Boyz II Men: “Three Decades of R&B Hits” | Talks at Google

I’m so excited to introduce our guests boys two men remains one of the most truly iconic R&B groups in history the trio which includes Nathan Morris wanye Morris and Shawn Stockman who will be with us in just a moment hold the distinction of being the best-selling R&B group of all time let’s give them a huge round of applause with an astounding 60 million album sold four Grammy Awards four American Music Awards nine Soul Train Awards three Billboard Awards and the 2011 mobo Award for outstanding contribution to music a start on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as a casino entertainment award for their acclaimed residency at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Vegas which has been going since 2013 voice immense world famous hits include end of the road okay I won’t doing I digress end of the road I’ll make love to you Motown Philly and one sweet day among many others that’s the soundtrack of my childhood as I tell my age a collaboration with Mariah Carey that still holds the all-time record for most number of weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 boys two men have won fans over the world with their soulful multi octave sound and incredible vocals given the monumental success of their albums and the timeless quality of their vocals it’s easy to see why Boyz II Men remains the most popular R&B group of all time beyond making music they give back to their community and they are here today to celebrate and speak with each of us additionally we’re honored to have boys simmons manager joe Mulvihill joining us today as well Joe is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry having worked as okay Joe I’m sorry in advance he’s getting clowned from backstage and you’ll see why in a moment Joe is a 25 year veteran of the entertainment industry having worked as a host performer producer direct okay that’s enough let’s bring our boys to Matt and Joe all right so guys first we want to give you a big welcome to Google I can honestly say that I’m sitting here and I would imagine that many of us are because of the true impact that you’ve had in our lives and our careers by just saying the example that you made across the globe as far as representation so first just want to kick it off to you on who is boys to men like where are you today what makes you tick yeah honestly uh boys to men we represent music real music we tribe that’s to maintain the integrity of music throughout our careers we went to the high school for Creative and Performing Arts and that’s what we went to school for you know I barely got out of there but barely got out of school just because all I wanted to do was sing with these guys and um you know going to being a choir majors you know vocal choir majors we actually know what be around each other so we kind of formulated somewhat of a place where we belong vocally without knowing that we were going to sing together and once we decided to get in the room and and NATO probably tell you the story on how it all came about but um once we got into a room and actually started singing harmonies it was something that you know we couldn’t let go of it was almost like a drug it was like a high it was like the best sex that you’ve ever had you know there you know honestly I mean but that’s what but that’s what harmony does you know what I mean when you when you’re creating it like we often say you know music comes out of our throats and it comes together and and and it becomes something so magical that you can forgetting you always one of you chasing that that actual perfect harmony and um boys to men we we are we are music and that’s how we feel about him basically we’re you know harmony crackheads harmony crackheads thank you so talk to us a little bit about the journey we always see I always give the example of Instagram it’s like the highlight reel right but we all know that to get and reach your level of success there had to be some hardship so curious to know you know if you could share with us some of the struggles that you’re comfortable with sharing so we two can kind of navigate those moments in our life well we actually started as a as a group that you know now in a I say 1991 ish that the world knows and um you know obviously coming out of high school we we jumped out pretty fast things went very well for us and success was great first three or four years went very well and then things kind of got a little fishy us being young learning the industry you know as teenagers are not quite soaking in all the information that we probably needed to soak in and you know not knowing enough about the business to know that unfortunately music industry was built on the shoulders of mobsters and people like that who weren’t 100% honest you know we come in from Philadelphia being taught to whatever you work for you get like that we come from Philly being taught that when you work hard you know you win and then you get into a business that kind of flips it on you that you know when you work hard you know things don’t always pan out so make a long story short things didn’t always go well for us in the middle of our career kind of dipped down and we kind of only had ourselves as a group to rely on because everyone else around us we started to realize we’re strictly around us to either better themselves or make more money or not give us enough information for us to move forward so we kind of fell on each other’s shoulders to try to figure out how to fight through it I mean obviously you guys see there’s one member missing from the original group that was one of the hardships that we kind of went through something that we were able to bounce back from and um we we all grew up together we talked about it now at 27 years in we’ve probably spent more time on the road with each other than we’ve spent with our own families so we’re kind of closer than we are even to some of our family members so for our guys to leave in the way that that thing went down for us it was it was a little difficult but um we knew like juan said that all we ever wanted to do was sing and make great music and we weren’t going to let you know one person stop that sure and again to try to narrow it down cuz I know we all in talk there’s always hardships and I think the key is figuring out where you want to be and how you dig out the place that you’re in I’m a big believer in trying your best to control what you can control and don’t stress out about the things that you can’t control and we kind of took that moniker as things weren’t going well to just do what we could do and let everything else fall where and where it went and 27 years later we’re still able to be successful at what we’re doing amazing yeah as we sit here on the Google campus surrounded by a room of innovators curious to know you know we see where you are now and the 27-year a huge career that you’ve had but curious to know about the breakthrough like what was the moment that you knew wow this thing is big this thing is really working and it’s time for us to scale Wow it’s hard to pinpoint a defining moment because I lie to you not like we got together some time in nineteen but eighty nine and six months later