View Full Version : Jagged Edge: They ARE the Party

06-05-2006, 09:44 PM
Wednesday - May 31, 2006

Nowadays, there seems to be a lack of R&B collectives holding it down in the mainstream. B2K is B2-gone and God knows what's good with Destiny's Child. But over the years, Brandon Casey, Brian Casey, Kyle Norman and Richard Wingo, the crooning outfit known as Jagged Edge, seem to be one of the few groups to have kept things together.

They burst onto the scene in 1997 with their first single "The Way That You Talk" and dropped their debut album, A Jagged Era, in 1998. Since then, the group has dropped three more discs (J.E. Heartbreak in 2000, Jagged Little Thrill in 2001 and Hard in 2003) and even scored a number one single with Nelly for "Where The Party At."

Recently, the Jagged Edge just dropped their self-titled album (fifth for those keeping count) and had the opportunity to drop by Ballerstatus.net to talk about the record, their new imprint 581 Music Group and the current state of R&B.

Ballerstatus.net: So...where's the party at?

Richard Wingo: [laughs] The party is wherever Jagged Edge is at! If Jagged Edge is in your town or your club and they're turning it down, then come on over and have a good time with us. Come on and dance with us, come and get your groove on! We make life a party.

Ballerstatus.net: That's what's up. The party is official when the Jagged Edge is there.

Richard Wingo: That's right...it's always official when we're there!

Ballerstatus.net: So, you guys have been together for ten years and there really aren't that many singing groups out right now. You guys are five albums deep, so how have you been able to continue making music together for so long?

Richard Wingo: Well, I mean, we just truly respect each other. We respect each other's crowds and creativity. We got ideas and hooks that we have and put it all together or we work together on that. We are just dying to see what is going to be at the end of this. Will people remember us or will we have one of those nice banquet shows?

Ballerstatus.net: Right...so what do you think of the R&B scene as a whole?

Richard Wingo: That's a good question...we think like it's kinda hip-hopish. It's not like real hard R&B like we know it, so of course you got Keyshia Cole representing the ladies because the ladies have to have that anthem song, but as far as the male thing, it's a little hip-hopish emceeing and there's nothing wrong with that. To each his own. If that's your style, then that's your style. Relating to real relationship issues, I just feel like we really bring that across. We feel like on behalf of all the brothas who don't know how to represent themselves, because they can get into arguments and you may be the good guy and she gonna do you wrong. But, we feel like we take a lot of issues to a lot of guys who are like, "I like these guys. I can identify with these guys. They're soul brothas."

Ballerstatus.net: So, do you think there is a lack of male dominance in R&B?

Richard Wingo: Well...I'm not going to go that far. It is what it is. We still there because I feel like we kept it real from the beginning and a lot of groups don't keep it real within their group. So, they end up breaking up, they not around or they didn't have that strong material to give to the fans. It would be nice to have some competition, but if we the only competition, we cool with that.

Ballerstatus.net: Right, so what do you think about guys like Chris Brown and Trey Songz?

Richard Wingo: Hey, those guys are cool. Like I say, it's good to see new talent come on the scene and we cool with those guys. We are always holding this R&B thing up, man. We still holding it together and holding it up because without us, it wouldn't be pretty much an R&B scene probably with the male...male element.

Ballerstatus.net: Now you guys named this album Jagged Edge. Why is it going to be self-titled?

Richard Wingo: We felt like since we've been in the game for years -- certified -- we feel like we know who we are and a lot of groups do it on their second album or their third album. But, we felt like on our fifth album, we pretty much a household name by now. If you hear the Jagged Edge sound, you know us already. We've been in the game ten years, so we feel like everybody pretty much knows us by now.

Ballerstatus.net: Alright...so the new album, Jagged Edge, how does this differ from previous efforts?

Richard Wingo: This is our fifth album. You grow wiser at the end of an album. After each album, you grow wiser with your sound and creativity and try to grab more fans. Like, if you had one million fans, you try to do something to grab two million, you try to grab three million and add them to the numbers of your album sales. But we got our own record label, 581, and our insert is on the album this time. We growing as business men also. We trying to control the whole game of it all, not just as entertainers, but entrepreneurs. We work both sides of the fence.

Ballerstatus.net: So what type of artists are you looking to sign on 581?

Richard Wingo: They have to show and prove. If they can't get on stage and do their thing, then those aren't the artists that we want. We just don't want anybody. A studio artist? No. We want a real artist.

Ballerstatus.net: So have you guys signed anyone yet?

Richard Wingo: Yea, we have one girl group by the name of Bad Girl, we have a female artist named Cindarella, and another rap artist by the name of Young Sosa. We have a lot of things in the works, we just have to put it all together.

Ballerstatus.net: Cool...well let's talk about the album for another second. Which artists and producers did you work with?

Richard Wingo: We got a hot up-and-coming producer named Don Vito, Chad "Dr. Cuess" Elliot, he did "Good Luck Charm," J.D. (Jermaine Dupri) did two and we produced about nine out of fifteen.

Ballerstatus.net: Are you guys planning to go on tour this summer?

Richard Wingo: We'll take our own tour out again. We did one with Ginuwine and we're thinking about doing it all over again and add some newer and fresh faces on the tour.