Learning from The Sing-Off with Shawn Stockman
The Boyz II Men star and Sing-Off judge talks about his career and why he loves judging the popular singing competition.
BY: Stephen Russ
Let’s talk Boyz II Men. What can people expect from your new album?
History, and I’m not meaning in that in a presumptuous way. Literally, it’s history, it’s our twenty years encompassed in one record. It’s a double CD that features the Boyz II Men classics, I guess you could say, I don’t want to sound presumptuous there either. Just the songs that people most know us for. We have those on one disc and we re-recorded them and added a little twist and flavors here and there, not too much because we didn’t want to [tick] anybody off who liked the originals. On another CD we have twelve original, brand new Boyz II Men records, and this is something we haven’t done in about nine years. So people will actually get a chance to hear new music from us and where we are musically. That’s what we’re most excited about. We’ve grown a lot vocally, we think that we’ve gotten a lot stronger. We always just try to make music that people can apply to their everyday lives. Music is practical, at least it should be, and we try not to make it too hard, too intricate, or too deep, at least not in the sense of the body of work. We try to create something where it’s palpable and people can feel it and just understand it and get into it for what it is. We feel like a lot of times when it comes to love and relationships, the best way to talk about it is simple (laughs). So everybody understands it. It’s bad enough that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, we try to even the playing field by expressing it in a way that both parties can understand it.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
The biggest lesson I think I’ve learned is – don’t panic. There’s so many things that go on in life that seem unsure and you really don’t know which direction you have to go in order to succeed or even stay afloat… [but] a lot of times every action doesn’t require a reaction. Learning all of that is what I take the most out of everything. There was a point even with my life, and with my group, and even personally, where I did not know how it was going to play out. I didn’t know what the end was going to be. It’s still that way in some cases, but things are a lot better in my life as far as my group, and personally, and things of that nature, but there were storms, and I didn’t understand until I just took the time to relax, sit back, chill, and to not freak out. When you let life just happen, and to not always have to do something just because something happened to you, and just wait and be patient, answers tend to kind of formulate and crystallize, and then you can make the right decision. My biggest lesson then is – don’t panic.
What was it like working with Justin Bieber?
Just in is a real professional, he’s really great. Despite all the hype behind him, and all the girls screaming, and all that, he’s a legitimate artist. He’s not a flash in the pan artist at all. I enjoyed working with him, and I enjoyed talking to him and hanging out with him. He understands a lot to be so young, and I didn’t really necessarily feel like I was talking to a young kid, I was talking to a seasoned professional. He carries himself that way, very mature, understands things, understands music, understands the music and the music business. I wish him the best because he’s one of the good ones, he’s one of the guys that I personally root for because I know how hard this kid works. I know how hard he worked before he got the deal so it’s just nice that all of this is happening to somebody who is so dedicated.CLICK to Continue to:: An Interview with Rachael Lampa from The Sing-Off!