*Fans of En Vogue have been anxious for a follow-up to 2004’s “Soul Flower,” and they just may get some new tunes soon from the members of the kinda newish line-up. The original members of the group consisted of Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones, and together they sold more than 20 million records worldwide.
The legendary R&B divas have also won seven MTV Video Music Awards, three Soul Train Awards, two American Music Awards, and received seven Grammy nominations.
Unfortunately, Robinson left the group in 1997 shortly before the release of their third album “EV3.” Jones left the group in 2001 and was replaced by Amanda Cole; however, Cole left two years later and was replaced by Rhona Bennett during the recording of their album “Soul Flower.”
In 2005, the original members briefly united before calling it quits again. In 2009, the original members once again reunited for their “En Vogue: 20th Anniversary”. Shortly after the tour, Robinson and Jones departed to pursue solo careers, with Bennett rejoining the group as a trio.
Last year, Cindy Heron-Braggs, Terry Ellis, and Rhona Bennett made their return to the spotlight with the new single, ‘Déjà Vu,‘ and planned album, “Electric Cafe.
SingersRoom sat down with the current line-up to discuss the group’s growth, their sound and new album, and their inclusion in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Peep highlights from the interview below:
So, tell us what you guys have been up to? What’s the status on Electric Cafe?
Cindy Heron-Braggs: We’ve never stopped performing; we’re always doing shows. We are getting ready to release our first album since 2004, and this new album will be coming out in the first quarter of 2017, and the title of the album is called ‘Electric Cafe.’ We have released the single, ‘Déjà Vu,’ that is available everywhere.
What were your personal feelings when you found out that your music will withstand history after dresses were selected for placement in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture?
Terry Ellis: It’s an honor to be inducted into the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Our red dresses from the ‘Giving Him Something He Can Feel’ video and also the silver dresses are in the Smithsonian. When we were first approached about the curation of our dresses, we were really excited. Once we actually saw the dresses in the museum, for me, it was just surreal. I don’t think I’ve processed that moment yet. It’s a blessing, and we’re so grateful and really excited about that.
Cindy Heron-Braggs: It’s a wonderful feeling to know that those dresses will be there forever. Like Terry said, it’s still so surreal because we remember wearing the dresses, we remember giving the dresses to the Smithsonian and seeing it, but this is all in our lifetime. To think that possibly or grandchildren or great grandchildren will go to see these dresses; there’s nothing like it.
In this day and age, R&B girl groups are very slim. What kind of advice can you give to new groups on how to stick together?
Terry Ellis: That’s a hard one. For us, for Cindy and I especially, this is what we love to do. It’s our passion; it’s a driving force for us. To have made the decision to continue is because we respect the craft and we respect each other. I would give that advice to any other girl groups.
Cindy Heron-Braggs: One of the ways to keep the bond within female groups is to set your sight on the bigger picture. You can always be in the micro-moment, leave because there’s a disagreement. Members at times may feel that their talent and what they have to contribute to the group, and to the creative process, isn’t always fully appreciated. You have to understand that there are multiple talents there and you must respect each other’s contribution. If you continue to nurture your base, which is the group, there will always be open doors for individuals to do their own thing, and then always for the group to come back together and continue to do what they do. Often times, there may be lures that may pull a member away. Those are often short-lived, and I think those opportunities come because of the group and because of your base.
Along with the new album, what’s in the works for En Vogue?
Cindy Heron-Braggs: We have a tour set up for 2017 here in America and abroad. We will also promote the album in South Africa; we’re especially excited about that because we’ve never been there.
You can read the full En Vogue Q&A at SingersRoom.