When one mentions musical groups with the ability to twist and turn notes with amazing vocal prowess, Boyz II Men is at the top of the list as one of the best-selling R&B groups of our time. Group members Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris, and Shawn Stockman’s signature sound has provided a harmonizing soundtrack to our lives for over 20 years, as the group has enthralled us with timeless hits that include “One Sweet Day,” “End of the Road,” “I’ll Make Love to You,” and “On Bended Knee.”
These days, the fellas of Boyz II Men are “Doin’ Just Fine;” they recently extended their Las Vegas residency at The Mirage and are currently on the road touring. The group’s tour brought them to the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 12th for a performance backed by the Charlotte Symphony. SoulTrain.com caught up with Shawn Stockman before the show to chat about performing with a symphony, the key to longevity, and what’s next for the trio.
SoulTrain.com: What makes performing with the Charlotte Symphony different from having your band backing you?
Shawn Stockman: We love playing with a symphony because it makes the sound much bigger, richer, and more complex. Because there are so many musicians playing so many different instruments, the symphony adds a ton of energy and we really feed off of it.
SoulTrain.com: What do you hope fans take away from this performance?
Shawn Stockman: We hope that fans can appreciate the authentic, unique sound that they will experience with the Charlotte Symphony. There has been such a shift in the music industry with digital technology. So much of what’s out there today is auto tuned and overproduced. Real, live music is becoming a rarity. It’s a treat to have all of those incredible musicians under one roof.
SoulTrain.com: What do you think is the key to Boyz II Men’s longevity?
Shawn Stockman: We have had great longevity as a group because we’ve been able to evolve along with the industry; and because we have never compromised on quality or artistic vision. We’ve always been about making heartfelt, timeless songs for real moments in peoples’ lives. That is the key to withstanding the test of time.
SoulTrain.com: Where do you see R&B heading into the future? What can be done to resurrect the genre that many say is dying?
Shawn Stockman: There aren’t as many R&B groups today as there used to be. It has been crazy to see the shift and I hope that R&B will be resurrected. All it takes is one group to blow people away!
SoulTrain.com: You are absolutely right that there aren’t many groups on the scene right now. The ‘90s into the early 2000s saw several guy and girl groups. What do you think is the reason behind the decline?
Shawn Stockman: I think it is just part of the cycle. The mindset of the last decade or so has just been very individualistic; and like fashion, things go in and out of style. I think people are ready for groups to make a comeback though so I definitely think we will be seeing more of them.
SoulTrain.com: What’s next for Boyz II Men?
Shawn Stockman: We are currently on tour, but always have our home-base at The Mirage’s Terry Fator Theater where we play select weekends. Our residency has been extended through 2018. We are so excited to continue playing in one of the biggest tourist destinations since we get to interact with our fans from around the world. We are also working on a doo-wop album so fans will definitely be seeing a lot of Boyz II Men.
For the latest on updates with Boyz II Men, check out their website.
Shameika Rene’ is a journalist of all trades. She can usually be found producing television news and writing for various websites such as Charlotte Five, Creative Loafing, Carolina Style Magazine, Uptown Magazine, Sheen Magazine, WEtv.com, or her own websites, www.themofochronicles.com and www.conversationswithmeik.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @mofochronicles.