Four-time Grammy Award-winning R&B vocal group Boyz II Men are celebrating 25 years in show business in a grand manner — namely, with their latest album, Under the Streetlight. The set is a tribute to the classic, harmony-driven sound that inspired the iconic R&B trio, featuring a personal selection of timeless covers chosen by Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris.
The group sat down with Build Series during a recent trip to New York City to talk about their new work, and give some insight on the genre they helped solidify and why they’ve been able to stick together for so long as a successful unit.
When asked their opinion as to why there aren’t as many good vocal groups on the scene these days, Stockman responded, “They’re out there,” clarifying that one needs to look under the radar and not necessarily at the hot artists of the moment.
“The daunting thing about the music business is you have to dredge through so much stuff to get to the music that not only necessarily reminds you of what was, but just good music in general,” he explained.
He admitted that finding really magnetic groups, as opposed to solo artists, can be difficult. His bandmate Wanya Morris agreed.
“It’s a selfish world,” he noted. “When it comes to a group, it takes so long to get to that point, that it kind of tears them apart.”
“You need to believe in the group first,” Nathan Morris said. “That’s always the problem, with most groups — they don’t believe in the group first. They’ll sing together, it’ll sound great, and they’ll take the accolades, but when things don’t go well, the group is not what’s important. It’s ‘How do I get out of this?’ or ‘How do I figure this out?’ And they wind up going other places.”
Wanya Morris also cited the difficulties of the music industry as an additional hurdle for groups to navigate. “[The industry] barely would accept Boyz II Men, if we weren’t at the place we’re at,” he admitted.
Overall, the three agreed that in addition to group teamwork, humility is something that has held them together at such a high level of success for so long. “It’s tough to turn a blessing off. We understand every single day of our lives how blessed we are to be in the position we are in. So the humility is something we will never lose.”
Watch the full interview with Boyz II Men below: