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.

What opportunities?

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.

FOR MORE JAGGED EDGE, GO TO PAGE 2

  • Mo

    Great interview Jagged Edge!!! I especially like the “smart-safe” way u answered the question: “After thirteen years in the game, how have you seen R&B change?” I too have seen sum changes in R&B. The changes I’ve seen r as follows: The quality of the music and vocals r crappy (it appears that there is no effort or talent put in either), the artists have sold their souls—literally (the music lacks soul and sounds like pop music similar 2 what N’SYNC or Backstreet Boys would have recorded), today’s R&B music lacks morals and values (only focuses on sex, especially NOT in the context of loving monogamous relationships, promotes alcohol/drug use, misogyny and promotes anti-love messages), has become less and less about the music and more and more about the artists themselves (i.e, their looks and/or age), and worst of all, the records companies dictate who is going to be the next “superstar” and not he people and then force all the people to become fans by making sure we don’t hear or see any other artists! Black people need to wake up and take back OUR music! As it relates to longevity, I’m sorry JE, but ppl didn’t used to get tired of artists. As long as the artist was still making good music, the fans would keep supporting them!!! Let’s get back to the day when WE THE FANS make artists “superstars” based on their music and talent and we become and remain fans of the music w/o the record companies’s imposed boundaries on age-limits and physical appearances, and time-span mythology!!!

    • Jaime

      Mo I completely agree. I support JE because they still sing about loving on your woman and have awesome vocals and harmonies. Then the music behind them is BANGIN! My JE Playlist on iTunesis a 127 tracks strong and I hope that it continues to grow. I can’t go a day without listening to at least a few songs off that playlist.

  • mayhem

    Mo, Very nicely put. My sentiments exactly!

  • Tunya B.

    Jagged Edge is the last R&B group standing through my eyes. But how they get treated by radio and tv is inexcusable, They have been in the game for almost 15 years and have never been invited to present any Grammy award or RECEIVE ONE! How do that make me feel as a TRUE fan of JE for almost 15 years? (infuriated) as fan we are only asking that radio and tv be fair to all music!
    HEART4JE

  • http://www.youtube.com/maxedout97maxima William

    nice job on the comments keep doing your thing fellas after 13 years still sound good and staying together

  • T

    Keep it up fellas. U guys r one of few of whom i can say i have every album. I will continue to support as long as u make good music. BTW, lovin the long awaited new album. It’s been in my car cd player for the last 2wks.

  • Teressa

    wooow! wht an interview! i so love them they’ve always kept it real no matter wht ! thts wht makes them #1 4eva!

  • Ms.boop

    I absolutely LOOVVVEE Jagged Edge! So glad you guys are back… Ive been waiting. I just turned 21 June, 2011 so to recieve you guys abulm was a blessing & awesome Forever*21 birthday gift. Me being a songwriter and singer myself really appreciate such well written music & harmonies. True r&b is definately what you guys are & i wouldnt want it any other way. I love the new album! HANDS DOWN! I LOVE YOU JE DONT EVER STOP BECAUSE TRUST ME, YOU GUYS ARE VERY INFLUENTIAL! MUAH

    • Ms.boop

      ps. i forgot to mention you are my favorite “Group”/ “Individual” artists. Not only R&B but PERIOD. Being 11 walking in my Aunt’s wedding to “Lets Get Married” and now being a young adult still banging your tunes says alot! Thank You

  • kum annacletus

    don,t know where to start, let me begin on saying that JAGGED EDGE will never serprate due to the twin brothers BRAIN and BRANDON, secondly the peace maker KYLE,also the resistance WINGO. the will never fade up like the other groups . keep it on JE . i will always have u number 1 in my mind.what ever song track u sing in each every album you,ve ever sang has always been theysame thing happening to my life. love u JE

  • Akeem bolanle

    I love u guys.

  • FELECIA MINOR

    A VERY WELL TO DO R&B GROUP AND IM SO GLAD YOUR BACK.

  • angelvoice

    I have loved you guys and your sound since you started back in the 90s. Mo said it all and is telling the truth. Real singing and real lyrics need to come back cause the excuse for music being played today is a shame and most of it is just noise (all about sex). Even the few who can actually sing have sold out for money. All the art is gone out of musicmaking!!!! Great to have you guys back on the scene and doing it for real with class and style like always!!!

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  • jennifer

    Let me start by saying I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH !!!!!!!!! I LOVE your music and i’m so happy you’re still together. 13 years down the road your music still sounds new and fresh to me. I have so many of your songs (if not the whole album) from all 7 of your albums in heavy rotation on my i-pod. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart that I, really love you guys for putting out great music and I, wish you continued success for many good years to come. OH P. S. before the Monique show went off I saw you guys perform a song off the Remedy album and I, went to screaming because i was so happy that them jagged boys were releasing a new album, and i knew it would be hot . LOVE LOVE LOVE J.E. can’t wait for another album. Your biggest fan Jennifer