we were discovered and then a year later you know we put out our first record and then it just went sure it was really just one of those things where was it had to be kismet because it was just it was just one of those things where everything just kind of happened like the Stars completing their line for us so I would say from okay I’ll say one moment we call it the magic show it was a it was February of 1989 Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day right I’d like to tell this story mainly because I think out of everybody in the group it affected me the most because I was kind of the introvert geek nerd dude I was probably one of the only black dudes that listen to metal music and comic read comic books I’m out would hiring I did not hang out with devil is a little bit but so I joined this group we put together this group the show for a talent show that you know like a like an assembly show like that we have every year and you know we went with to school with guys like the roots and people like that so let me tell you something our talent shows were worth the price of admission like we had some of the baddest musicians singers like and in the country so anyway so the curtains are drawn open we’re standing there and these like sequins jackets Oh white jackets with these black leather shoes and the whole nine now mind you we’ve gone into school for a few years some of us yeah and kids they’ve seen us around you know no big deal when they draw when they open the curtain the girl screamed like we were new edition and so much so so not really so much they were falling out that but we did we didn’t sing a note and the principal had hey you guys stop and also stuff so we’re standing here in our little poses right while the principal is talking I’m like damn what she just got sparkles in my hand like we had like we had a whole routine to make a long story short we did the show the next day again I was an introvert nobody knew me the next day I’ll go to my locker hey Shawn hey Shawn like and it it like screwed with me a little bit cuz I was like wait a minute overnight overnight literally so it was one of those things where I was like wow this is something special and this was before we even got discovered so even then I felt like this was something of some other plane spiritually like this was just some other entity and and honestly not trying to make it melodramatic but that’s really what it was like so to define it I guess that was the defining moment like I knew from that point that I wanted to be a singer in this group Sean real quick tell them a story about when they dressed up when you guys dressed some bowties and that whole concept and you thought they could tell that it was a little ridiculous all right here I’ll set it up I’ll set it up all right sold so yeah when we got discovered and Michael Bivins of no audition discovered us and we got the deal records done went to the photo shoot and we it was the first one was bad because we kind of looked like everybody else we had the baseball caps and the Parker jackets and the timberland boots and things that nature and Bibb had division he was like you know that’s just st.

Dennis he had a kind of a vision but going yeah no well you know it was a work in progress but he was I see what y’all want y’all to do right like because we we were going to do this uh this showcase for Motown Records in Los Angeles so he had an idea into the office in in the offices of Motown so get him to get him the underlayment to the thing in any music industry period is that whether you have good music or whatever you always have to have some kind of gimmick or I don’t like to say gimmick or some kind of identity or something that separates you from everybody else in order for you to be successful and after we fit it off finished our first album they really had no identity they had us singing harmonies in an era that groups weren’t really doing that doing acapella stuff that groups weren’t really doing so they couldn’t figure out an image for the group so Mike came up with this brilliant plan go Sean right so he took us to the mall he told us to go buy some sweaters it ain’t by some boast – ain’t gotta bad genes well what colors shoot don’t worry about it nothing has to match just go go toss sweaters yeah colors pastels the whole nine so we bought this stuff we put it on we were walking down son no no no I’m trying to give him the short I’m trying to give the short abridged a like so we’re walking on down sunset to this place called pink dot with everyone sandwiches comment to me was what oh man people are looking at us man he’s outfit really work I said nah dude they’re looking at us because we look like assholes we it was horrible it was hard but so like lifesaver so so bad yeah every black dog for real bro it was awful so all right so we get our sandwiches we get laughed at by the passers-by and 11:00 and whatnot was hilarious so we go to the office at Motown they start laughing right laughs first time they have a sauce and they like what the hell are the like like just crazy so we start dancing we start singing yeah and all that and office in the office in a small low section we gave it our self-park best and after that we left and I mean it was like kind of a Motown called Mike Bivins and told him that you got to figure this out this is not working so then the call was made to go Turkestan yeah he took us to the mall and he got is these outfits that match the sweaters right that match the sweaters that you see a Motown Philly that was the shopping mall the ones that are on the cover those white sweaters those red bow ties and a hatch of the second yeah we had outfits to wear on shows and everything so you know we understood what the Alex Vanderpool because that’s what it was called at the time we understood what the Alex Vanderpool concept once he took us to the mall and hooked us up and uh yeah but it went to a really bad stage it’s like it’s like the ugly teenage stage we’re supposed to do oh man I was it was awful but it was good times now you look back at how you began in the grime the grit that was required through those stages and now seeing the huge role that technology is playing in the music industry you seen people get discovered on YouTube and on Instagram wondering your thoughts on instant or what appears to be instant success at first we used to frown down upon it but we realized that you can’t really change the times one thing I will say is that no offense to the Millennials but our parents always tell us this too but we know that if we were able to have that type of technology when we started because we were taught to use our imagination early where a lot of kids today don’t you know don’t push the button it doesn’t come up you know we were trapped in our room by ourselves with a stick and a horse head on it and we thought we were at night so if we had the technology that we have back then with the imagination that we had this music industry would be off the charts right now if it’s utilized right it can actually create you know a growth pattern I mean people will see you grow but everybody’s a star right away you know what I mean because it’s so put out there to be this type of way you know dr.

