You have a collaboration album coming down the pike. What can your fans expect?
It’s called TGT: Tyrese, Genuine and Tank. We’re calling ourselves the R&B Avengers. Everybody has their own fan base, identities and individual hits and songs that people love and have embraced over the years—and it’s time to bring our energies together and get on stage and have some fun with it. We’re going to remind people why they fell in love with true R&B in the first place. No house. No techno—R&B music through and through. We want to try and pick up where Jodeci left off.
You used an indie approach to market your last album by hosting an online listening party. Do feel like you have to do creative things to survive as a music artist today?
Absolutely. There was no limit to how far I was willing to go to create energy around the Open Invitation album. We’re almost at 400,000 records sold independently. And the industry is till trying to wrap their head around how I was able to pull it off. It’s about doing music that people believe in. R&B is lacking conviction. And I think that’s what people were able to connect with on the Open Invitation album. It had been five years since I last dropped. I had a lot of stuff that happened to me over the years and I put my heart on the mic.
Speaking of authentic R&B, the incomparable Anita Baker recently covered your hit song, “Lately.” How does it feel to have someone of her stature remix your material?
My version of “Lately” was an appetizer. Anita Baker has blessed my life beyond words; she’s [like] my mom. I just had one of the best conversations I’ve ever had in my life with her the other day. I know she’s been through a long, rough patch and I’m just happy that she’s finally going to be able to sing, dance and smile after all that she’s gone through. I hope she sells millions of records and wins 12 Grammys. She deserves it.
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