and I started working on tracks. You can say in a nutshell that it's lesser fusion. For those of you who know me in Malaysia, I've always dabbled a lot of fusion because I like experimenting but this is going more towards the grassroots of R&B and that’s what we've been trying to gun at. I'm sure most of you would agree there have been just too many EDM tracks in the market, I've always believed that there is still room for R&B, just pure soul singing R&B and that’s why I have one of my favourite DJ's in Malaysia here today, Idris.
Is there anyone you wish to collaborate locally or internationally in the future?
When we worked with Sunset Entertainment, there were couple of big names we were looking at collaborating with, but of course it's all about the money. Yes, I am very much looking forward to collaborating if the time is right and if it's relevant. I've always loved the likes of Brian McKnight, I would love to one day perhaps work with him. Another guy is Aaron Neville, I think he's got a fantastic voice. On the local end, I'm very proud of the success of some of my friends, because I've seen them grow as well. Paperplane Pursuit, I know them before they were called Paperplane Pursuit, they were called Silent Scream, and I produced one of the albums for them. But the point is, it's not just about collaborating with them, there has to be some sort of relevancy. I don’t wanna just collaborate for the sake of collaborating. I think now, what’s important and I’m sure Universal and the team would agree with me it's very important to establish my essence, my sound. But having said that, we are working on a special surprise with a special someone from India, so maybe there might be a separate press conference for that, but we will let you know when that happens.
Do you feel comfortable in your new image?
Doesn't this smile tell you all? Yeah, I'm very comfortable. Firstly I don’t have to wash it [hair], because I sweat a lot when I work out. Secondly I don’t have to keep it on for an extensive week and a half like I used to. For 11 years I had cornrows and it was always about planning when to take it off, when to not take it off. And I always have the question thrown at me, "Do you wash your hair ah?" This is so much easier to maintain and I think it really complements the looks and designs that my fellow, Bon Zainal, fashion extraordinary here. He's come up with some great stuff, those day would be like, "But your cornrows, macam mana?" Now it’s okay, "you can pull this off bro, take this jacket, take that!" I'm very comfortable with this look and moreover with the fact that it's together with a new sound. I just didn’t wanna do a complete rebranding and not have new material to play for you. So in short, very comfortable.
From Reshmonu to Resh, why?
That’s because of you, all of you, because even though it was "Reshmonu", all of you still call me "Resh". No, actually for those of you who don’t know this, "monu" or actually "mone" in Malayalam means affectionate son. Dude, I'm 39 years old, I'll always remain the son to my mom, but I think I've matured now so we decide to drop the "monu" and decided to go with "Resh", not rash but Resh.
Are you planning to work with Jim Beanz again?
Yeah, once I recoup my return of investments (ROI), I would be giving him a call. Well, as you guys know the market has changed so much, it's no more about producing a 24 track album or a 12 track album. So in business sense, the right thing to do was to work on the singles marginally, that’s how we were approaching it. You know EP's, six songs, seven songs, for right now at this particular moment, I've gotten everything that we've set out to get with Jim. But I will definitely be working with Jim because he has brought out the best in me in terms of vocal delivery and that particular sound. For once in my life, I didn’t have to worry about the other nitty-witties, I just went in there like a singer and I sang. By the way, the studio that I was singing in was the same studio The Fugees recorded their Grammy award winning album and Kris Kross recorded "Jump". So can you imagine the element that I was in? And it was huge, I will work with him in the future for sure.
Was there a lot of pressure when you went into that room and started recording? As you mentioned you only had three weeks.
I remember walking in and I remember Jim's manager telling me that Jim is tied up with Jennifer. So I'm like Jennifer who? Jennifer Hudson. Then I remember asking what Jim was working on next and she mentions another name and then she turns around and tells me, "but these three weeks is just for you." So as you can imagine, from Jennifer Hudson to Resh, this Asian artiste, and then to another artiste. I was like "Oh my God, how am I gonna do?" I was in a different state of mind.