New Edition frontman Bobby Brown is very busy these days. He does have two projects coming to A&E this month, a biographical profile and a docu-series featuring his family. The R&B singer is also coming to Rivers Casino on Friday night. The Tribune’s articles/magazine editor had the opportunity to chat with Brown before his visit to Philadelphia.
Q What made you decide to do a docuseries now?
A. Well, I had been asked several times to make one. I really felt that the time had come to remove all cobwebs from my system. It was really therapeutic for me to be able to go back in my life and reminisce and get rid of all the grief and things like that.
Q What was it like revisiting your past and looking back at your life for these projects?
A. It was therapeutic. You know. I work on myself and God works on me. For me, being able to go back and think about all the things that used to bother me in my life was really therapeutic.
Q Is there anything from your past that stood out?
A. My whole life has been filled with teachable and learning moments. I think if you can’t learn from your mistakes and your past, you’re not doing anything right. I just really tried to dig deep into my soul and find things that had really bothered me in my life.
Q What do you hope people take away from these documentary projects?
A. I hope I can teach someone what not to do in life. I hope people will walk away from this documentary knowing that I am still a work in progress. And I’m not done with myself.
Q Your path has not been easy. What drives you to get up and face the day every day?
A. My children, my wife, my family and God. I’m just still praying.
Q What were your biggest musical influences?
A. Michael Jackson Rick James, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway. Prince, there have been many
Q Is there someone now that you somehow have your eye on?
A. I just enjoy the music that young people put out there. Guys like Usher, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Brian McKnight, they all do something special in R&B music that really touches my heart.
Q You had a long career with a lot of music. What was your favorite song you worked on?
A. Probably “My Prerogative” because it’s my theme song. It’s a song that says a lot about the kind of person I am.
Q How do you keep the performance experience fresh for yourself after doing it for so long?
A. The crowd. The difference is in the crowd. See all the beautiful faces and see how people enjoy music and concerts. This allows me to continue.
Q I know you’re touring with New Edition later this year. What are your other upcoming projects?
A. I’m also working on my sons Landon and Cassius’ album. They make music now. So I worked with them. I’m also working on new material for myself. I do a lot of other things as far as television productions go. Me and my wife, Alicia, do a lot with my food line, the Bobby Brown food line. We’re just trying to keep going.
Q The music industry is not easy. As a parent, what did you think of your children wanting to get into the music industry?
A. I am proud. I am very proud of what they do. They are great writers and singers. And I love what they do. And I will be there for them every step of the way.
“Biography: Bobby Brown,” a two-night event, airs Monday, May 30 and Tuesday, May 31 at 8 p.m. on A&E.
“Bobby Brown: Every Little Step” airs Tuesday, May 31 at 10 p.m. with new episodes airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. starting June 7 on A&E.