Reality TV has opened doors for mass opportunities of stardom and has given fans the power to chose which artist they believe are superlative. Lorenzo Owens was chosen by Oprah and viewers of Oprah’s Popstar Challenge as a new star R&B talent. After earning a spot on Oprah?s Popstar album, Owens has utilized his recent celebrity to sign a six album record deal with D-Town Records. On his new album titled ?After the Show? Lorenzo supplies the grown & sexy with 100% real R&B. Find why he is a fan favorite?
Prior to doing the Oprah show what were you doing?
Lorenzo Owens: I was really doing a lot of my own thing. I was still performing but I was finding venues for which I could perform. I was still living in Milwaukee at the time so most of the stuff was happening between Milwaukee and Chicago. I was just creating a buzz. I was writing.
I was reading that you were a back up singer too.
Lorenzo Owens: Yea but that was a bit before that. I had stopped doing that by then.
Were you writing for other people?
Lorenzo Owens: Not necessarily, I was just writing really trying to find my niche. My best friend had been writing for many many years before me and I always sang but I never did write too much. So it was really a process of finding my own voice.
In finding your voice how do you describe your style?
Lorenzo Owens: Truth man, whatever is the truth for me. It comes out in my lyrics and that could be watching somebody else go through a certain experience or an experience that I had directly. For me it is all about being real and keeping it real.
Why did you decide to enter the Oprah Challenge or was that your managers choice?
Lorenzo Owens: It was actually my choice. I just happen to see a commercial for it on. We tend to get a little discouraged sometimes because things aren?t going as fast as we like or whatever the case maybe. I have always admired Oprah and what the show does and the integrity of the show. So I thought ok there doing it and I can?t do American Idol because at that point they had a twenty-three age limit cut-off. I have never really been into competitions that way anyway, so I thought if I?m going to do it this will probably be a perfect place to do it because I?m sure it will be done with character and integrity.
Being that you?re a little bit older for most people pursuing a music career, was that a little bit tougher?
Lorenzo Owens: Well it is tough period. It is tough if your twenty-one, it?s tough if you?re twenty-two, it?s tough if you?re sixteen. In this business just because youth is so admired so to speak. I think it is tough at any age but it seems to get a little tougher as you grow older because again like I said youth is kind of what it is all about in our world today. I know that ain?t where it?s at.(laughter)
At the same time even though you are older, isn?t it an advantage to you just in the sense that you know who you are as a artist?
Lorenzo Owens: Well yea, as an artist absolutely. I was able to really know who I was and when I went into to this deal. That played a very important factor because I knew who I was, I knew what I was getting into and I knew that I didn?t want a label to come along and try to create an artist. I was already an artist. I already knew my voice. I already knew what kind of songs I liked, I didn?t have anybody to push me and make me be someone that I?m really not. From the artist stand point it is definitely a great advantage.
Today most R&B artist are influence by Hip Hop musically. In your album you didn?t step into this realm, you kept the sound straight R&B.
Lorenzo Owens: I think R&B influenced Hip Hop. It brought Hip Hop to the forefront. The lyrics of R&B and just how things were structured?is what pushed Hip Hop out front so I think that is kind of a natural inherent thing that you have the similarities but my music is more rooted in the R&B and not so much influence by Hip Hop.
So which one of your songs is best for baby making?
Lorenzo Owens: You have to take your pick.(laughter) There are a few on there that could probably go that way but I guess it is all in what flavor you like.
On the production for this album you stayed with your team, why did you choose not to bring in any heavyweight producers?
Lorenzo Owens: As heavy as I got was Mike Powell and he is the President of the label. He has worked with everybody from Aretha (Frankilin) to Tyrese to Gladys (Knight) to Patti (Labelle), Stevie (Wonder) all the greats. That obviously worked both ways because he is the president of the label as well. Other than that I stayed with my team because I had really been assembling work for quite some time and I didn?t think it was fair or important to go out and try to get all these big name producers that charge you a zillion dollars. (laughter) Something that you can get just as good at home and we have the chemistry, we have the vibe. I am not saying that I won?t go outside the camp next time but it was really important to me this time to stay grounded. I didn?t really have a need to go out, I got everything I really needed right there.
As far as song lyrics goes, would you say that is a greater portion that goes into your song, that you really want people to listen and understand the words.
Lorenzo Owens: Absolutely because that is what it is all about at the end of the day. If you just rocking your head to a beat and you ain?t got nothing behind that or it?s telling you to do something that you know is not a good thing to do or the right thing to do, then that is not, it is just music then. I think music is a much more powerful medium than that and way too powerful to be used in a way like that. I think you need to use it for what it is, something that can change minds and hearts. Not that it always has to be used like because sometimes you just want to have fun. It doesn?t have to be all heavy but it definitely should be saying something. If you can keep it on the positive side lets do it. If its got to be negative let it be the truth lets not just let it be something that is being put there for the sake of wanting to make a quick buck.
Do you volunteer within your community to help out the youth?
Lorenzo Owens: Well my schedule is so busy so, I don?t have a whole lot of time to do a lot of community oriented things these days. There are a couple of things I?m working on and I try to do things?at home because I think your help has to start at home. There are a lot of young men in my family I try to help out and stay close, stay cool and encourage each other and make things happen that way. Beyond that I?m working on a nonprofit foundation that helps out young black men and their coming of age issues and different things that are going on in our lives that need to be addressed. We are on the wrong path for the most part. That is something that I?m real passionate about and trying to get rolling. —— By: Interview by: Adeniyi Omisore