Like a bottle of fine wine Ginuwine is back with new music and smoother, sexier moves than before. No longer is he trying to “get up in those jeans,” he wants you to get inside his head and heart. His forthcoming album, A Man’s Thoughts, on store shelves this month; boasts the talents of many like R.L. from the group Next, producer Bryan Michael Cox and collabos with artists like Keyshia Cole and Brandy. Clutch sat down to talk to this heart stopper. Find out what he’s been up to, what’s kept him busy, and why he’s been M.I.A.
Clutch: Where you been and why’d you stay gone so long? We missed you!
Ginuwine: I’ve been doing my thing! I’ve still been doing shows, performing over seas and that kind of thing. When I finished the deal with Sony I think in 2004, I really wanted to take a break because I had been going constantly from 1996 to 2004 day after day, year after year. I missed out on a lot of things with my kids and I just wanted to spend some time and try to catch-up. Some things you can’t get back, so the day when my kids started school, I made sure I was there for that. I think that it was something that was needed and everything is great now. Now they don’t care when I’m home. They’re in school now, they’ve got their friends, and so I said all right, I’m going back to work.
Clutch: How does it feel getting back in the game?
Ginuwine: It’s definitely hard work, but certain things I really miss. The thing I miss the most is being on stage. That’s where I express myself the best. I’ve never really liked the studio because I don’t like how I sound. People are like “are you crazy?” I’m my worst critic. But I’m back, and I’m ready to do what I do best.
Clutch: There have been a few new artists enter the music scene in your absence. Do you have any favorites?
Ginuwine: As far as new artists, I like a couple. I like Ne-Yo and Avant. I got to give respect to all the guys that have kept real and true R&B alive. I’m always a fan of anybody that keeps R&B relevant.
Clutch: What can we expect from your new album A Man’s Thoughts?
Ginuwine: Everybody is going to say a new Ginuwine, but it’s really me with a lot of other new people. The substance of what I talk about and the depth that I go in, it’s pretty much the same. I allowed the others that I worked with on this album to write for me first while I added my two cents halfway through the project. So, it’s going to be different in that aspect, but you know it’s still all Ginuwine. I’m used to writing about 90% what I’m singing, but this time I’m not.
Clutch: Women are always trying to get inside a man’s head. Tell us about some of your thoughts.
Ginuwine: You know what; I came up with that name because I thought it was intriguing. I really wanted to let women know how we men think and what we think in certain situations. But, it’s really for a woman to better understand a man. It’s one of those that will get people talking not only about the music, but about the content.
Clutch: What are your thoughts on love?
Ginuwine: My thoughts on love, hmmm, let me see… love is something everybody should experience. Love is definitely something I have experienced. I think it’s better said by the ones who have loved rather than by the ones who are just practicing. I think I’ve experienced a lot of things in life that people can relate to. I’ve been in love, I’ve fallen out of love, so I know what love entails. It involves heartache, pain, happiness, and struggle. It entails a lot of things, and I think that’s one of the reasons the album maintains. I’ve been able to express this in the form of song. Love is happiness and love is live. Some people think that just because you sing about love everything is happy. Naw! Some people endure many different circumstances in their life. Whether it be heartache or pain or whatever, so it’s not always fun, it’s not always nice. Love is something that everyone, I believe, should and need to experience.
Clutch: What are your thoughts on domestic violence?
Ginuwine: Oh, my thought on domestic violence is that it should never happen. It’s never right for a man to put his hands on a woman, and it’s never right for a woman to put her hands on a man. It’s never right for a man to emotionally tear down a woman, and vice versa. I believe if you can’t get along don’t be together. I know sometimes things aren’t always black and white. There’s a little grey area or people sometimes can’t control their emotions, and that makes them act in ways they later regret. But the act itself should never be tolerated. A lot of people don’t realize it but there are a lot of guys that go through it too. It may not be physical, but definitely emotionally.
“Some people think just because you sing about love everything is happy”
Clutch: What do you think makes a woman attractive?
Ginuwine: Wow! See, you’re trying to get me now! (Laughter) The first thing…I mean come on now, I’m a guy and the first thing I see is the face. If you don’t know the person, you don’t know if they’re strong-willed or strong-minded, clean, dirty… well hopefully you can see if their clean or dirty (Laughter). You don’t know too much about them so honestly, the first thing that attracts you would be their appearance. Whether it is their hair, their booty, their whatever, it’s really all about appearance for me. Then what reels me in is what you find out about them, how deep they are, how educated they are, what their goals are, what motivates them-that’s what keeps you there.
Clutch: How are your thoughts different from those of yesterday?
Ginuwine: Because I’ve matured and I’m a little older, I’m able to view life differently. I don’t look at things the way I did 10 years ago. Life changes, people change and things around you change. If you always view life the same way there might be some problems. Back in the day, I wasn’t married or living with my wife and kids, so the things I might have done back then like have a whole bunch of friends over, drink and do whatever it is boys do, I wouldn’t do today. I have respect for my home and family. I view things totally different now. Taking responsibility for my actions is what I do now versus what I did back in the day.
Clutch: Can you tell us something a man really wants a woman to know and understand?
Ginuwine: Finances and women are a struggle everyday. A man is born as the provider. We’ll always be the man, the provider, and we live our lives like that. It’s hard to deviate from that a lot of times. When you know better, it’s not really a problem letting your significant other help you, but that’s a struggle for us. Also, I love women, and that’s a struggle too. I’m real friendly. It’s just my nature to be cool, but sometimes people take things the wrong way. So that’s a struggle for me, but for other guys, it’s another kind of struggle.
Clutch: The divorce rate is up 50%. Being a celebrity, I’m sure you’re faced with unique problems. Tell us your secret to a long lasting marriage.
Ginuwine: First, it’s communication. Second, honesty and lastly, be open with each other. For me, these are the keys to a lasting relationship. Allow your significant other to help you in your endeavors or whatever’s happening in your life. Women are very, very smart, and a lot of times because we are men, we have the attitude that we can do this or that, but women are smarter than guys.
Clutch: Any big screen roles in the near future?
Ginuwine: Right now I’m just focusing on the music. Any door that opens for me I’m definitely in, but right now the most important thing is for me to take care of this music thing. This is where it starts. This is the stepping stone to everything else.