In the second excerpt from our recent interview, Teddy Riley talks to SoulCulture TV in London about the “final four” members of Blackstreet and their plans to “go out with a bang”, with three songs currently complete for their new album along with their forthcoming re-make of ‘Heaven Can Wait’, from Michael Jackson‘s Invincible album.
Riley also speaks on the other Blackstreet members’ trust in his judgement, using their lack of belief in their 2006 single “No Diggity” – resulting in Teddy singing the first verse – and its subsequent platinum success as an example of his vision coming through.
He also attributes Blackstreet’s success to their willingness to cater to their fans – and explains the hurdles that prevented Guy’s comeback from going any further.
Teddy Riley on ‘Heaven Can Wait’:
“He wanted that song to be a single and I’d like for it to be a single with us… I can’t wait ’til you hear us sing it. Michael did it some justice but Blackstreet is gonna do something incredible with that song.”
On ‘No Diggity’:
“None of the guys liked ‘No Diggity’. None of them. They would even say it. That’s why I’m singing the first verse.. You know how they say they pushed the little one out there to see if it tastes good and see if he would get egged? Well they pushed me out there – and it became a hit. And now they wish they were singing the first verse, so that they can have the notoriety like me. So they trust what I’m saying…”
On Blackstreet’s Final Four:
“There’s no second guess about my opinion, because I have my ears to the street – and I know people like to hear Dave Hollister with Mark Middleton and Eric Williams – who bring the ‘street’ to the Blackstreet – and myself, who brings the branding. I’m responsible for Blackstreet being on MTV and VHI and having the big media involved, and I never got that with Guy – Guy has never even been on MTV or VHI…”
On Guy’s failed comeback:
“I wanted to put Guy back together… and we were together for about four weeks. We did a show three weeks ago and that was it – because these guys got happy, they let it get to their head and they couldn’t hold their heads up. And that was it, because they felt like they were stars again, they didn’t want to do certain things… That’s not what I want. I want what I’ve done with Blackstreet; the reason we are who we are and what we’ve done… is because we cater to our fans.”
On Autotune and vocal ability:
“We’re not the autotune group. Our sound, we don’t need autotune to be on key. These cats sing on key. I may be a little suspect in my vocals because I don’t really like to sing – I just like to entertain, I like to be onstage – but I will do it because people do like the sound. If they didn’t like it, I wouldn’t be doing it. As long as they’re liking it…. If they don’t, I’ll stop.”