‘The music industry changes every three months’

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‘The music industry changes every three months’

City Times meets R&B singer Sisqo at The Music Room in Bur Dubai

By Adam Zacharias

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Published: Thu 21 Jul 2011, 9:25 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:11 AM

It has been 11 years since Sisqo enjoyed worldwide success with his debut solo album Unleash the Dragon – and the performer insists that next year is the perfect time to release his third disc.

“2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon – my multi-platinum first album was also released in the Year of the Dragon,” he tells us.

The Maryland native found fame at an early age with R&B group Dru Hill, who released three platinum albums in the States. He still alternates between solo work and performing with the group, with the four-piece putting out new album InDRUpendence Day in 2010.

The 32-year-old is playing nightclub Allure by Cipriani on Yas Island tonight, and will be appearing at the U2 tribute night at The Majestic Hotel in Bur Dubai tomorrow.

We spoke with the singer, who told us about ‘man-kinis’ and applying video game marketing to his music.

Can you tell us about your upcoming third album?

I’m playing a few snippets from the album while I’m here – I’m going to see what the people think and get their feedback. It’s like gaming companies, they go to their fans to test their material out, then tweak the songs to make sure they’re going in the right direction. In the entertainment industry, you always have to come up with innovative ways of getting people’s attention.

After upping your profile on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK, are you based there more these days?

No – I’m lucky enough to be an international artist, so it’s not just the UK. I live between Maryland and Las Vegas.

You have a daughter in her mid-teens – she must be the age you were at the beginning of your career.

Yeah – she’s literally the same age I was when I started. She was the little girl who appeared in the beginning of The Thong Song video with me, and she’s actually been an integral part of the creative process for this new album. She and my niece are singing background vocals to some of the songs. As a teenager, she lets me know what teenagers are listening to. Each generation thinks the new generation doesn’t listen to ‘real’ music, so I can introduce her to what I think is hot.

Is your new album going to be similar to your old material?

It’s going to be a bit less underground, a bit more mainstream. I do the best I can to grow musically – you don’t want your music to sound stale. The only thing consistent with my old projects is the fact that it’s me singing. My second album didn’t sound similar to my first album, and my new album doesn’t sound like either of my previous albums.

What has changed since the days of The Thong Song at the turn of the century?

Well, the music industry changes pretty much every three months. But the only thing I’ve realised that stays consistent is the integrity of the music. If you’re singing something that people gravitate towards, and you can duplicate that live, you’re pretty much going to be okay.

What are your memories of shooting The Thong Song video?

Just like any other R&B artist – Usher, Omarion, Justin Timberlake – we try to emulate Michael Jackson. At the forefront of my mind, I always wanted it to be close to the Thriller video. I wanted to take people on a journey, with a little bit of real life and a little bit of fantasy. Hopefully when people see the video today they can remember where they were when they saw it.


To see Sisqo perform tonight at Allure by Cipriani, call 050 596 9543 or e-mail allure@cipriani.com (doors open 11.30pm till late). The U2 tribute tomorrow night at The Music Room will headlined by Dubai rockers Point of View, and Sisqo will also appear. Entry is Dhs60; visit Facebook and type ‘Rock Nation U2 Tribute’ for more details.


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