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Album Review: Lights - Little Machines
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Interview

Spin or Bin Music Interview with Boyz II Men

By  November 28, 2011

They are the most successful commercial R&B act in history, having sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, and they have worked with the greats, such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and others. Boyz II Men, comprising of Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris (Michael McCary had left the group) made the music world excited when they announced that they were coming back with a new record, Twenty, which was released on 25th October 2011.

We caught up with the Wanya, one-third of the R&B group, to ask him a couple of questions - from their collaboration with Justin Bieber to Stockman's involvement in the very successful reality acapella-singing competition. Read the interview below:

 

A lot of things have changed in the music industry, so what is the one thing that you wish, hadn't changed at all? Did you feel any pressure while recording Twenty?

The focus has shifted to hit singles rather than the album as whole. As artists we always strive to create really complete, classic music albums. You don’t want just one smash hit and then 11 tracks of filler, we always try to create albums you can listen to straight through and then pass down to your kids.

I know you guys have mentioned about infusing the old and the new together – so how is this being developed in Twenty?


We wanted to acknowledge the timeless ballads  that have defined a lot of our career while still building variety into the album. So it is a balance between old and new, classic and hip. We poured our heart and soul into this album to make it the best it can be

You recently did a collaboration with Justin Bieber for his holiday album. Who else from the current music scene that you would like to work together with?

We love the young artists out there… Justin was great to work with. We don’t have a wish list. But Justin Timberlake and Usher have both cited us as influences and at some point down the road we would definitely be open to collaborating with them.

How do you think Shawn's involvement in The Sing Off will help Boyz II Men – be it in terms of reaching out to newer audience or even just rekindling the love for singing in a group again?

Being a judge on NBC’s hit reality competition, the Sing-Off and that has been an amazing experience for Shawn. We’re always trying to stretch ourselves and bring fresh perspective to our music, so we always work on our outside aspirations as well. It’s a great way to reach a younger audience for sure, as well as viewers who may not of grown up listening to us. So the Sing-Off has been great.

20 years of making music is a long time. What is the one moment in your entire career that you wish you could relive again?

There have been so many incredible moments. Between winning awards and releasing albums and performing for our fans all over the world, it’s too difficult to pick just one. We’re at a great place right now as well; we’re proud to be here still doing what we love 20 years later.

With all the success that you have achieved over the years, how do you keep yourselves grounded to reality?

We stay focused on the music and we never forget why started making music in the first place- because we love it and because we want to share it with people. The success is humbling in a lot of ways.

What is the one song from other musicians that you wish you had written?

There are a lot of great love songs, the classics by Marvin Gaye, Al Green, but we have always focused on our own career and put our own creative process first.

If you weren't a musician, which career path would you have undertaken?

We’ve been making music for so long that it’s hard to fathom other career paths. Nate is actually a very talented photographer and graphic designer as well so that would be his path but for Shawn and myself it would be a little tougher!


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