What can I say about Brian McKnight? The man is a legend. 16 times nominated at the Grammy Awards, he’s discovered the entire world thanks to tours that have sold-out every single time, he’s recorded duets with most of the top names of the music industry, and he’s released 12 studio albums in total so far in his career, a number simply impressive when nowadays there’s an abundance of “fast-food” artists, artists that release a debut album, labels make them release a second one “just in case”, and the next day they’re fired, and jobless in the street with no clear future in sight. But that’s not the case of the legendary and well-respected Brian McKnight. Success still follows him after so many years and today he can have luxury of releasing his music independently, via his own label of Brian McKnight Music LLC, supported by the Kobalt Label Services.
His next album, number 13, is titled “Better”, and although this won’t arrive in stores until January next year, the loyal fans of Brian can enjoy now the first official single, the feel-good mid-tempo “Uh Oh Feeling”.
A few rounds of interviews & press yesterday before rehearsal. Vienna, I never want to leave. If only… https://t.co/GRwWYl1Fho— Brian McKnight (@ItsBMcKnight) October 15, 2015
Directlyrics.com recently had the privilege of doing a quick Q&A with Brian McKnight and we could asked him about his new album, the sound it will have, how many songs it will carry, if there will be collaborations or not, his upcoming headlining US tour, which a little bird told us will kick off in the Spring of 2016, what has he learned from the noted duets he’s co-starred in the past, among other things. Happy reading!
1. Hi, Brian! Where are you answering this Q&A from, and how’s your day been like?
BM: Vienna, Austria. Just getting started.
2. After 12 studio albums, and with your 13th one coming next year, how is Brian McKnight feeling in this very moment?
BM: I feel great, mostly because I'm still here making music after so many years. Still living the dream.
3. Is “Better” (out in January 2016) fully ready? And, did you produce this one too?
BM: The CD has been done for a while, and as usual, I produced it myself.
4. How many songs will you be including on “Better”, and can Brian McKnight fans expect any collaborations?
BM: There are 12 songs on the CD and two bonus tracks for the Target stores release. There are collaborations with rappers Sixx John and Glasses Malone, and a duet with Kimie Miner.
5. Why the title of “Better”, and what would you say is the theme of this new album?
BM: I really feel like at this moment I’m the best I've ever been and it has everything to do with the relationship I'm in. I finally found “the one” and that's what the theme is for this CD.
6. “Uh Oh Feeling” is the first single from “Better”. For those who have yet to listen to the song, how would you describe it lyrically and sonically, and why did you pick it as your first single over other songs?
BM: “Uh Oh” is a throwback to the happy feeling songs of 70s R&B, a la The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder. Lyrically it's about that good feeling of anticipation that everyone has felt at one time or another. It just seemed the right way to introduce this CD.
7. You’ve said that for this upcoming new album you wanted to “create music like we did 20 years ago, completely organic, all real instruments”. Why do you think this recording style has dramatically changed in the last two decades and, why have you decided to “take it back basics” for “Better”, and why now?
BM: I just decided that I needed to get back to being as musically creative as I can possibly be. No computers, no nonsense, just a click-track and go the same way we did back in the day.
8. Does Brian McKnight’s have a special song on “Better”?
BM: Since I write all the songs, every one is personal in its own way. I never think of my records as a group of songs; it's one whole entity made up of individually connected pieces.
9. You will be touring next year to support “Better” across the US. Are you preparing a very special tour for your fans? What can they expect?
BM: When I start a new tour it's really about the balance of the songs I have to play, mixed with the songs that I'd like to play, and hopefully both lists are the same.
10. You have collaborated with everyone in the industry; from Christina Aguilera to Quincy Jones to Justin Timberlake and honestly the list is endless. What have you learned from these duets?
BM: I've learned a lot from every person I've worked with. I always go in with the understanding that there is something to be taken from every experience and something to be given.
11. Thank you so much for your time, Brian! Any last thing you’d like to share with our readers at Directlyrics.com?
BM: Just a “thank you” to all the fans for their support for all of these years—Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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