Nelly Opening Slot Helps Calvin Richardson Keep ‘Pushin’ ‘

Neo-soul singer's second album, 2:35PM, due August 12.

HOLLYWOOD — The timing was perfect during the recording of Calvin Richardson’s second album, 2:35 PM; now he’s hoping the stars align for its release.

“My son, he was conceived, like, right at the beginning of the album when I started working on it, and my girl, she gave birth to him right at the end of the album, as soon as I was finishing up,” the neo-soul singer explained of the album’s title. “That’s the time he came into the world. That’s my little soul man.”

Richardson’s first album, 1999′s Country Boy, which included an appearance from fellow Charlotte, North Carolina, singer K-Ci Hailey, only made a small splash (see “Calvin Richardson Traces His K-Ci Connection” ).

But things are already looking better for Richardson thanks to an opening spot on Nelly’s summer tour (see “Mayor Of Nellyville Getting Up Close With His Citizens” ). “I think he’s the biggest rapper in the game right now, so it’s just a big opportunity for me,” Richardson said.

Due August 12, 2:35 PM features some of R&B’s hottest producers, including the Underdogs (Justin Timberlake, B2K), Raphael Saadiq (Ginuwine, TLC) and Mike City (Usher, Brandy), along with a guest spot from Slum Village on “You Got Me High.”

The first single is called “Keep on Pushin’,” which actually has nothing to do with the origin of the album’s title.

“It will make you think of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’ ” he said of the song. “It’s about just different things you go through in a relationship, like [when your lover] keeps pushing you, like when they keep bringing up certain things and they just need to leave them alone, just put them in the past. But sometimes, with females, it’s hard for them to do. So I just wrote a song about it.”

Richardson recently shot the video for “Keep on Pushin’ ” in Los Angeles with director Sylvain White (K-Ci & JoJo, Big Tymers). “It’s got a little story, but it’s mostly performance,” he said.