Contributed by GBoogie and Santana, @esantanajournalist.
I, along with fellow Southern Laced contributor Santana, recently had a chance to interview R&B vets Dru Hill, who are back on the scene and doing shows together.
I can personally say I gained some great insight into what it takes to have longevity in the music industry…
Check out the Q&A below!
Q: How was the experience of coming back together?
A: Everything kind of snowballed after the Soul Train awards. And then, two weeks ago we went into (the studio) and it was business as usual.
Everyone does their part.
Q: How do you feel about current music? How do you think it’s different from the music you were making with your generation?
A: It’s just an evolution of where music is going. Things were changing from R&B/Jazz fusion like Anita Baker when we came in.
We used to mix a lot of rap in our remixes. Then, we did “How Deep is Your Love”, which was our fastest hit.
Kids these days grew up on Hip-Hop. So love isn’t the most essential feeling in the lyrics, even though the melodies are pretty.
Everything is an evolution. A lot of stuff is good, but there’s less of a balance though.
Q: Do you feel that you are able to capture the same audience that you did in the past?
A: To be honest, I believe we have been able to capture our same audience.
Dru Hill will be performing with K-Ci & JoJo, Tony! Toni! Tone! and Next at the Fox Theatre on September 2nd. Tickets can be purchased at www.foxtheatre.org.
Q: What are some of your favorite songs you like to perform? And is there a song that you wish you could perform more?
A: The first part is hard because I co-wrote and co-produced a lot of records. But I think I would have to say “Beauty” because it’s the only one that became big that the group didn’t want to sing and the label didn’t want to get behind.
The number of records we are able to perform is a time thing. We don’t have enough time to perform every song.
Q: You don’t see as many R&B groups in the mainstream nowadays. Do you think there were more groups years back because that was the trend? And what were the dynamics of Dru Hill, did everyone play a part in the creative process?
A: A lot of people didn’t know everyone could sing, but everyone played a part… either with a track or a song idea. Everyone was involved in one way or another.
Groups are still popular, but no one is willing to spend the money it takes to get them off the ground… true artist development. You really have to go work with a group.
Q: Back in the day, music seemed to be rooted more in the church. Will the Musicality and Chords feel come back?
A: Since 2000, everything has become Hip-Hop. We had no choice but to go to church. Nowadays, there’s no one to take you to church.
Music is too much of a hustle now… where it’s all about the money. Music always changes with the times, but it has to come from the people.
Q: What was the inspiration behind “Beauty”?
A: I’ll never tell. (Laughs)
Q: Describe the evolution of Dru Hill in one word?
A: Lifers. We were born to do this. We have been through so many things in the music industry. Nothing was able to stop us.
We’re not going anywhere until we die.