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[Interview] SWV: The Return…Finally!

By Monique Thomas

SWV is back together as a group to turn R&B out, as they did back in the 90s with their platinum selling records, It’s About Time (1992), New Beginning (1996) and Release Some Tension (1997).    The trio dropped hit after hit with the tracks “I’m So Into You”, the Teddy Riley-produced classic “Right Here”, “You’re the One”, “Someone”, “Can We” featuring Missy Elliott, and my all-time favorite, “Rain.”   The list of memorable songs  goes on  and on  and both fans and industry insiders are excited to witness what is promised to be a takeover.

SWV

Since SWV’s hiatus, for the most part, the ladies have been living life outside of the spotlight.   The lead singer, Coko, married (“the love of my life”) and had two sons.   She released a solo album Hot Coko (1999) which spawned the hit “Sunshine.”   She’s also released two gospel albums, the Grammy-nominated Grateful and the recent, The Winner in Me. Coko says, “I am very excited about being back with my sisters and we are working on the comeback of the century!”   Lelee admits to being busy.   Before a highly anticipated performance and anxious crowd at NYC’s famed BB King on June 13, 2010, she was extremely vocal about her group being robbed of the accolades she felt they deserved during the highlight of their career.   During her time away, she also had two kids, a boy and a girl, and has started a production company.   She also went back to school and is pursuing an accounting degree.   Regarding the SWV reunion, she says, “When we come together words cannot describe my feelings.   It’s just something special that Coko, Taj and I have.   Stay tuned, SWV is definitely back in the house, babe!”     The third member, Taj, is married to former NFL player Eddie George and they also have two sons.   She and Eddie starred in the reality show I Married  a Baller  (2009). She’s also written two books, Player Hate Her and How to Avoid The Beat Down and Live in a Drama Free World. Additionally, she appeared on the reality series Survivor, and she and Eddie presently serve as consultants for the Dr. Oz Show. Taj says, “I can truly say that Coko, Lelee and I are all grown up now, excited to be back and we are definitely ready to bring back the R&B feel the world has come to love and respect from us!”

SWV - Cocoa Cure Magazine

During SWV’s tour stop in NYC, Cocoa Cure Magazine  went to watch the group perform some of their timeless jams like “Weak”   as well as to celebrate Coko’s 40th birthday.

Cocoa Cure:   How does it feel to be back?

SWV:   It feels hot!     They show all this love, it feels really good.   It feels great! It’s the best high in the world. It’s better than alcohol (Taj jokes), and we don’t drink!

CC:   So who do we have to thank for you ladies coming back?

SWV:   God. And Teddy Riley had something to do with it kinda’ sort of, but it was really up to us.

CC:   And why now?

SWV:   Why not now?   [It's] the best time in the world ’cause music sucks right now.   Radio absolutely sucks.   They need us.   But you know, we left too soon and we still have a lot more to say and a lot more great music to make.

CC:   Sisters With Voices.   That’s considered a rarity nowadays – kinda’ like you were saying Lelee – to have a singing group with raw talent.   What changes did you anticipate in forming again and re-launching your career?

SWV:   (laughs) Our age, being fat!   The music means that much more now that we have children, how we express things in song, just looking forward to a whole new experience .

CC:   Are you looking forward to working with anyone in particular?

SWV - Cocoa Cure Magazine

SWV:   Anybody that got the hits, we’re not picky.

CC:   You mentioned Teddy Riley. Are you working with him currently?

SWV: Nope. (laughs) We don’t even know where Teddy is.

CC:   When’s the album?

SWV:   We are working on it right now. We hope to have something out this year.

CC:   A single or the album?

SWV:   A single.

CC:   So how do you ladies plan to re-create the wheel?

SWV:   There will still be classics.   We’re not going to make any garbage.   [We're] Not going to do what everybody else is doing. We have our own thing people just love and if we change it too much they’re not gonna want to hear it.   We’re not going to try to re-create the wheel, just start rolling again.     We started off being trendsetters, I think, ’cause we have a lane that belongs to SWV and that makes it all worth it.

CC:   When   you were performing tonight, did any of those songs feel new again, like you were performing them for the first time?

SWV:    Every audience is different.   It’s like a different experience every night.

CC:   So now that you have kids and new experiences, is there anything  specific you will bring to your music this time around?

SWV:   Just great music. Positive lyrics. Music that our kids and their kids can listen to 25 years from now, just like how we paved the way.   Kids today, I’m surprised [ages] 14 and 15 know who we are, so it’s a blessing in itself.

CC:   Anything else you’d like to share with your fans about your return?

SWV:   We love you!

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