Bobby Valentino going indie


Bobby Valentino has exited Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam and plans to release two independent projects: a six-track EP followed by a full-length studio album.

Calling the departure amicable, the singer-songwriter describes his two-album DTP/Def Jam tenure as a "great stepping stone and learning experience. I look at this as my going off to college. It was time for me to step out on my own and show the world who Bobby Valentino the artist really is."

While in Los Angeles to negotiate distribution for his Blu Kolla Dreams Records (in partnership with Courtney Stewart), Valentino said that his digital-only EP, "Come With Me," will become available April 29. It was recorded this year in tandem with producer Bill Jabr.

"Bill and I are on a vibe to do something different beyond the R&B norm," says Valentino. "I call it R&B alternative: we use live instrumentation like electric guitars but the drums remain very urban/rhythmic."

The EP serves as a bridge to the yet-untitled studio album that he plans to release in late summer. Longtime collaborators Tim & Bob are also on the production roster along with Raphael Saadiq. The set's first single, already at radio, is "When I See You Smile" featuring Lil' Wayne. In the future, Valentino hopes to sign a couple of other acts to Blu Kolla.

Valentino's self-titled DTP album debuted and peaked at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 in 2005. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album stands at 706,000 units. His 2007 effort, "Special Occasion," posted the same chart stats and has sold 267,000 copies.