SWV

SWV Talks Their Comeback, New Single "Co-Sign" & More

Any question or doubt that Sisters With Voice (SWV) would have trouble making a comeback can be put to an end. Their new single “Co-Sign” dropped today and it’s so 90’s! The beat reminds me of their hit “Right Here” they even sing a line from the song “love will be right here.” The song is a guarantee that more good music is to come from the R&B girl group and honestly all age groups are likely to fall in love with the sound. Taj, LeLee and Coko believe that R&B groups can come back and run the game, besides history always does find a way to repeat itself, I can see it beginning with them.

VV talked with each member about how life was outside of the spotlight, what it’s like to be back in it, the story behind “Co-Sign” and more. Check out what each member had to say.

What was life like outside of the spotlight and watching the women on the rise in the industry?

Taj: It was cool listening to them. It made me want to be out there with them.
LeLee: You know to be honest, I wouldn’t say it was the greatest, but it was peaceful. You didn’t have to worry about people constantly picking on you for no reason. I went to church a lot more and my relationship with God flourished. I had to use that time to figure out who I was and what my purpose was in life. Throughout all of my trials and tribulations--I love who I am today. I chose life over death. I chose living for me instead of living for people. Part 2. I really got to see music change, especially for the women. Sometimes I didn’t know if they were selling records or their ass lol. On a serious note, I really enjoyed seeing Beyonce blossom because I have history with her. I always knew she was the star she is today back when she was way younger. It was just in her. I also enjoyed Jill Scott, India.Irie, and a few others

Coko: Well for me I was still recording but just a different genre of music. I recorded a solo R&B CD, then went on to record 2 gospel CD's & became a Grammy nominated gospel artist, so that was pretty awesome!

Being back on the scene, how do you feel fans and the younger generation receive you?
Taj: I'm hoping that our fans and the younger generation receive SWV well, like we never left.

LeLee: Well I don’t really know yet because we haven’t really gotten out there yet. We do have a lot of younger fans though--some of them know the songs, but cant put a face to it. They know the songs because of their mom and older family and friends who came up in our era. I’d like to bring the younger fans in our world of real music. Music that is honest and doesn’t lie. We want them to know that lovemaking is not a hit and run, but a process.

Coko: I think the fans are going to receive us well. We're not going to try to be anything other than SWV. We've always had our own sound & we plan to continue with it just on a more updated level. As for the younger generation, I think they're are going to love us as well because our music is still fresh sounding.

As we see R&B groups start to make a comeback, do you think female groups can be a major hit again? If so, what will it take?

Taj: I do believe R&B groups can make a comeback. Quality music is the key. As long as the music is of great quality any artist stands a chance.
< strong>LeLee: I believe so. Usually with female groups and groups period, I think sometimes we get in our own way with the petty internal stuff and the demands of the business. I believe if we focus more on what’s important, which is the people that got us here in the first place (the fans) we will be around for another 20 years-- because they will keep us here.

Coko: I think anybody can be a major hit again with hard work! Girl groups are missing right now & every few years we go away but now's our time to shine. Maybe with SWV's return we will see more girl groups coming out doing their thing...it's needed!

Explain the story behind recording "Co-Sign" and making this decision to return to music.
Taj: We always wanted to come back. Lamb produced a great song for us. When we heard the song we fell in love with it.

LeLee: Well when I heard the song I knew it had our name on it. The producer studied us and payed attention to what we had done in the past and nailed it. True SWV fans will love this song. Once you’re in this music thing, its imbedded in you. When you have a certain level of success and leave the business-- you miss it. I have always listened to music even when we weren’t together. I’m an old school head. I love the oldies but goodies. On another note, the industry was dry and radio just wasn’t exciting to me anymore. You can count on one hand who was in heavy rotation. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. There are too many great artists out here, but for some reason who ever is responsible didn’t give them a chance. Music has gotten me through some really tough times. There’s always a great song that will take you to whatever place you wanna go, make you feel happy when your sad, and even make you feel like you’re going to heaven when you’re life is full of hell. I would die without music. 🙂

Coko: Co-Sign was written & produced by Lamb. It's just a positive love song that we all fell in love with the 1st time we heard it. Love is missing from a lot of songs these days so we're happy to bring it back. As for the return, it was just time. We finally got past our issues & with the help of Cory were able to get it going full steam. A few people turned their backs on us & just didn't believe in the group anymore. But we believed in ourselves along with our manager Cory Taylor & here we are.

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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Mike Windle/Getty Images for McWraps

Tatyana Ali Shares She’s Pregnant With Second Child

A new bundle of joy is on the way for actress Tatyana Ali and her husband Dr. Vaughn Rasberry. On Saturday (April 13), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star shared the news on Instagram, posting a picture of her baby bump and an excited caption.

“I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump,” she wrote. “We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed.”

 

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I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump. We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed. #BabyRasberry

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 13, 2019 at 7:52am PDT

 

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“Who are you calling?” I asked. He said, “the baby in Mama’s tummy”- Already in cahoots.

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 14, 2019 at 6:47am PDT

In 2017, Ali and Rasberry had their first child, Edward, who arrived a year after the pair wed in July 2016. In an interview with Parents, Ali described her method to parenting, which she picked up from her mother and father.

“I’m more laid-back than I thought I’d be,” Ali said. “My dad was like this with me and my two sisters. While my mom was stricter, he said, ‘If you teach them everything they need to know, they’ll be prepared and figure things out.’”

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Actor Michael B. Jordan backstage at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
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Michael B. Jordan Would Like To Be Considered For B2K's Millennium Tour

Michael B. Jordan loves nostalgia. From the 90s and beyond, the actor has always shown love to those who helped create our favorite music memories. Now, Jordan is looking to throw his hat in the running for B2K's Millenium Tour.

The actor shared a hilarious video of himself, Terrance J and Ridiculousness' Steelo Brim jamming to Diddy's "I Need A Girl Remix" this week on Twitter with the caption, "Is there any more room on the Millennium Tour?" Fans of the 2000s hip-hip/R&B era are aware the jam was released in 2002 from Diddy's LP, We Invented The Remix.

https://twitter.com/michaelb4jordan/status/1116092812787953665

We're sure B2K, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd and the rest of the family wouldn't mind having Killmonger on the road with them. Meanwhile, the guys have brought out several special guests on the Millennium Tour. So far, surprise performances have included Ashanti, Ja Rule, Bow Wow and B5.

Enjoy "I Need A Girl Part 2" below.

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