EXCLUSIVE: Next Member RL Talks Failed Marriage, Suicidal Thoughts and Artists Conforming

Next member RL, who is responsible for a string of hits in the 90s including “Too Close” and “Wifey,” recently opened up to Singersroom about a series of topics; professional and personal. Currently recording a new album entitled ‘Music 101’ with his group and production company Minnesota Nights, RL says their taking their time to “do it right,” instead of conforming to what’s out there now.

“We have been gone so long so we want to make sure we do it right,” RL told Singersroom. “A lot of artists are coming out with material that is beneath them because they are trying to be successful. They are working with the hottest producers of today but it is not the right producers for them. Their core audience doesn’t want that! They forget that good music doesn’t die. So we see a lot of our peers with material that is beneath them just to get on the radio. It’s like Dr. Jay coming to the gym with Jordans on. No he’s wearing Converse!”

RL goes on to advise new artists not to believe the hype, adding: “A lot of artists are following the radio and artists that they think are popular are not selling like you think they are. A lot of artists that are popular are not paid. I’m still eating off records from over a decade ago. What happens when what you talk about fades now? New artists need to think about tomorrow. What happens when the S500 and being in VIP changes?”

RL’s advice for new acts is coming from a good place. Before the fame and notoriety, he also had is struggles growing up in Minnesota but insist the artists he looked up to was his source of strength.

“The reason it’s called ‘Minnesota Nights’ is because I contemplated suicide when I was younger,” says RL. “When I was little I would listen to After 7, Jodeci, Baby Face and God would tell me to hold up. That’s what Minnesota Nights remind me of, those rough times. Whenever I get down I remember those Minnesota nights.”

The platinum entertainer does have some regrets though. Blowing a marriage, a record deal with Jive and better business ethics are some of the things he wishes he could rewind and change.

“I would rewind to my marriage. I would rewind to my boy and her cheating. I was so damaged and jaded by the industry. I got divorced and everything I wrote or sang was about me being hurt,” he says. “A woman can fall in love as many times as she wants but a man falls in love like two or three times. I would rewind and change the people around me and handle my business a little differently. I would have been smarter on who I keep close. I kept some people away that should have been closer. I would have handled it a lot better. I was damaged so I needed a break; it’s not like I came out with garbage when I took that break. I Wish I could of did it all over all together because I had a deal with Clive with $450,000 on the table. I didn’t know how to handle it.”


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