Johnny Gill: Defining Legacy

Johnny Gill is not attempting to slowdown as his career matures; he is performing on more stages and preparing a new solo album. As one third of Head of State, Gill has been touring with long friends Ralph Tresvant and Bobby Brown, helping fans recapture moments of their youth.

Now that he has signed a new record deal with Notifi Records, Gill is steadily at work recording new material with music producers Wyclef Jean, Bryan Michael Cox and Troy Taylor. For Gill, creating new music is not about trying to recapture old moments but making new magical experiences about who he is now.

Plus & Minus of Being in a Group… Actually it is cool because what happens is it keeps you from getting bored. It keeps me constantly doing something new. [It] is another challenge and I love it. I love working with people on top of doing what I do and having the opportunity to express myself and do some of the things I want to do artistically.

Staying On a Team… Once you kind of bond and you have a great working relationship its like at some point you begin to want to go back to the well. You want to go back and continue to keep doing it. Not simply because you hope everything is going to be a home-run. It is part of what you established as your body of work and you continue to be consistent with having a lot of avenues as far as your body of work goes that is the part you add to your legacy. So that is enjoy trying different things and making sure I continue to keep up.

Reemerging Mature Artist… I think it is really true. Music goes through cycles and then it comes back to the basics. I think the basic is R&B and soul. The basic fundamental of where everything starts. [From] house music to Reggae to anything, [it] still has to come from the roots which is really the soul.

Secret Formula… I don’t know if I have a formula. I just know most importantly I have to do and be me. One of the things I have been battling with while recording this record is [that] I like so many types of music but you think I know what people are going to expect and what they want. All this is put into a place and then somebody said to me “you have to do you and where you are today that is what it is.” That is what people are going to gravitate and connect with. If you want to do something a little bit more different than what you have done in the past, you just have to speak to a truth of what you’re doing. Everybody else will be able to connect to it.

New Quincy Jones… Wyclef Clef is kind of like Quincy Jones of this era.

Reliving the Past… If I tried to re-record “When Something Is Wrong with My Baby,” I could sing the notes but I could never be able to interpret that song and create that song the way I [did] when I recorded it. Because I was in a different time and place…. It is a magical moment that I don’t think you can go back and create. I can go look for another magical moment…

Panties On The Stage… They a little older and little bigger now. (laughs) But they are still coming.

A New Business World… Unfortunately with the way business is now, people are not given a chance to dig into a whole album because everybody is going for the first single.

—— By: Interview By Staff


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