Many music lovers were moved by SisQo's electrifying dance moves, vocal abilities, or his platinum, red, or blonde Caesar haircut when he made his debut as the lead singer of the multi-platinum R&B group, Dru Hill. During that time, the Grammy nominated singer and his band-mates released a number of hits that we love until this very day. But, at the height of their success, SisQo decided to pursue a solo career. In November 1999, he accomplished his goal when he released his debut solo album, Unleash the Dragon. The project boasted the smash singles Unleash the Dragon," "Got to Get It," his number #1 smash, "Incomplete," and of course "Thong Song." The Unleash the Dragon album was further confirmation for music critics, who were unsure if SisQo would be able to step out on his own as a solo artist. He went on to release his second solo album, Return of the Dragon, starred in two movies, “Get Over It” with Kirsten Dunst, and “Snow Dogs” with Cuba Gooding Jr, and had his own MTV show, “SisQo Shakedown.” As you can see, SisQo is not a stranger to hard work and participating in projects that would benefit him as an artist.
Now, the R&B veteran is putting the finishing touches on his third album, the last in his dragon trilogy entitled, The Last Dragon, slated to arrive in December 9, 2014. The set is led by the first single, "A-List," featuring rapper Waka Flocka. SisQo took time out of his busy schedule to converse with Singersroom about his new album, working with Waka Flocka, his other upcoming projects, and more.
Check out our exclusive interview with the R&B crooner.
On His Third Album, The Last Dragon: This album is a little more abstract from my first two albums. It took a long time to start working on my third solo album, but the timing is perfect. I took a break and was working and touring with Dru Hill, but now I am ready. The songwriting process was a little different because the music industry has changed. Music is evolving and it’s more alive than ever. And so it was important for me to launch an album that blends well with today's music. You can’t expect everything to stay the same, everything must change and you have to grow with it. And on this album, you will be able to recognize my growth as an artist and as a man. I collaborated with some great producers and songwriters and the vibe and energy was great when I worked with these artists. This album pretty much sums up the entire dragon trilogy. I am actually working on releasing a video for my second single "Lips." On this record, it is strictly piano-playing, no beats. This single will show my growth as an artist on a whole different level. This is like my love letter to my fans. The Last Dragon represents my resurrection to mainstream R&B and how and why I rise again.
Working with Waka Flocka on New Single, "A-List": The single with Waka is a club banger. This record is full of swagger and we added an Auto-tune sound to it. The whole Waka collaboration began… Since I have been gone for so long, I had to reach out to artists that were known for successful club bangers. I am not about accolades; I'm more about the music. My new media company, Massenburg Media, had a lot to do with the Waka Flocka feature, so I cannot take all of the credit. Massenburg is known for launching the music genre "neo-soul," and so we were trying to figure out which rap artist should be featured on the song. A few rappers came to mind, but Waka had the best track record for successful club bangers. And my niece had a crush on him from the show, ‘Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta’. So we reached out to him and we played the record and he was down to be featured on the song. And everything worked itself out after that. And his wife, Tammy, was a fan of my music so maybe she influenced Waka since she is from Baltimore also [Laughs]. Working with Waka was dope and he is an incredible artist. Shout out to Waka.
Evolution of R&B Music: Like I said before, music is alive, so you have to grow with it. See, a lot of times, artists are comfortable and they don't accept or embrace change, especially artists who are already successful. Mainstream R&B has resurfaced, so if you have been out of the spotlight for a long time and trying to make a comeback, you have to keep up with the times. Now, I am not saying don't stay true to who you are, but don't walk around like your sh*t don't stink. You can't think you're better than everyone else and people should bow down to you because of your status in the business. I respect the younger songwriters and producers because they have given a fresh and new perspective on today's music. Everyone is chasing to have a hit on the radio, don't get me wrong, you want a hit, but it shouldn't be your main focus. I want to work with songwriters and producers who are hungry and really love their craft and pass on my knowledge of the music industry and R&B music to them.
Balancing Solo Projects and Dru Hill: Its Batman and Bruce Wayne for me! Dru Hill is my roots, that's a given. My brothers, Tayo, Nokio, and Jazz support my solo projects, and I support their stuff also. I hold on to my sword and keep it sharp. I learn from my brothers to be a better artist, Jazz and Tayo, great vocalists, and Nokio keeps everything together with the writing and producing. So it's nothing, people don't understand; it's healthy competition, so I am not feeling pressured.
Pressured to release another smash hit like "Incomplete" and "Thong Song": It is a challenge in some ways, but I do my best to release songs that people will enjoy when they hear it, from ballads, party anthems, club bangers. I can only be me and maybe this song, "A-List," will shock my fans, but either way, I still appreciate my fans' support.
Other Projects from SisQo: It's in the works; I did a couple of reality shows and I've been there, done that. I am interested in more roles in film, but I want to wait for the right time to start going into that avenue again. I really want to focus and put my all into it. Because you don't want to star in a movie and make an ass of yourself. I have to do it right, so there's no rush. Who knows, Maybe I'll make a guest appearance on Kevin Hart's “The Real Husbands of Hollywood,” so that may be in the works. I respect Kevin as a comedian and building his brand, so for now, I'll let him eat and get his shine. But, that wouldn't be such a bad idea [Laughs]. But, for right now, I am focusing on my music.