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On The Problems With R&B Today

2 October 2015 | 4:14 pm | Staff Writer

"That emphasis is so much on one hit single now."

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With multiple number ones, guest appearances on some of TV’s hottest shows, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the 2014 album Collide; Boyz II Men have been far from quiet over the past few years. Not to mention a highly successful series of shows in Vegas. 

“It’s really nice and special for us to be in one place for an extended period of time,” Stockman says of the Mirage residency. “So we can really focus on the show and keep improving it night after night. We really have a chance to connect with our audience and feed off their energy – and of course, it’s a huge honour to perform at a venue as renowned as the Mirage. Since we usually tour eight months out of the year, this a great change of pace for us.”

And the good news is, the Vegas shows have been extended through 2015. 

The Philly trio of Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Stockman, have been wooing audiences with their vocal harmonies since the early '90s and have been responsible for some of the biggest slow jam anthems and ballads that many of us grew up listening to and have drunkenly serenaded each other with on many occasion. 

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As a group who made such an impact on many of today’s artists and the R&B genre overall, Stockman acknowledges the sound of R&B today compared to the '90s has changed. 

“There has definitely been a shift in the sound of R&B today. Back in the '90s it was great when R&B took off in mainstream music, we had the right sound and the right vibe at the right time. 

“One concern we have with current R&B - and current mainstream music in general - is that emphasis is so much on one hit single now, with a good beat, rather than a cohesive album with quality lyrics and melodies. We’ve always been about making music that withstands the test of time- and that includes universal lyrics that resonate with fans. We want to make great songs and great albums- not just throwaway singles. We don’t compromise or just go with what’s popular because we know that our fans deserve quality music.”

However, despite these concerns, he does feel that there are many young artists that the band would love to work with. “There is so much young and fresh talent it would be a privilege to work with anyone of them. We did a Christmas song with Justin Bieber which was such a fun experience that let us connect to a younger audience that we would love to do it again!”

And whilst they are more than happy to work with younger acts, they are just as eager to make appearances on TV shows, even if it’s in a comical light. Over the past few years, the trio have lent their vocals to scenes on Tosh.O and in one of the final episodes of How I Met Your Mother. “We get some great offers to be on some of today’s great TV shows and we love to participate,” the singer explains. “It is always a cool experience and if the right opportunity comes along we would be open to another cameo.”

And the side projects, just keep on coming for the trio. “We are currently working on the Doo-Wop Project to share the story of doo-wop and its impact on all urban music,” Stockman teases.

Returning to perform at Metro City on Saturday, October 3, Stockman says fans can expect something a little different this time round. “Similarly to our show in Vegas, we will be performing a mix of new tracks from our latest album, Collide, for the first time in Australia as well as all of the old hits that everyone knows and can sing along to. We love Australia, so we’re really looking forward to this show!”