When it’s mentioned that a member of a group is working on a solo project, rumors usually surface that the band is breaking up. This is not the case with Jagged Edge. The Grammy nominated quartet has chosen to unleash their creative energy through outside projects, while crafting material for their eighth studio album, scheduled for the beginning of 2013.
Wingo, the last member to join Jagged Edge, started 9th Innings, an entertainment company that issued his first mixtape, ‘Life of the Party,’ after starting with the group fifteen years ago. The project differs from what he has done with jagged Edge as he leads all the songwriting and production choices for the uptempo celebration. He views the solo material as a gateway to reach new fans unfamiliar with Jagged Edge. Wingo plans to introduce new listeners to his experience and then open the door for JE. In our discussion with Wingo, we chatted about creative transformation, business conflict of interest and the party life.
9th Innings Records Movement… I had a record, and my friend had a label called 9th Innings. I had signed a few producers and writers, and he also had some artists, writers and a couple of producers. So we decide to do a joint venture and merge companies together and do this thing together. He is a person I really really trust, I have known him since I was a child. He knows my family; I know his family and the whole nine. It is a family thing, we all putting everything under one umbrella. We have producers, writers, and he [my partner] has written three books; we are trying to get published as we speak. It is a conglomerate of good things getting ready to pop, and I’m an integral part of that.
Criteria for Talent… Always looking for hot producers and writers. We can work a publishing deal or production deal, it is not a problem as long as your material is good. I actually want to sign a female artist, I have a couple prospects I have been looking at. Like I said, I am never going to turn down any good opportunity. Ultimately, that is what I got in the business to do, still put out our material, but lend a helping hand; turn somebody else on it this. There are people striving every day, trying to get publishing deals, production deals and the whole nine. We want to facilitate that.
Conflict of Interest… Honestly, I am trying to do the solo thing and I didn’t want anything to infringe on another artist…I didn’t want to take anything away from a male artist as far as me being one and putting out a record on this label.
Jagged Edge Last Addition… I welcomed the whole thing of being in a group. Before I got in Jagged Edge, they were actually trying to put me in 112. They just didn’t want a five man group at the time. I love being in a group, it makes your job easier, but over the past three or four years I have been compiling music outside of the group stuff and it does you no good if you let it sit in the building. You definitely have to let the people hear it.
It is ultimately going to help the Jagged Edge brand. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to put it out without the Jagged edge brand.
Creative Transformation: Solo vs. Group… The twins were basically the bulk writers of the material. Versus coming in and mess up that chemistry and just being like I want to write this. I just didn’t want to mess up the chemistry of them and Jermaine [Dupri]. The material was good, and it still is to this day. I just wanted to start a new entity, do something outside of that. They were the bulk writers of the group, but I can write too. It is just creating a path way to get that stuff out. I didn’t want to disrupt the chemistry of what we already established, the sound and whole nine. My stuff might sound a little different from theirs. I have taken some of the Jagged Edge style and some other styles I have acquired over the years, and that’s basically what my music is.
Forced to Make Up-tempo Records… You always want a good party record. A lot of times that’s what gets the start; it starts in the club. I’m out everyday getting records played and hollering at DJs, keeping relationships strong. You have to have a good record, but it’s the body of music that follows that predicts your path or future.
Songwriter for Hire… I have been working on the twin’s album. For the last two months I was at their house just recording. I have done nine or ten records with them, regardless of whether one go on my project or one of them go on their project it is all a work in progress.
Life of the Party… When I thought about the concept of doing the life of the party, I was like people don’t party anymore. Like back in the day at house parties, they played some R&B records, that’s how I got turned on to H-Town, Jodeci and all that. They would slow it down and you would get a little cutie and grind a little bit and that is a party to me. Because when the party is up everybody is on the floor dancing.
Career Scale for Success as Solo… I want everybody to experience the Wingo experience. They have already experience Jagged Edge, but there are people we have not reached yet.