The whole world was turned upside down in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic in addition to the cries of citizens fighting for social justice against police brutality. While being encouraged to quarantine, millions turned to social media and music as a temporary distraction and entertainment from the world’s problems. During times like these, Vedo’s Platinum-certified song “You Got It” is just the song to help many women get inspired. The Atlanta residing artist is most recognized from season four of “The Voice” where he blew fans, viewers and judges away with his incredible voice. His talent earned him a spot in the Top 12 on the show. But he didn’t stop there. The R&B singer has been working with several artists like Chris Brown, Usher and Ella Mai, while stacking up writing credits for Lil Dicky and Chris Brown’s “Freaky Friday” and “Don’t Waste My Time” by Usher featuring Ella Mai. In a phone interview, the singer/songwriter spoke with Atlanta Black Star to talk about his hit single, why women empowerment is important and what today’s R&B is lacking.
The 28-year-old multi-platinum songwriter comes from a musical family. While his grandma played bass and his brother sang gospel, his father took over the saxophone. On top of that, there’s something about R&B that just “feels good” to Vedo. Vedo, born Wilbart McCoy III, said that he’s watched “The Temptations” movie a few thousand times — as he even states in his bio — since the age of 11 so his love for R&B was always there. But modern R&B, he added, doesn’t do it for him like that genre of music from the early 2000s. “R&B now, it just doesn’t really move me,” he said. What today’s R&B is missing, he continued, “is the art of storytelling.”
“It’s always just a slow beat and some lyrics over it,” he further explained. “There’s no climax, there’s no middle, there’s no ending. There’s a beginning, but it’s really no ending.” He continued, “An R&B song, when you listen to it, at the end of the song it should leave you with some closure.” And, in his opinion, his “You Got It” song that is now sitting on the Billboard Hot 100 chart does just that. “At the end of ‘You Got It’ the closure is basically you got it, you just got to put yourself in a position to realize that.”
In the lyrics to his song, Vedo aims to leave women feeling empowered.
“I think it’s extremely important to uplift women [because] we come from a woman,” he said. “Women keep the household together; women are truly a gift from God. We have to really understand that and treat them with love and respect,” he said. There are several times where male artists, rappers in particular, have been criticized for being misogynistic in their music, but Vedo wants to make it clear that he’s not that guy. “You know you wouldn’t want [someone] to treat your mom that way, would you? Rappers, they inspire people to want to get out of the ‘hood, you know; why not inspire a woman to better herself?”
Many know the rap industry is male-dominated, but with Nicki Minaj holding down the fort for over a decade and the recent surge of mainstream female rappers within the last three years, women finally have more artists who can represent and encourage them. Femcees typically have various messages in their songs catered to the ladies, whether it be to get their paper, not settle for a man, or to enjoy their single lives with their friends. While Megan Thee Stallion teaches women how to be a “Savage,” Cardi B. encourages them to “Get Up 10” when life knocks them down.
Vedo agrees that the “growing rise in female rappers” is a good thing so that women’s “voices” can be heard. “When’s the last time you seen a woman in a real position of power within the government. It just doesn’t really happen like that. But now that we got the vice president,” he said referring to U.S. vice president Kamala Harris, “that’s good.” Even when it comes to talking raunchy on a track, Vedo believes if men “are allowed to do it” then women “should be allowed to do it.”
Not only does Vedo believe in uplifting women and respecting them, he said he’s also mindful of the importance of both those qualities when it comes to his current relationship. When he sings the words “Baby get you a me,” he is in part telling women to get a man like him. “I’m not perfect. I have my flaws and things like that, but for the most part my intentions are always pure and always good.” He went on to describe himself as “very supportive, especially of the one I’m in a relationship with. I wouldn’t even sing about it if it wasn’t me.”
The song is even more meaningful to the Michigan native because his girlfriend, whose identity he did not disclose, was one of the inspirations behind it. “She definitely was an inspiration behind the song, because at the moment she was going through some things,” and Vedo feels “the best way to get something across is to put it in a song.”
As with some other artists, Vedo’s song got its viral recognition through TikTok. From creating dances, to weight- loss transformations, to doing “You Got It” remixes, users flaunted their creativity on the track, causing it to gain broad attention.
However, there has been a debate recently on if TikTokers whose content helped artists’ songs blow up should get any credit. Vedo says that TikTokers do deserve credit, but within reason. “For me, credit in the sense of just acknowledging the fact that ‘Yo, hey man, you started that challenge and you helped me create this. I’ve had TikTokers that actually came and thanked me for making the song because [they were] inspired to do this challenge. So, yes, I definitely think you should give those TikTokers their just due.” However, Vedo says, “Some TikTokers be getting out of pocket though. Talking about some publishing and wanting to be paid. I’m like ‘nah, no, absolutely not.’ But you definitely should give them some credit, shout them out, tell them thank you.”
So what’s next for Vedo? The R&B crooner just released a new single with Atlanta native Jacquees titled “For Me.” For more info, follow Vedo on Twitter and Instagram @vedothesinger.