Brian McKnight is currently starring in the Broadway musical “Chicago.” Below is an interview I had with the R & B crooner when he was promoting his last CD.
Shelia Goss: Why do you think you’ve had longevity in this business?
Brian Mcknight: I wish I had the answer to that question. I don’t have it. That question would be better answered by the people who have been fans. All I do is go to the studio to write songs that I love and hope that there are people out there who love them as well. Up until now, there have been a few (smile).
Shelia: You’re very humble. When you write, do you write from personal experiences?
Brian Mcknight: A lot of its personal…some of it is what other people are going through I suppose. If I had to do percentage wise, it’s about 80 percent personal and 20 percent emphatic.
Shelia: The name of your album is “10” which is befitting since it’s your tenth album. What do you want listeners to feel after they hear “10?”
Brian Mcknight: That’s a hard question to answer. When I make a record all I’m hoping for is that people will hear one song that makes them feel something familiar about one thing or another…the songs will probably make you cry…make you think about your own relationships–ones you’ve been in or one you’re hoping to have…that’s all I hope for.
Shelia: With this album did you have a lot of creative control?
Brian Mcknight: I always have creative control.
Shelia: Not too many artists can say that.
Brian Mcknight: From the beginning…I said if I didn’t have creative control, I didn’t want to do it; so I’ve had that since my very first album.
Shelia: What’s different from this album than from some of your previous ones?
Brian Mcknight: I think the only difference is my outlook. I’m finally at a place where my view of myself and the view the label has of me is the same. I’m emancipated. I got out of a situation I wasn’t happy in. I think this music here is very light, not too deep and it seems like I’m having a lot more fun and I am.
Shelia: How do you stay motivated in between albums?
Brian Mcknight: I just love to write music.
Shelia: Do you have plans on recording a gospel album?
Brian Mcknight: Not at this time. I choose to put an inspirational song on every album as opposed to doing an entire gospel album.
Shelia: What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?
Brian Mcknight: Single digit handy cap on the golf course.
Shelia: It sounds like golf is one of your favorite pastimes.
Brian Mcknight: Yes. I’ve only been playing about eight months but I’m bit by the bug.
Shelia: What do you like to do besides play golf?
Brian Mcknight: I still play basketball, skydive, and motorcycles, but right now golf is taking precedence over everything.
Shelia: Will you be doing some of those celebrity golf tournaments?
Brian Mcknight: Soon. Not yet, but soon.
Shelia: I know it’s hard to pick favorite songs on your own album; especially when the whole album means so much to you, but tell me about three songs in three different categories on your CD–one that makes you feel good, one that makes you think and the third one in any category.
Brian McKnight: A feel good song would be “For the Rest of My Life.” It’s probably one of the best songs I’ve every written. The title says it all. It’s the kind of love you’re looking for.
One song that makes you think about things is sort of my theme song and it’s “Should Have Been Loving You.” It’s a song where it makes you look at your life and ask yourself what would you change? You know you can’t change the past, but you can go back and tell the people whose lives you’ve affected that you’re sorry.
I wrote a song for the troops called “Red, White, and Blue.”
Shelia: Sylvia Hubbard is a huge Brian McKnight fan and she’s the winner of the “Speak with Brian Mcknight” contest that I had last month. After Sylvia got over the excitement of speaking with “the Brian Mcknight”, she was given an opportunity to ask him a few questions.
Below are her questions and his responses.
Sylvia: Where do you get your inspiration from when you make your music?
Brian Mcknight: I get it from everywhere. Most of it comes from personal experiences but there’s some from other people’s affairs…
Sylvia: How do you feel about the type of music being made in your genre and how does it compare to your music?
Brian Mcknight: I don’t do comparisons…I kind of live in my own world. I listen to the same music I listened to when I was a kid. My kids keep me up to date on what’s going on, but everything kind of sounds the same so I don’t know who’s who. People are expressing themselves the way that they are. Every next generation is different than the last one, so I don’t know.
I just do what I do.
To learn more about Brian Mcknight, be sure to visit his website. If you’re in New York, catch his performance on Broadway.
Shelia M Goss is an entertainment writer and National Bestselling author of Paige’s Web, My Invisible Husband, Roses are thorns, Violets are true and Double Platinum. For a full bio, go to www.sheliagoss.com.