Every successful artist has a unique something that makes them stand out from the rest. Slim who is better known as the front man of the multi-platinum R&B group 112 has that unique something. Slim’s unique something is his smooth falsetto voice that helped give 112 a distinctive sound and is now setting his solo career to greater success. SayWhatNews sits down and gets personal with the Slim, CEO of the new music label M3 Productions:
SayWhatNews: Hey Slim, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule and speaking with SayWhatNews. Tell us who is Slim?
Slim: For those of you who don't know, Slim is the front man of the Grammy award winning multi-platinum R&B group called 112, who is now a CEO of his own label called M3 Productions Inc.
SayWhatNews: Let us reflect back to the beginning a bit. Growing up who were your musical influences?
Slim: When I was growing up I listened to a lot of El DeBarge, Babyface, & Smokey Robinson. If u were to make a musical gumbo, those would be my ingredients with a helping of swagger added 2 it. I love all music though, but in our household we were only allowed to listen to gospel, so I have to include artists like Commissioned, The Winans, Rev. John P. Kee, and VanessaBell Armstrong. My dad was also in a gospel group so I literally grew up listening to the 5 blind boys of Alabama, Rev. Shirley Caesar, and Doc McKenzie & The Gospel Highlights, just to name a few.
SayWhatNews: At what age did you realize you had the gift of song?
Slim: At around 5 years old, I got a chance to sing with my dad in church and the rest is history! We were the type of family where singing was a part of both sides, mother & father, so there was no way of avoiding it. When I was oldenough, I began singing in our church choir and stuff like that.
SayWhatNews: In high school you and your friends who later became the multi-platinum selling R&B group we know as 112 performed in talent shows. What songs did you guys perform to get the crowd going?
Slim: The songs we usually would sing would be accapella like "I Will Always Love You" by Troop or "Mary Don't You Weep" by Take6 or ALL Boyz II Men songs!! Ha-Ha-Ha, we were killing those songs!
SayWhatNews: How did 112 end-up performing for Diddy?
Slim: Our manager at the time was friends with Puff, who got him to listen to one of our demos. He flew to Atlanta to see what we were really about and we ended up performing for him twice! Once in the parking lot of the club 112 and the other time was in a studio where Faith (Evans) was also there. After hearing us perform, Faith told Puff "if u don't sign these boys, you're DUMB!!"
SayWhatNews: Wow, Faith gave Diddy some good advice. How long after the audition did 112 get signed to Bad Boy Records?
Slim: It was matter of months like maybe 3 or 4 after we performed for him.
SayWhatNews: With 4 Platinum records and 2 Grammy nominations 112 became one of the first successful Urban R&B groups ever. Has the success ever sunk in or does it sometimes still amaze you?
Slim: It's a blessing!! What amazes me, is that after 12 years when i perform the hits from earlier in our career, they sing it word for word like it just came out!!
SayWhatNews: That’s because music lovers never forget REAL/GOOD music. 112 has some of the best songs, especially the slow jams. Ok let's be for real about Diddy, he is known/rumored to be pretty hard on his artists and sometimes down right unfair. Is this true or is it just an image?
Slim: Let me tell you something about puff, he is a perfectionist, but so was 112, so it was a mutual respect for each other's passion for music.
SayWhatNews: It shows in the music. On the hit single "Only You" 112 worked with Mase and Biggie Small a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. Tell us what it was like working with the late B.I.G. who is considered one of the greatest Hip-Hop rappers of all time.
Slim: Big was our big brother who constantly looked out for us. It was easy to work with him, we always had fun in the studio but got the job done. Being around Big, it was like he had a whole different kind of swag and it just rubbed off not only on us, but on everybody on Bad Boy.
SayWhatNews: My favorite 112 songs that made me want to get my groove on are "Only You" and "Its Over Now". What is your favorite 112 song and why?
Slim: I really don't have a favorite 112 song, they all play an important part in our career & life.
SayWhatNews: The rumors have been swirling around about why 112 broke up. No one really knew the truth until a recent interview 112 member Mike Keith did with Eurweb.He alleges that money was stolen and that you and he basically had to walk away from the group because of it, "I had to leave because a certain member stole my publishing check", said Keith. He goes on to say that "the situation boils down to simply money and something like that I can't forgive." Slim is this true and what are your thoughts about the situation?
Slim: First I want to say that 112 is not broken up & we are still together as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn't allow worldly possessions to come in between people i believe god put in my life. I love them all, and I know that all families have issues at times. I will never walk away from the group, we'veworked too hard to build this brand up to just walk away from it!
Will there ever be a 112 reunion?
I will put that situation in god's hand, it's bigger than me...
SayWhatNews: And you know that’s how it should be. 112 fans hope for a reunion. Flash forward to right now, after 12 years in the music business you decided to start your own label M3 Productions. Why now?
Slim: Why not now?? Haaa-Haaa, I've been in the game for 12 years now and i felt like it was time to elevate myself and career to the next level and give back to aspiring artists with the same dreams and goals as myself.
SayWhatNews: Slim your going from being a successful artist to CEO. Do you find that transition hard?
Slim: Not at all... I first surrounded myself with people who genuinely care about my ALL AROUND well being, professionally and personally speaking. my staff were hand picked based on experience and their willingness to work as hard as myself. I’m about leaving a legacy and i realize that i can't do itby myself!
SayWhatNews: That is so true, to be greater you need a great support staff. Initially you had no plans to release a solo album. So what changed your mind?
Slim: I was more concerned with starting up M3, so it's easier to get the ball rolling with me already working with a brand & sound that I already have. After building equity into the label I will be able to put out artist and projects that I’m presently working on.
SayWhatNews: The new album "Love’s Crazy" is your answer to bringing solutions to relationship problems. What inspired this special formula?
Slim: Well anyone that knows me, knows I’m a very optimistic person who looks at everything as the glass half way full. love is crazy, but if u look at it in a positive sense, good or bad times, u should be able to overcome them much easier.
SayWhatNews: The guest artist on this album includes Gucci Mane, C- Murder, 8 Ball, MJG and Faith Evans (just to name a few). How did you choose who you wanted to be on this project?
Slim: They were all friends of mine, so it was easy to reach out to them. They all wanted to be a part of the movement and I welcomed it!
SayWhatNews: Is there anyone else that you wished you could have gotten to work with you on this album "Love Crazy"?
Slim: No, because I am saving them for the next project "Cruise Control".
SayWhatNews: "So Fly" and "Good Lovin" are mega hits. Do you plan on releasing anymore singles from the album? If so, which one?
Slim: Hmmm, well I do plan on releasing more singles from LOVE's CRAZY, definitely a ballad next, there are so many favorites, we'll leave it to the fans to choose!! what do you think it should be??
SayWhatNews: I suggest “Apologize” or even “Love’s Crazy”. Slim you have a hot new album and your own record label M3 Productions; what's next for Slim?
Slim: Thanks I appreciate that! I’m working hard to making M3 a house hold name like Interscope, Def Jam, Warner Bros, etc...i working with a rapper named Deezo and a group called Ivy Leegue, so be on the look out for them! Also, I got a project with my boy 8Ball called Fatboy & Slim: the movie, and CRUISE CONTROL is definitely on the way!!! Look out for me to be on tours andcome check me out if I’m in your city!
I have a MySpace page too, www.myspace.com/slimof112 or u can check out my website www.theslimspot.com
I just want to thank you and all my fans for all your support! big shouts out to all the Do’s around the world, I always say, "DJ's MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND!!!" M3 baby! Don't forget to pick up your copy of "LOVE's CRAZY" instores now!!!!