R&B singer-songwriter Avant signs autographs for fans Friday at Fort Hood’s Clear Creek Main Exchange.

Singer/songwriter Avant evolved as the music industry became more hip-hop driven. But he’s still sticking to his R&B roots. Legends like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Luther Vandross inspired the sounds of his seventh album, “Face the Music,” which debuted Feb. 5.

“You have to be a chameleon in this game. You have to change or switch your style up,” Avant said Friday during a free mini-performance and CD signing at the Clear Creek Main Exchange. “You have to understand that there’s a new generation coming up that doesn’t understand R&B music ... but you can pull them back this way.”

In a studio in Chicago, Avant explored his creativity to transform those hard-to-talk-about relationship issues into a 12-track album.

“These songs mean something to people,” he said. “These are things that people are going through every day, but it’s not being talked about, so in this album I was the one to talk about it.”

Spc. Cassidey Gaines, 57th Signal Battalion, has been a fan of Avant since his start and is glad he’s making a resurgence on the charts.

“I love the old stuff, that’s why I’m a fan,” she said. “He’s been in hideout for a long time.”

More than a decade after his first Billboard success, Avant reunited with Keke Wyaat for his lead single “You and I.” He avoids using autotune so the duo’s voices remain raw in the searing love ballad.

“I’m a real singer. I could sing right now as pure as you hear it on the album,” Avant said. “The studio is there to help you and enhance you in certain aspects but it shouldn’t be that one piece of sound to drive your whole album. That’s disgusting to me.”

He wrote all the songs on his latest album, some from personal experience and others from things he’s seen or heard from others.

“I try to make it a purpose of mine to come with something other than just talking about making love,” he said. “It’s a lot of relationship-driven type of things on this album.”

Avant promised to stay true to R&B’s roots and provide great music for his fans.

“It you get (the album), it’s therapy for you,” he said. “It’s a lot of great music.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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