School chain and his hat to the back and you know Kiki do you love your not exam you know what I mean so now every every every everybody’s everybody’s trying to try to create what’s already been created you’re not I mean and and it doesn’t help that the imagination to become something more something better and longevity doesn’t you know it doesn’t thrive certain circumstances like that you have to become something in in the beginning for people to see you grow to something which will create longevity and that’s kind of like you know I look at it as you know the boys to matter of fact I remember you know coming to places like let’s just say Google for instance it wasn’t Google back then of course there was no internet you not I mean there was no emails there was no Wi-Fi he stopped dating us so we actually we actually had to go to these radio stations we actually had to shake hands we had to go to the the distribution companies we had to actually show that we were able to do what they saw and heard that we were doing on these records and and we we went everywhere we cultivated enough of the world that after 20 27 years later people can still say today that boys time in a real you not I mean so there’s no technology it was just basically organic the purity of music of our vocals and nowadays if people don’t utilize it in a manner of to to build themselves there’s gonna be here today and gone today and that’s normally what what’s happens with technology and I feel bad because you know there are some very talented individuals out there they just are jaded by the the concept of where to start and I think the Information Age helps I think that’s out the when you do the comparison why it’s it’s it’s easier to attain the avenue to become successful but it’s a lot harder to become successful because because of the information age and it being saturated with with just everything what I mean by that is you know years ago when we came out you only heard about the artists that you heard like you didn’t have access to every single person on the planet in other words you only knew 50 talented singers in your life now you go on the internet there’s millions of them so it’s kind of watered down to the point where it’s not even so much about the talent it’s just way too many people to let them all be successful I mean we were at a time where I hate to date us but you know we had three major channels you know I’m saying so if you watch those three channels that’s whatever you got you got from there you know now that there’s ten TV now that there’s 10 billion channels it’s kind of watered down where everyone’s attention does anybody know what he’s talking about okay as long as we’re not the only ones but we chose your pliers but anyway you know it’s so ordered down to where and then wine and I was talking about this the other day that you’ll hear someone who’s absolutely incredible but now that you have access to 10,000 people who are incredible how special are they really years ago we didn’t have access it was always somebody over here that was better than boys to man always somebody that was better than all right Carrie but you didn’t know about them but now that you have connections to see and be entertained by all these people it makes it tougher for people who are really really talented to be successful because there’s so many that you can get to so since we’re dating ourselves I might as well just go for it right I turned 40 this year nice we call it the hill it’s the bottom of the hill but weak okay okay I embrace the hill then and and I started my career in the music industry for ten years and saw music companies shutting down we know many of them Tower Records shutting down in the industry kind of crumbling around us and I got out I was afraid and I said you know my livelihood is attached to this business and if I don’t pivot now I’m gonna sink with it that’s how I felt at the time looking back my question to you is how have you been able to have longevity and rebrand and even reposition yourself in such a changing evolving cloud well you know honestly it was hard it was very hard simply because you know we started off my career was here you know and you know we were doing so well and you know we felt like at that time you know when the music industry was changing that we could actually you know take a couple of years off you know just relax a little bit enjoy the you know the success and and when we did that the music industry changed dramatically and we came back and it was like where the hell is the music and um you know we actually went through a phase where we we actually went searching for like you know where the love was I guess we used to call it and we would go you know and do shows and and then things like that and it just wasn’t as as you know it wasn’t as great as is it you know we would go overseas and of course and be huge and you know amazing but we live in America so we went in love where we were and um you know we actually know took a bit of a nosedive you know what I mean I guess you could say and during that time was very humbling it was very humbling because we didn’t know exactly what to do we would actually sit home and wait for the big dates you not I mean which would come but they were far and few between and we had to like you said you know rebrand ourselves we had to read reface ourselves and honestly that so around the time when we met our manager now mr.

