Usher is enjoying the status of a legacy artist nearly three decades into his career. The “Nice & Slow” singer launched his own Las Vegas residency show in 2021, and he’s gearing up for another Sin City run from March through July of 2023. In the midst of the Usher renaissance he crossed paths with music mogul L.A. Reid, his mentor who played an instrumental part in introducing him to the masses after signing him to his LaFace record label at just 14 years old.
The Confessions vocalist surprised Reid at a dinner in Atlanta in March 2022, leading the two to rekindle their working relationship. They reportedly went to the studio together later that night to discuss A&R and listen to unreleased material.
Usher reflected on his friendship with Reid in a new interview with GQ published yesterday (Feb. 22). He also revealed that the two are working together again, not just on his own music, but on fostering the next generation of R&B talent. “His system is what created that expectation for me as a young artist,” he said. “So now, damn near 25 or some odd years later, we feel inspired to go out and create more artists.”
For Reid, the chance meeting last year was kismet. “It felt like it could be spontaneous, but I swear it could have been by design,” he told GQ. He went on to gush about his onetime protégé’s dedication to his craft and desire for perfection at all times. “He’ll stay behind the mic literally for five, six hours without even a bathroom break,” he said. “He’ll stand there and sing and sing and sing.”
To give the up-and-coming performers a home, Usher and Reid are teaming up to build a new record company, with the “My Boo” songbird being the first signee. “It’s gonna be [a record label] and then some,” the hitmaker teased in a November 2022 interview on “Angie Martinez IRL.” “To be able to be back in each other’s lives [is great]. I feel he has been a viable commodity to so many people in so many industries. And so many incredible entities. But now to be able to come together and have ownership in what we’re building for our future [is awesome].”