The Wrap Up’s Ra'ed Poetical recently sat down with the legendary R&B star, Ginuwine. In the exclusive interview, the veteran opens up about his life, family, Aaliyah and, of course, the music. Ginuwine also sheds light on some of his darkest moments and how he managed to overcome them, his relationship with Timbaland, and, erm, groupies...
The Wrap Up: Ginuwine! Welcome to London, first and foremost...
Ginuwine: Thank you! Thank you for having me here.
TWU: I say welcome to London, but we have seen you perform here many times before. What is it that keeps bringing you back to the city?
Ginuwine: The love that everyone gives me once I come here. I've been in the business for 15 years going on 16 years, and I sell-out every single time I come over here. I think the people over here respect and enjoy music, more-so than they do in the States. They respect your artistry and they just respect you as an artist and what you brought to R&B. I think the UK fans can appreciate the fact that I've been in the business a long time and they know that every time that I come, I'm going to give them the show that they can definitely appreciate. In the US, though, it’s more fickle. Over there, one minute you’re hot and the next minute you're not. I think the UK just appreciates music more than over in the States.
TWU: So, what are your thoughts on R&B nowadays? Do you feel it’s strayed away too far from its origins?
Ginuwine: Nah, I think that different times call for different music. It’s not about what I came up on now, because what I came up on is what I came up on back in the day and I think our parents back in the days were saying, ‘Y’all don't know what music is’, because they were listening to Marvin Gaye and James Brown. I do love the generation that I came up in and I think that it’s still evident in the people that come out and see me, they enjoy it also.
TWU: We spoke to Trey Songz a little while back, who was very praiseworthy of you…
Ginuwine: Oh, that's my man! I love Trey, man. Him, Chris Brown and Omarion, all of them, they always gave me love and respect so I have nothing but love and respect to give them back. You get older in the business and there are younger cats that come up, it happens all the time. I respect those cats and I love the fact that I'm still here doing it along with them also. That's why I respect R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and a lot of people who have been out when I was out and they're still doing their thing. I'm trying to follow in the footsteps of them so the younger cats can see that if you stay along with it, it can last a long time.
TWU: Taking it back to the ‘Supafriends’ days, what is your relationship like with Timbaland today?
Ginuwine: We're cool, we talk every so often on Twitter. It'll probably never be the same like how it once was, but I love Tim. If it wasn't for him, I probably would never be started where I was. I feel like a lot of things have happened where we, as men, can overcome and hopefully we will.
TWU: So, can we expect to see Missy Elliot, Timbaland and Ginuwine on the same track anytime soon?
Ginuwine: I would love to! I don’t know, because he's doing his thing, Missy's doing her thing and I’m doing my thing, so hopefully we can come together and create that magic that we once had.
TWU: You were very close with Aaliyah. How are you feeling in the run-up to the 10-year anniversary of her death?
Ginuwine: I've always just stuck with telling people that her legacy will always be here, she'll always live through me, she'll always live through the people that she came up with. I lost my mother and father, so I'm able to function with the loss, but it still hurts. It’s still something that I think about, especially when everybody's always talking about it, you always think about the day that it happened, but you're able to move forward and just continue to show people that she'll never die.
TWU: What's the fondest memory of you and Aaliyah that will always be with you?
Ginuwine: Probably when we were doing ‘Final Warning’ on my ‘100% Ginuwine’ CD. She collaborated with me and it was fun, it took all day to do it but it only actually took us an hour to do the song. We were playing around and telling jokes all day, so that was a time that I'll never forget.
TWU: Going back to what you said about your parents, how did you find the strength to deal with their deaths? You spoke about it a lot on the ‘Two Reasons I Cry’ tune…
Ginuwine: It was a great way for me to release some feelings, some hurt and some pain. It was therapy for me to be able to express the feelings that I was feeling at the time. Music, within itself, is like a saviour to a lot of people. I've had many people come up to me and say, ‘Because of the song you wrote, I didn't kill myself’ or, ‘Because of the song you wrote, I had this baby.’ It’s moving and it’s powerful and that's a great thing.
TWU: Your wife, Sole, used to do music a while back. Is she ever going to come back into the music scene?
Ginuwine: She's actually working on some stuff right now, but it won't be as explicit and strong like it once was, she's a Mom now and a little older, she's no longer thinking the way that she thought back then, none of us do once we get a little wiser. She's working on some stuff now.
TWU: Can we expect a Ginuwine and Sole collaboration?
Ginuwine: No. (Laughs)
TWU: Erm, so, how do you handle all of the groupies nowadays?
Ginuwine: I'm a veteran now, you just know how to handle it after a while. I mean, you've done it over and over and over again, it's just like waking up in the morning, it's something that you get used to and I'm happy about it. I'm happy I'm still able to do interviews, but it’s not a big deal anymore, not to belittle it, but it’s just something you're used to now.
TWU: In regards to groupies, what would you say has been the craziest experience? Trey had a girl hanging from a tightrope once!
Ginuwine: Oh my god! (Laughs) Nah, I ain't had that. I think everyone has had people in their hotel rooms when they check in. There's so much stuff that's happened throughout my 15 years, you can only imagine. I mean, that's probably the illest thing that's happened, it scared the hell outta me! She jumps outta the closet, naked, and I'm like, ‘Woah!’ She was cute, though (laughs). That was when I was just coming out, so I did what I had to do.
TWU: Going back to your relationship with people in the game, I know Tyrese was a close friend, but how is your relationship with him now?
Ginuwine: That's my boy! Which goes without saying. Tank is my boy, none of that will change, we're all cool. We don't hang around with each other on a daily basis, but if I need them, they're there.
TWU: You've had a brief acting career, but would you like to get a bit more involved with acting or are you just focused on the music right now?
Ginuwine: Well, that's the platform that we're setting out now for, a new reality show. Once that comes, I’m going to use that as a platform to springboard into a lot of other things.
Stay up to date with Ginuwine on Twitter - www.twitter.com/Ginuwine09
Words: Ra’ed Poetical (@MrPoetical)
Photography: The Squeeze Online (@JordanAmy)
Thanks to 4U2NV!
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)