Joe over Hill and he put together a bit of a team and those tape that team basically sat down once I said you know how hard are you are you willing to work to get to a certain place you not I mean this is gonna be very humbling this is gonna be humiliating to a certain extent because you went out from selling five hundred thousand five making five hundred thousand a night at Madison Square Garden or New Year’s you know what I mean – now performing in places that you’re not gonna feel too good about but it’s gonna be a whole lot of shows you know what I mean those goes like dog and pony shows and um you know they put this schedule together and uh you know and it’s Bennis it was a schedule for how long was that schedule you’re talking about the first one yeah probably six weeks maybe the first the one when you want to kill me yes yeah the first one that was six weeks yeah and we did these shows and I’m telling you you you you go for performing at theaters and arenas to performing and a place called puffer bellies anybody know puffer bellies it’s in the Hampton Cape Cod no no well they’re all gonna tell you about the firehouse and sorry how much of an asshole these these these places were like no I mean you could say maybe five hundred capacity and it was like 50 people there and you know we we actually liked like that we looked at each other literally was like holy like what was what is happening to us like what are we doing like you know and honestly I said it all the time you know we throughout this time this humbling period you know we we we broke up like five times you know but but it was five minutes each time you know honestly that sneaking continue on well no no I mean I mean it he’s a hundred percent correct it took a lot for us to really wrap our head around changing gears as you said and what we were able to do was a lot of people don’t know all the history of our group they know that we sing we’ve got some so-called pretty good records and well I just I’m gonna say they’re all good but um you know we make records but a lot of people don’t know that a lot of our career was spent grinding learning how to be performers a lot of people don’t understand that they’ve seen the videos of Motown Philly and and then AC into the road and we kind of walk around and don’t do much so being honest so hypothetically if you would ever to hear about a boy some in concert you have no idea what to expect because all you see us do is walk around in videos so so my point so my point being is that exactly that was it so somehow so my point being that because people didn’t know that about us we were able to use it to our advantage as you like when you said figure out the music industry changing what are we gonna do we’re gonna jump ship but do whatever so what we were able to do is I guess you say lean more towards being a performing group versus a recording group because there was not a lot of money in it for us anymore because people were stealing records they weren’t paying publishing correctly even to today so we were able to transcend and start that circuit that Juan was talking about getting back out on the road performing and and becoming a performing group to where you know it’s one of the only forms of music that people still can’t take from you now they can’t copy it they can’t steal it they can’t do anything about they have to come to the concert to see a live performance we get some I don’t wanna name any networks or whatever is all well let’s come to Vegas and we want to you know tape your show and we’re like no we’re not letting anybody tape anything live that we have cuz it’s all we got left you don’t want you make a record and you put it out instantly the whole world gets it and after that it’s it’s pretty much stolen gone or whatever so we don’t control it this is the only thing that we can control so again like I said we were able to switch gears and realize that in this day and age for us performing is the key because it’s the only thing that we have sacred that we can offer to our fan base that you just can’t go on the internet again but to get to that point we went through a lot you know we went through a lot I mean like I was I was saying we we performed in this place called what’s the firehouse virus firehouse and uh you know like I said it was like you know 500 capacity and you know we walked into this place and it’s some good power the capacity that’s how men done telling it it wasn’t 500 people here you know we walked in a place and there’s a mechanical bull in the middle of the floor and I didn’t know we was about to recreate the pony video y’all said or not but you know we walked in this place and it’s a mechanical bull you know the stage the stage got a pole in front of it and and I’m like is this a stripper Coors Light there’s a Coors Light over a billiard is your life like seriously and and we get there’s like you know it was literally 50 people showed up and Joe what nerds no he was a hold on I thought I was gonna be fired because when they wrote yeah thanks when they were singing into the road there was a there was a woman on the bull so yeah they looked at me like really dude and and and it was crazy because you know and this is why I love I love my fellas you not I mean because we we share the same veracity when it comes to what we do you know what I’m saying it was 50 people there and you would have thought that it was 5000 because we sang each song the way that we’ve always learned how to sing everything the only way we know how is to go a hundred and twenty percent and as time progressed throughout those those months and months and years of performing at these crazy crazy places you know the the numbers started building again you’re not a man of fifty two you know a hundred to maybe like five hundred and five thousand and then we did the US Open we sang the national anthem at the u.s.

