North Carolina native Calvin Richardson is a gritty, gospel-minded urban contemporary/neo-soul vocalist and songwriter whose influences have ranged from Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack, Donny Hathaway, and Marvin Gaye to Jodeci, K-Ci & JoJo, and R. Kelly. Like other neo-soulsters who emerged in the '90s and 2000s, Richardson looks to different R&B eras for inspiration. The classic soul of the '60s and '70s has had an impact on his singing and writing, but so have the urban contemporary and hip-hop of the '80s, '90s, and 2000s. At times, Richardson can be flat-out retro; some of his material would have been right at home on an old Stax or Motown LP from R&B's pre-'80s, pre-urban contemporary, pre-hip-hop era. But other times, he has a more modern, hip-hop-influenced outlook. In other words, the Southerner has some songs that are quite friendly to urban radio, and others that would be too old-school for urban radio.