It’s been a long time coming (2007) since Tank, Ginuwine, and Tyrese announced that they would be forming an R&B super group, but now it’s finally coming to fruition in the form of ‘3 Kings’, their first CD as the group TGT. Not only are all three men suave, talented, and accomplished individually, but they all seem to have a genuine love for each other, a fraternal bond which extends behind the music. That chemistry is translated on their singles “Sex Never Felt Better” and “I Need” as well as their forthcoming opus as the group claims the project is one of the best R&B albums in 10 years. Singersroom sat down with all three R&B veterans and they opened up about the challenges of making the album, being good friends, having longevity, and more.
Silky D: What was the energy like making this album ‘3 KINGS’?
TGT: (Tank) Making this album was really great because these two guys are like my brothers. As far as the creative process, It usually takes us a few days to finish a song. (Ginuwine) I wouldn’t trade it for the world. (Tyrese) I just want to tell the guys to stop stealing my answers (laughter)..it’s like family feud.
Silky D: What were the challenges putting out this project, given the current state of R&B and it’s ability to be less commercial?
TGT: (Ginuwine) Because of our success with our solo careers, people are expecting a lot from us. The challenge is to continue the same amount of hits as we did with our solo albums. I think this CD, we have more than enough and I can’t wait to see how the fans receive this album, they won’t be disappointed. (Tank) The only challenge would have been…is taking our ideas, making it become one vision, and then following it all the way through without cutting any corners. We really took our time and worked that much harder to see this project through to get the results we wanted. We accomplished so much more than I thought we would. (Tyrese) All of us being successful is one thing, but for us to come together and incorporate our individual ways of doing things in a group has presented its challenges. For example, if I say this is how I go about making a hit record and Ginuwine says this is how I go about making a record and Tank then says this is how I…and him being the most successful singer/songwriter and producer, it created its challenges. However, all of us are best friends and has been for over 10 years. There isn’t a conflict or situation that can compromise something so special; at the end of the day we laugh and joke about it. On our last interview, me, Tank and Ginuwine was texting each other talking shit to each other (laughter). (Ginuwine) laughing – that’s what we do! (Tyrese) At the end of the day, we all want something good and also it’s not about us it’s about the art of R&B, artists are doing House, Techno and other sh*t! Rappers are looking more like singers than the singers. If you look at some of these videos and put them on mute, you can’t tell if they are rapping or singing.
Silky D: Since announcing your up and coming project TGT, you guys have been attached by the hip, what are some of the things you’ve learned about each other that you didn’t know before?
TGT: (Ginuwine) We have been together for a long time, so there isn’t too much that I didn’t already know about Tyrese or Tank, and that was the beauty of getting together and making this CD. They are my brothers that’s why the process was so easy to make this project. For me, there wasn’t much I didn’t know, Tank has written songs for me, I did a song with Tyrese titled “Best Man”. Tank sung background for me in 1997, so we have all been in the studio together, and that made the process that much easier. (Tyrese) I am a fan of everyone in the room, and this is not about branding or a gimick or just to say “hey let’s make a group”! I was the best man at Ginuwine’s wedding, all of our children know each other. Ginuwine comes and stay at my crib when he comes to L.A., and we all hang out together outside of work. It’s not just business and getting checks, we laugh and have too much fun. It’s been amazing, and we are having too much fun and sometimes we don’t want to go home. (Ginuwine) Once you get used to going on tour, we do have a lot of fun, but we don’t want anyone to misunderstand, we do miss our families.
Silky D: On your tour, you pay tribute to Jodeci and New Edition and other groups, how important is it to do that?
TGT: (Tank) As far as our performances we do some Jodeci, New Edition, LSG, R Kelly, Guy and more. We also have a history like some of these groups, we started TGT in 2007 but contractually it didn’t come to fruition the way we wanted. We did release some of our songs online though…(laughter from the group, one shouts, just call me Mr. Leaks, more laughter from the tour bus).
Silky D: All of you guys have longevity in the pocket as far as the music game is concerned, what would you pass down to other artists to achieve the same success.
TGT: (Tank) Putting in hard work and also dedicating yourself to your crafts and staying current. We are competitors and true talents, and we look for inspiration, and we are respectful to R&B. (Ginuwine) If I had something to pass down, you can’t be a conventional artist, and being in this business you gotta watch everything. Focus on your talents, but also watch your finances. A lot of people go through ups and downs with their finances because they put 100% trust in someone else to watch their finances. You must start establishing a future because you don’t know how long you’re going to last in the business so watch everything. (Tyrese) This wasn’t an opportunity, but a responsibility to do this album and teach others that you don’t need a rapper to do R&B. A lot of singers don’t feel that they can do an R&B album without having a rapper all over it. Radio is not playing R&B songs unless there is rapper featured on it, R&B budgets are dried up, R&B sales are real low. We thought the timing of this album couldn’t be better, the album 3 KINGS, with 17 true R&B songs, the timing was good. This is the most R&B influenced album that has been out in the last 10 years. This album is going to set the tone for other R&B artists.
Three Kings arrives on August 20