America god Bless America you know we switched it didn’t we flip it we did maybe oh yeah we did both we bet we did both in and from that point I guess you know like joe said you know that was the key is to get corporate America to you know to believe in the brand again in once we did that it started you know building and building but it took a very long time and honestly I remember being on a boat a cruise looking at each other like man this is it this after this we we out I remember then went in a van was like Shawn was like a dis out I don’t want to do this no my I wanna do this no yeah we done just fist quit it and then we got to the room and you know Nate came to the room and he was like look man this is this is us it’s all we got and Sean we all just like yeah you right bro you’re not I mean this this is all we got for CMB our brother’s keeper you know what I’m saying so it was it was one of those things that you know it brought us closer you know weed with one member was gone but it brought us closer it showed us that we were you know we were the the last of the Mohicans and we had to you know we had to maintain that integrity you know everybody sees like in sports LeBron James you see him when he performs on the court you don’t see the other 22 hours what he puts in to get what you see on TV and and what I learned when I met them was the personalities and the dynamics some of you probably are surprised how funny they are and how goofy they are and how they and then when I saw that I was like I said we need the world to see that we all know into the room we all know Motown Fela we all know that and those are gonna be hits for the rest of your life but how do you get people to get to know you not just oh yeah I know that guy they didn’t know Juan’s name they didn’t know Shawn’s and I mean they did but nobody knew their personalities behind it so the theory was if we just get them out now I wasn’t anticipating a bowl I wasn’t anticipating puffer bellies all those other things you booked it was well I didn’t really I didn’t realize that I didn’t realize it those were you know what dude I didn’t realize okay so so what we learned from a business standpoint and because you guys are innovators and thinkers the thought process behind it was if we grind it out long enough eventually because I know what I like and I think other people like what I like for the most part you get you got good attitudes you guys are good people you have unbelievable songs let’s just see where this can kind of take us and slowly but in Wan’s right it was a very slow process I was questioning myself a hundred times like why are you putting him through this like I was fans that’s why I even decided to do it I was a fan way before Janet Jackson the Super Bowl I was working for the Super Bowl at the time Janet Jackson’s thing came out and right after that I got a phone call to go to Japan and meet boys to men because they were about to fire your existing manager I believe and when I went out there I saw one show and I was like okay there’s a real business here I mean a real business and I sat down and said guys are something real here this is what I think and well he wrote manage this for a long time at first that’s when he booked the puffer bellies in the mechanical bull and then we like you said we were in the process of looking for another manager and because we’ve gone through so much we’ve gone through a lot in this business and again one thing about this group when it comes to people that we meet and and we grow a liking to we become very very attached and very very loyal no matter almost to a fault and it’s kind of put us in spots where you know we our loyalty outweigh what someone else was doing to us and kind of put us in bad situations so you know with Joe coming along we were already kind of you know bruised kids from a lot of different things happening so we really kind of had to play it back a little bit and kind of see what we felt he could give us and um and we we we played it for awhile we made him run around a lot you know I’m saying we we did stupid self did you see if he’d do it and he did it I mean you know kami changed my shoes yeah he used to come around you know us with these beat-up Puma white shoes and look like he was kicking rocks and we are like black people you can’t have it was persued shoes so now he’s his shoe game is all switched up now so he’s you know he’s got that fresh part he still like the wear swag a lot you know I’m saying we got still get him out of free stuff he did you know somebody you know give him free stuff on the golf course he’ll come to a meeting with that and we have to tell him can’t wear that so we still working on them but the funny thing is um we were I know it there was a situation where it was right before we hired him we um I used to play up John Madden NFL football a lot and I’m at the day it just came out and I just bought the game we were on the road doing some shows and we were going to this hotel that night and while we’re doing press all day I was all excited to get to my room and play the game I was talking about and I got to the room and they had one of those old TVs that you couldn’t really plug the new HDMI into so I was pissed for like an hour and then Joe Carly gave me the schedule for the next day so I yell so you got everything so yeah I do but I’m pissed off I was trying to play my game then I said what I said the TV’s jacked up I call downstairs see if they had a monitor I know they got one they’d hold it from me it won’t give it to me so he’s like oh hold on one second give me like 20 minutes so I get a knock on the door somebody brings a brand-new TV flat-screen TV in my room and I’m like I called my like dude somebody what am i doing disease that dude just we’re just over the TV play the game tonight just don’t throw away the box some light all right so I still are still there all thank you damn that’s your so no so but these are and what’s funny is that these are the things that you know always click in my mind because this is someone who thinks outside the box and that in a natural and as a manager pictures of these people earlier and and literally that that you know that’s what managers need in this business to be able to kind of go around and maneuver without making the artist look you know bad so I play game all night and then I put the TV back in the box we go downstairs and we’re flying to the next city because I’m saying flying to Miami and I’m like okay well I said what do I do with the TV it’s just bring it downstairs we’re gonna put it on and put on the van to take to the airport so taken to the airport do what so make a long story short not only did he take the TV back to the store he bought it in the city we were in and flew to Miami and took her back to Walmart and the other City so right away from me I was like that’s the kind of thinker that we need on our team that you ain’t see a hustler is a hostel well you got a white boy hustler man you know it’s the funny I’m eating you know not to make this a joke a joke a joke moment hello situation but um I remember we were on the plane you know what I mean oh we were on the train we’re gonna train in Japan I didn’t know him I didn’t I didn’t give him that as much time as everybody else did you know I like trust people too much you know what I’m saying I like people I love him you know me but I didn’t trust people too much and I’m sitting there