Marques Houston Now A ‘Veteran,’ New CD March 20

Inevitably, there comes a time in every boy’s life when he realizes he’s a man. For Marques Houston, that time is now. With his new album Veteran, he reveals his maturity to the world. Gone are the days of pop-laced tracks and catering to the teen crowd. He’s moved on to the next phase of not only his music, but life. Forget everything you think you know about the LA native, Marques Houston-child music artist (at the tender age of 11, he led the kid group Immature), adolescent actor (as goofy “Roger” on the ’90s sitcom Sister, Sister) and novice solo performer (in 2003, he broke out on his own from IMX, the revamped older version of Immature, to embark on a solo career with his debut disc MH). It’s time to get to know Marques Houston, the man. Houston sees Veteran not as a reinvention of himself but simply as whom he’s become. “This album is gonna set the tone for who I am truly as a man and as an artist,” he says emphatically. “People feel because I’ve been in the spotlight since I was little, they know me, but they don’t. I’ve been through so many trials and tribulations in my life and career, from losing my mother to lymphoma cancer to learning how to stay true to myself in this crazy business. I’m ready to share who I am.” Houston’s influences from Marvin Gaye are quite apparent on Veteran. A departure from the lyrically explicit, bump-and-grind candidness heard over seductive grooves on his last disc Naked, Veteran expresses maturity through lyrics on far more tender subject matters and melodies for the hip adult. With earlier projects, Marques admittedly catered to a younger audience. This time around, he was “free in the studio” and recorded what he felt. Since turning 25, he says, “I’ve made a transformation. I started feeling different, more in control of my life, more grown up. There’s no going back now, I’m not a child anymore.” Perhaps the most obvious sign of Houston’s maturity is his view on relationships with women, as expressed on the lead single “Favorite Girl,” a mid-tempo groove enriched with strings and an airy melody. Written about a former flame that remains close to his heart, the song attests to his new found understanding that a relationship isn’t about self-gratification but partnership. This insight is articulated on tracks like “Wonderful,” which conveys general appreciation for a female companion, another ballad that manages to evoke tranquil emotion through a mid-tempo beat. “That’s somewhat of where I am right now in my relationship,” he confesses, “my girl is wonderful.” The track reunites Houston with hit songwriter Ne-Yo, who penned “That Girl” for him back in 2003. Additional contributors include Bryan Michael Cox, Tank, Rufus Blaq, The Underdogs (Joe, Mario, Fantasia), and Adonis. Veteran does offer of up-tempo tracks such as “Like This” featuring Young Joc. Houston says that song came about from his love of “snap music,” on which Joc currently has a lock. Other guests include Shawna, the first lady of DTP (Ludacris’ Disturbing the Peace), and friend/colleague Mya on “Hold N Back.” But Marques still has a little bit of “nakedness,” in him-he says the track “Kimberly,” a Prince-esque song was inspired by his current squeeze, exposes his “freaky” side uncovered on Naked. “That is still a part of me,” he says sheepishly. Though many artists boast of completing their albums in mere months, Houston took over a year and a half to finish Veteran. “I like to take my time. I want my music to be timeless. When you play this album ten years from now, I want you to still love it.” And although he’s no longer targeting the 21-and-under crowd, he’s not worried about alienating his fans. “Majority of my fans grew up with me and the younger ones just expect good music from TUG, and I promise to give that.” Houston has developed a knack for juggling multiple projects. Veteran is being released on his own T.U.G./Universal Motown Record label, which includes a roster of artists (Omarion, Mila J etc). He’s also continued his acting career-he starred on his own television series Cuts for two seasons and co-starred with Omarion in the dance hit film You Got Served. And next year, he and Omarion will star in the horror flick Somebody Help Me produced by their company Rock Stars Entertainment. In the most fickle industry there is, Houston has remained. He attributes his continued success to a great team and deep belief in God. “I’ve seen a lot of artists come and go, a lot of one-hit wonders, and I just thank God that I’m not one of them. Also, God has blessed me with great people in my corner, like Chris Stokes (manager and business partner) and the T.U.G. family.” And with a winning formula like that, it’s no wonder he’s become a Veteran. “Veteran” album tracklisting is as follows: 1. Veteran (Intro) 2. Like This Featuring Yung Joc 3. Always & Forever 4. Favorite Girl 5. Circle 6. Wonderful 7. Exclusively 8. How You Just Gonna 9. Hold N’ Back Featuring Mya and Shawnna 10. Kimberly 11. So Right for Me 12. Miss Being Your Man


Since 2005, Singersroom has been the voice of R&B around the world. Connect with us via social media below.

View all posts by Singersroom →