Jagged Edge Chats About Latest Project, Jermaine Dupri and R&B Music
Grammy-nominated R&B group Jagged Edge released their 7th studio album, The Remedy, on June 21, 2011, promising to give R&B music what it’s been missing, starting with the classic, sensual JE sound.
XXLMag.com caught up with the Atlanta, Georgia, based quartet, made up of identical twin brothers Brandon and Brian Casey and Kyle Norman and Richard Wingo, to talk about their latest project, squashing the beef with Jermaine Dupri and the current state of R&B.—Nicole LoPresti
You recorded The Remedy mostly in Miami. Did your location influence the vibe?
Brandon: You can hear the Miami influence on the up-tempo music. I know on the song “Lipstick Red” with Rick Ross on it, the vibe definitely influenced that song, but like I said, more on the up-tempo stuff I would say you could probably feel a little of the Miami vibe.
This is your seventh studio album. How does it ever not become repetitive or boring?
Brandon: As a songwriter, you can draw from so many things: from your experience, from your friends’ experience, things you want to do, things you might have heard someone say. For that reason alone: that there are so many things going on in life in general and the world in general, [it feels like] you’ve never done it before.
When you guys write songs together, is it just all of you sitting in a room? How does that process work?
Brandon: Anybody can start a song. I might have an idea for a melody or a hook or something like that and somebody may come up with some lyrics, somebody may come up with the concept while somebody else could start it and I’ll just chime my little parts in. So, its really whoever has a good idea or concept or vibe or melody then everyone feeds on that and builds on that.
What do you and your group members, individually, bring to the group?
Brandon: I am one of the lead singers. Most people would say I’m the leader of the group, and I accept that. I do as much as I can for the group. I think Kyle is what I like to call the tension breaker, unless he’s in a bad mood, everybody has bad days. Kyle always knows what to say if a situation is extra tense. Wingo is always high energy. No matter what the situation is, his energy is always up and usually very positive no matter what the outlook is. And my brother, he shares a lot of responsibility with me, he’s the other lead singer. A lot of other people would say he’s the lady’s man because he loves working out and keeping his body in shape, and that kind of motivates everyone else to do that as well.
After thirteen years in the game, how have you seen R&B change?
Brandon: I have seen R&B change in a lot of different ways from the business side to the actual music. On the business side I would say that as an art form, R&B is always like the black sheep of the family when it comes to music genres. We don’t get a lot of the same opportunities that a pop artist would get or a hip-hop artist would get.
Brandon: For example, when we were in the height of our careers, early 2000s or late 90s, there were a couple of other groups out, [like] Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC, and even though we were one of the biggest groups out, there was a lot of opportunities for N’SYNC and the Backstreet Boys that we could not get. We were not allowed on award shows to promote our albums, like performing on the Grammy’s. We always had to make our noise on BET. MTV has been very supportive over the years, but it’s not on the level of N’SYNC or any of that. It’s always been like that.
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