next to him he was like looking at me we probably like movie like the second time we might have talked and he looked at me and I’m sitting there you know my peanuts and stuff you know and he said you don’t like me do you and I was like I don’t know you you know the man he was like I mean I said I know you you know I know I know what you’re about what am i what am i bad I said you’re an opportunist right and he was like he lost his mind and I was like looking at him like what’s the matter with this white boy you know like I said dude I said listen I said don’t you’re taking it the wrong way bro I said you’re an opportunist which means that you look for opportunities you know these opportunities benefits you I said and as these opportunities opportunities benefit you because you’re working with us that opportunity is gonna benefit us I said so I’m glad you and opportunities because we haven’t had anybody around who were looking for opportunities for us I said you see something in us and you see there’s opportunity I said so users exact words that were exact words exact words in quote all right so we are gonna turn it over for questions that we just hit Banquo if you do have a question please line up at the mic and I will ask my last question as you guys think about what you want to ask so let’s get started um I’ll close out this portion of the panel by saying that Oprah had a video that went viral a couple days ago that said young people right now are focus too much on building their instead the quality of their work the craft right so for those of us in the audience who have a side hustle or who may be interested in starting a business or whatever it is that you are innovating right now what advice and what order would you give with that notion you go could I say this I’ll say a quick story I got a 15 year old at home right and he put me on game as far as like how kids nowadays like kind of like with the opposite sex so someone that they like you know communicate with each other and they do almost everything through text right that’s how he asked for a person’s phone number how do I get the numbers but you know and and that’s how they ask for dates movies the whole nine yards and I asked my son I was like so when do you talk to him you know and he’s like really you know we go to movies and I was like that’s it as I you know you’re skipping a few steps right so it kind of correlates to what you’re saying as far as like it’s cool to create this you know facade of who you might be what you are and things that nature but there’s still an organics to it that you you know you still have to apply you still have to talk to the girl you have to ask her what she likes you have to like hey yeah be in her face and have what’s called a conversation like and things of that right whatever you know you have to find out all of those things in order for you to really like or dislike this person I think that with social media it’s a great tool but again I think a lot of kids are skipping steps there they are taking it for face value if I look like this if I sound like this if I act like this then I’m gonna be successful and they never really take the time to put in the organic work to actually be the person that you’re perceiving yourself to be and that takes the work like Joe mentioned about LeBron James like he just didn’t he just doesn’t get up and play the way that he does he practices hard every day with my group we just don’t go out there and sing songs we practice we were Hurst we’ve done this time and time and time again and that quality comes with that you have to put in those I guess what’s that theory if you put 10,000 hours into something then you yeah yeah like that that guarantees that you don’t become something that fizzles out you know very soon after so you have to put in that organic time and I think as far as the the brand building I believe that the key the key to it all is is his service a lot of people like you said they tend to focus a day on building the brand but now I know a brand but I know a brand forgiving me city service one thing that we’ve known throughout history we know what type of shoes Nike makes we know you know what Google offers we don’t those brands have cement it I guess you say a form of quality that you know when you add it to that name you’re not really contemplating what you’re gonna get cuz you already know so to your point here there are a lot of people out there now who are so-called on the hustle and want to build their brand but if your brand doesn’t represent any type of quality service then you all you really have is a brand reputation you get exposed so don’t skip don’t skip yeah so don’t skip the steps that would be the the main point of this whole thing and real quick to the point the grinding it out with puffer bellies and the mechanical bull and all that was their second stage of their career doing all the groundwork to not only work out jokes how they communicate you know we did an event in Atlanta 100 black men event I was the only white guy there we literally got on the plane flew to Orlando Florida for Arnold Palmer the golfer everybody knows golfer Arnold Palmer and they were the only black guys there and we looked at each other and said how crazy is this that you guys can resonate amongst anyone all over color doesn’t matter who they are doesn’t matter and how did that happen I really think the grind the humbleness cuz you got remember there were kids making millions of dollars everybody loved them they were the greatest thing in the world to nobody cared they lived through Nirvana era they lived through the hip-hop era they lived through the boy band era they live now the trap racking their I mean every single thing Travon whatever it is but the point is the music has changed over the last 20 dramatically 80s music had two forms of music was rock bands and it was a the 80s fun kind of goofy poppy stuff a few away but Wow an R&B the point in just R&B we don’t have hip-hop I started in the 80s you notice he only named his two forms of music right you know what my point is we we as a business who were able to not only adjust to that we weren’t chasing anything we were just being real to who they were that’s the problem the Internet you see something and you try to change it up to follow that and you’re too late if you just do what you do eventually patients and anybody in the room no matter what you want to do if you have kids don’t have kids have a business side hustle no matter what it is patience and showing up are the two things that could take you there and one more thing it learned how to communicate a lot of people tend to put and I guess it’s kind of customary for us to be put into a category where our B group mainly because people see black people yeah but as you look in the room what do you see you just don’t see black people you see all types of nationalities and colors and age groups and things of that nature I think mainly because of the fact that we learned how to communicate it wasn’t just about the music we knew how to communicate our message through the music and the music was kind of like the byproduct and a sense of yes I really like those songs but just like Nate mentioned a lot of people just saw our videos just us standing there pointing at a camera and things that nature until they saw us in a show I was like wow this was something different this was something more more than I expected