Houston Music

Senze: Local R&B Loverman Lays It on Smooth

Each week, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? E-mail their particulars to [email protected].

You know what you can never have enough of? Cool guys singing about sex to women. That has to be the pinnacle of art. I mean, you never walk into a party thinking, "Man, I hope they have a copy of The Mona Lisa for everyone to look at." You're like, "Man, I hope they play R. Kelly's 'Your Body's Callin'' so I can grind on a strange woman for a few minutes."

So we've enlisted the libido of budding R&B musician Senze. Interview ahead, including responses to questions about Houston's sudden growing force of R&Bers, his own God-carved cheekbones and the greatest lines in R&B history. Aces.

Rocks Off: First, tell everyone everything they need to know about Senze in exactly six words.

Senze: Ambitious, focused, determined, reserved, singer, songwriter.

RO: For the first time since I can remember, Houston is growing an R&B corps. There's you, Jack Freeman, Leelonn, a few others, etc. Why is that happening?

S: I think that R&B has been here in the city for a very long time, but due to the strength of the hip-hop community it's just been overshadowed. But now the music in our genre that's being put out locally is so potent it can no longer be ignored. I guess you can say it's our time.

RO: How has nobody started a Twitter feed called @SenzesCheekBones? I mean, that HAS to happen eventually, right?

S [laughs]: So you were the one who first tweeted that. I don't know, man. What about them*?

*Note: They're amazing, that's what.

RO: This new track that you have with Kirko, talk a bit about that. How'd that happen?

S: Well, the name of the record is Lady in the Streets. Of course, Kirko is featured on the record, but it's actually an old record that kind of just lingered because my following loved it so much. It was originally written and released on my first EP, entitled The Preface, in late 2010 (available on iTunes now).

I actually met the homie Kirko at Slim Thug's The Thug Show album release concert at HOB in November of that year. We both opened for that show and had been trying to work with him since. We shot the record to his manager D. Will almost a year later.

They loved it. He laid his verse, we repackaged it as a single and here we are [with] a buzzing record. The official music video has aired on MTVTres, MTVJams, and is currently on MTV.com, shot and directed by the legendary Mr. Boomtown.

RO: When will the first proper Senze project come out?

S: Well, I've got two projects out already. Both are EPs. The Preface, which is available for download on ITunes like I mentioned earlier, and the other EP is entitled GOLDEN TICKET, which was a Valentine's Day release and is now available free for download on my Web site, Senzemuzik.com, via Datpiff.com. I plan to release GOLDEN TICKET 2 later this year.

RO: You say some fairly sexual things in your songs. What is the all-time sexiest line from any R&B song?

S: "I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind," R. Kelly. "Turn off the lights and light a candle," Teddy P. My bad couldn't pick just one.

RO: The current king of R&B is...

S: Still Usher, only because R. Kelly isn't really relevant right now.

RO: Recently, The Box was doing one of their We're Putting This Artist Against That Artist And Fans Vote Who's Better competitions. They had R. Kelly vs. Trey Songz. Songz ended up winning 98 percent to 2 percent. As an R&B singer, when that happened, how hard was it not to murder anyone?

S: Man, all I can say to that is that, in today's game, no matter what genre you're in, if you're not relevant you won't win no matter how lopsided the matchup may be. As a recording artist, these days you're only as good as your next record; not even your current record. You always have to keep that in mind. That's one vital reason I work so hard.

RO: Anything else you want to make sure gets mentioned? Now's the time to do it.

S: First of all, I'd like to thank Houston Press for having me featured, and to tell everyone call and request this record, man. "Lady in the Streets," featuring Kirko Bangz. I can't do it without y'all. Oh, and my name is pronounced "sense" with a "Z." They murder my name. It's the Posterboy, man. I love y'all. Live life and love music.

Follow Senze on Twitter at @TheRnbposterboy.

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Shea Serrano