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Interview with SWV (Sisters With Voices)

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SWV (Sisters With Voices) are arguably one of the most successful RnB groups of the 90s. A series of hits include, Weak, Right Here/Human Nature, Downtown and You’re the One. The group, unfortunately, disbanded in 1998 to pursue solo projects. Now the ladies are back with a new album and new single that features the 90s SWV sound we fell in love with.

The ladies are currently traveling all over the world to promote there new album, I Missed Us, and recently sat down to answer some of my questions.

What are some of the differences in re working with the music industry in the 90s versus working in it today?

Coko:It seemed easier in the 90’s. We had the big machine backing us and there were many major labels back then. Now the majors are disappearing! Also, the Internet has taken over. People don’t go out & buy CD’s like they used to.

Same question but geared towards Major music labels – what was it like working with them in the 90s versus today?

Lelee: I thought working with a major label was cool. The only thing we really had to worry about is recouping the money back. And when you’re successful it’s easy to do. There was more money to work with as far as packaging an artist and album budgets. Nowadays, you have to come with your own package and make a record with peanuts if you don’t have those industry relationships. The good thing is, you get more on the back end if you do the numbers (if you sell records). Also, working with an independent allows the company to focus on one artist at a time, which is what every artist wants.

Some artists are now touting – “Indie is the new major” meaning independent labels are the new major label. Do you believe that?

Taj: I believe that major labels are unable or unwilling to give artists the budgets or long term contracts that they once did. Independent labels are able to offer artists a short term deal with more control to do what they want. Why not roll with them?

What do you think of the music industry in connection with social media?

Coko:
I think it’s great! It’s really popular and something that people read every day. So, it’s a great way for people to hear about you and what you’re working on. Sometimes they can be a little mean and cruel but it comes with the territory, I guess.

There have been rumors of a new album for years, why now?

Taj:We decided that the time was right. Mass Appeal/E1 felt that we still had some life left in our career and decided to give us a shot. We don’t plan to let them down.

With “Co-Sign” you kept the 90’s SWV’s sound, why was that so important?

Coko:It was very important for us to stay true to who we are. I don’t think our fans would be pleased if we changed our sound to sound like what’s out right now. SWV is classic!

Do you think SWV can pick back up where you left off?

Taj:I know that SWV can pick up where we left off because we have. We’ve been touring since 2005, now we have a new album to put in our show.

The new album, I Missed Us, what does the title mean? What is the album about? Any features?

Lelee: I Missed Us is a song on our album about a relationship, but we realized it can mean so many other things for many people. A relationship is a relationship and when you’re a part of something or someone for so long, whether a marriage, a friendship, etc., you missed what’s now gone. We (SWV) realized that we really missed “us” being together as a group. After trying so many names that was the one we all agreed on. Coko thought of it because that’s one of her favorite songs on the records.

Currently SWV’s new single, Co-Sign, has peaked at #67 on the Billboard RnB/Hip Hop charts. The music video was just released yesterday, their first since 1997’s Rain. We can expect the new album, I Missed Us, to hit shelves on April 17, 2012.

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