so with all of those trials and tribulations and us not skipping those steps we learned how to communicate with everybody not just black people not just white people but everybody and I think that’s what kept us going all right we are gonna turn it over to our questions starting with my sis my shell if you guys will first introduce yourselves and then your questions brief as possible so everyone can get a finish can you raise the microphone stand up a little bit higher because the people behind I’m just joking arranged behind could you all tell us your story as to how you all got your name poised to me Oh Sean you got it uh Nathan and I were on the phone one day we had a previous name but that we will not mention Joel Goulet yeah yeah it’s probably on Google and while we were talking on the phone there was a new addition song called boys to men that came on the radio while we were talking and I said that’s our name like that should be our name right there and he was like oh no how like you know like well the only reason why I said that because at that time we weren’t boys to men and we weren’t successful doing anything so we just did local stuff and every time we performed we did boy stuff in a new edition song so sound where ladies hillman boys them in singing can you stand there in it’s like by new addition is it just sounded weird because that’s all we did was new edition covers and now our name is – cover – so as we as we moved into our career cuz we it’s funny we only when we talked about it we said all right we’ll we’ll hang on to it for a little bit but over the years we realized that it became a name that was was perfect for us because as Juan always says you know no matter how old you get it’s always going to be a little bit of boy inside you and for us our music we feel transcends generations from old to young boy to man a woman – you know they’re also it’s one of those things where it just kind of stuck after a while thank you thank you from you like you’re talking a lot about longevity and communication and brand and as a boys group boys men you know just there’s so many groups that we’ve heard of that I’ve you know just not even here anymore they’re gone and so I want to hear you talk more about like what are the values that Y all share that keep you and this bonds so tight despite those you know five-minute break ups and all that stuff like what what has worked for you to keep the partnership strong and alive and empowering we have we had a better understanding than most of we’re better together than we are apart just like why you mentioned you know when we broke up we we kind of got a sense of clarity I was like you know this this breaking up is not a good idea and mainly because also our fans and the people who supported us kept us up here so even when we didn’t feel that way other people felt that way so again Nate’s mentioned something about service we felt like it was our duty we were servants to people who appreciated what we did despite how we felt about each other and ourselves our own selves there were people that wanted to see us that came out time and time again that wanted to sing no songs and live back those those men live you know those memories again and things that nature so if boys and men has become bigger than us the music and what it’s become is so much bigger than who we are again we just consider ourselves servants and at the end of the day these songs have done so much for so many people that is kind of like okay well let’s just do it for them if not for us and I know that uh we spoke about the stars align you know for our success but um you know we we believe that there’s only way the stars kind of line and that’s about the Creator you know I mean we actually you know the day that we decided to go into and sneak backstage at the you know the Motown Philly song we snuck backstage and met Michael Evans you know we had no money we had no idea how we were going to get it in each and every time we wanted something that night we would stand off to the side and pray and it was amazing and I know that these fellows could attest to it that we didn’t have tickets to get in we prayed somebody gave us goddess inside we didn’t couldn’t get backstage we prayed and somebody came and helped us to get backstage and you know for us to be together right now you know it it’s just a testament to the fact that we’re supposed to be together right now and it’s not for us you know it is for you know those people who we have a responsibility for those the child that actually mother came and said you know we plead you know your records for them while they were in a coma and they came out of the coma and they wanted to hear boys to men you know the little kid that’s in the front row that is there’s nine years old singing I’ll make love to you like why how are you why are you singing that song you know thumbs in hand but but it’s because it’s because we we’ve created some sort of non offensive approach to to life and to love you know what I mean you know everybody wants their children and their family to to be able to be a part of something that’s not offensive and you know God gave us these songs you know we’re just vehicles you know what I mean anybody could have sang these songs and and it would have been great songs but you know the way that we feel these songs is is because we know that they were gifts to said we have to share that gift with everybody else so yeah the stars align but God made them aligned and that’s why we’re here and I think the human the human side of the longevity is is which is missing in a lot of things today which is I believe again there’s always there’s fruit the key is a spiritual aspect of who we are and what has brought us together but being able to stay together is one to be able to like you said all the other groups aren’t around and most of the main reasons why they aren’t around is because they don’t respect the people who they work with they don’t understand them for who they are and are able to live with their imperfections and their and their rights and their wrongs we’ve learned over years to understand each personality of each guy in this group and just that’s who they are but we also have the ability that when one guy steps out of line you know the other two guys are able to put them back in line none of us have become so big to the point where none of the other guys can tell you anything that you need to do and that’s what happens with a lot of these groups you know they have those side guys they come along and say yeah you’re bigger than this guy you don’t need to be there and the ego start getting big to where the guys they created the group with and like I don’t I don’t really need these dudes I can do whatever I want but there there’s a humbling within us that according it’s similar to what one is saying is that not only do we do it for the audience but we do it for each other like neither one of us want to let anyone else down with what we’re here to do so when some guys not doing something right and we kind of put them in check you know we have to sit back and think about that because we just don’t want to you know screw this thing up we know how important we are to each other and they still have fun too by the way and we constantly do things that are wrong wanted to record with tec-9 we got him in with tec-9 he’s a junkie for rock music he recorded with the Foo Fighters Nate loves Justin