Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds may not be in the spotlight like most artists, but better believe the multi-Grammy winner has just as much going on or probably more. Always the one to craft big moves behind the scenes, Babyface recently made two momentous moves to continue to cement his illustrious career. He partnered with friend and longtime collaborator Toni Braxton for the duet album, Love, Marriage & Divorce, as well as the Broadway musical ‘After Midnight,’ which celebrates jazz icon Duke Ellington's years at Harlem's famous Cotton Club. Singersroom recently had a quick chat with the music icon about his current endeavors.
On His Duet Album With Toni Braxton: When we started putting the Love, Marriage, & Divorce album together, besides putting the feelings down and having Toni get things out of her system, the main goal was to make sure the album felt good. It wasn’t really about trying to have hits, as it was about trying to have feel good music.
On Not Following Trends: We try our best not to follow any trends, sometime you do, just cause you get inspired by things.
On Following a Theme: It was a lot about the subject matter, so you kinda just stayed on the subject matter, you didn’t have to go too far away from it. You figure, however many things you can get with love, marriage or divorce, so there’s a lot of songs we did that didn’t make the album and some ideas that we started and didn’t finish, and these were the best of what we came up with. Thematically, it is about love, marriage, and divorce, but the trick was to still make divorce feel good, and heartbreak feel good.
On Improving Self: What I’m most proud of at this point, even in doing this play [After Midnight], is doing something out of my comfort zone. Even at this point in my life, where it wasn’t something I had to do, for the finance of it all, for the fame of it all, it was purely for the art and pushing myself as an artist to do something to improve myself. So in this process, they’ll be something to learn from it. And that’s a lesson for most people; never become complacent with who you are and what you do, always push yourself to go for something out of your comfort zone, cause that’s the only way that you’ll grow.
Transcribed by Elle Breezy