Bieber so we recorded with Justin Bieber so now the point is where we do something I go commercial now not in any way the thing is we still have fun when can we good twinkle we good okay okay don’t shoot the messenger but we can take one more quick apologize well you stand next to her at the mic it’ll be one big question so what they say goes let’s do it so hi I’m Jess I was born here in San Jose so local you were my first introduction to like cool acapella music so thank you for that and to go with that I’m part of Google pella which is Google’s acapella group and we’re working on harmonies and blending and you guys are the icons for that your music just transcends the beauty that is blending know you can come to a concert so what tricks or tips that do you have that works for blending exercises aside from being so close and having gone through so much is there something that works for you as a group whether it’s like breathing see we lock that in and we get both questions in and do we answer go yeah okay so the question I’m from Moscow Natalia so the question is about actually I’ll tear my question to that at the end of the road there was lyrics can you talk a little bit more like oh that we’ve come to the end of the road which is the road right now right can we can is it okay to ask to come to the end of the road and ask you to see now y’all see we should have just let you sit down see what happens when see what happened with you let the last person in wanna be it took her a minute to bring it out she knew she was well good I answer that question first mom to answer your question you know what we might be the right guys for that question but actually the wrong guys cuz we’re kind of unorthodox yeah like all right our thing is we do things a little different like the whole triad thing out the window with us we never did we it was always too boring so it was almost like when when we would sing like a three-part not saying we wouldn’t sing those parts as it was what it was start off like that but then he would go in and what we call a crack note you know because it’s in the cracks like it kind of goes with maybe the top bit or bottom but it kind of does a thing like this that kind of goes in tandem with that particular note then NATO add a bass then I’ll add some weird thing so it’s kind of like if anything it you do what you feel it’s a it’s a feel about light and I think that’s where our style comes from yeah it’s not necessarily a structure but more of a feel well if there’s a note that we feel like should be in there we put it in even if it’s just like one half of a bar like well you know it’ll go and then it’ll disappear so that’s how we do our thing and also like you know that’s that’s just the recording aspect of it but if you’re you’re actually seeing us or hearing us perform acapella each part that we sing can actually be a lead sung by itself you know what I mean so if I start at one note by the end of the song I could actually end up at a whole nother note in a whole nother register and he’ll end up on a whole nother note at my register and Shaun will be in the middle you know what I mean so it creates somewhat of a I guess you could say somewhat of a wave and it it does it does it does something but the the idea and concept is to actually have it move so that the actual melody of the song can stay but it can move you and and you don’t understand where it’s coming from a lot of people might hear a couple of our arrangements and say like how where what note is he actually singing and and it’s just unorthodox so spontaneous yeah and it is it’s fun it’s fun to do it the way we do it because we know that everybody’s scratching their heads and you know what I mean that’s that’s kind of awesome no real quick on every when they record one will jump in the studio record and then Sean will say hold on and they’ll jump out and jump in and jump out and they’ll say that wasn’t right no that was right no do that and it’s fascinating there’s no keyboard there’s no pitch pipe there’s nothing and that fascinated me when I was first we recorded with Brian McKnight and he’s the came same style as these guys and they had a keyboard and everything and Brian’s like take that thing out we don’t need that and they just find what makes sense as they go it’s just it’s a fascinating thing to actually see and if you’re musically you get it okay and sweetheart patiently – all right I’ll put the mic down now go ahead guys you do you that hello viola once you a high C max for that you know how women are you got to give a woman what they want so we always switch it up there’s a little bit so we save these for the night what we sing with imagine that you got oh one more question all right we got one more question that’s it okay so my name is charles olivier from chicago i recently made the jump over to tech but i started my career in politics with a couple of really cool opportunities working for obama in Chicago working for him in DC and Hillary Clinton and I recently made the jump to come to Google after being the CFO of the Democratic National Committee so my question is as black artists what do you think about what are your thoughts on artists using their platform to be involved in the political process or encouraging other people to be involved in the political process I think it’s great I think it’s great mainly because I mean let’s face it like that’s kind of a historical thing artists have always done that from Bob Dylan all the way back to you know all of these acts back in the 60s and things that nature like artists are the closest thing to people closer than some politicians and we get our message across conveniently in a way where people is a people are willing to listen because it sounds good has a melody to it has a guitar to it and things that nature so we’re able to put across our message I mean and even you know when we were growing up as high school as you had guys like Public Enemy and things that people like that who put their political message in music too but the beats was I and even now Chicago native chance to rapper and guys like that who are doing the same thing and I think it’s it’s incredible because we have the purest most honest way of conveying the message because there’s no filter and because we’re not politicians people can be comfortable with our message because they know that there’s no ulterior motive behind it and or whatever we say what’s in our heart we say what we feel and most of the time it’s the same sentiment that most of us share anyway the same thing comedians do and things of that nature we’re just the modern-day Plato’s and Socrates and people like that used to say the same thing so I think it’s awesome and I think there are more people that need to do that and especially now there’s such a volatile time specifically in this country that we have to have more artists and more people to express themselves artistically to get the point across where you know if no one understands the political jargon in vernacular that you might see on CNN or MSNBC just sing into the road yeah exactly awesome thank you also forgot to tell you I got a beat down when I was about 10 nice actually got to you first thank you for all of us when I say that we love you we support you we were so fortunate to get to know the men behind the music and we thank you for that let’s give it up for Nathan you

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