When you think of 90s R&B, Dru Hill is definitely included in the conversation as a pioneering musical force. In celebration of the group’s 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut album Dru Hill, including “Tell Me,” their first smash single that introduced the Baltimore natives to music lovers two decades ago, the quartet is touring the country in celebration, taking fans down memory lane to our favorite hits.
The multi-platinum group launched a “Tell Me” contest, where one winner received the chance of a lifetime to interview the group in conjunction with The Source magazine. Roschelle Moreland of San Antonio submitted a video detailing how she’s the group’s biggest fan, and won them over.
Check out Roschelle’s interview with Dru Hill, who released their first new single, “Change,” in six years, as they got candid on new music, regrets, and more. – Angela Wilson
Are there any special memories associated with any song on any album that you care to share?
Jazz: ”Tell Me” was a song that was performed by two really amazing singers before us– Dave Hollister recorded it first and then Aaron Hall. For it to have been destined for us to sing it after those iconic figures and placed on a soundtrack with people like Jodeci and Uncle Luke, felt incredible.
At that point in our careers, we didn’t think we were going to make it, and to get that kind of opportunity just as we were about to give up– it was an amazing feeling. That’s why that song, in particular, will always be special to us.
What can we expect from the next album (and when)?
Tao: We’ve been in the studio recording new material, but I can’t tell you anything more than that. What I can tell you is that if and when a new album comes from Dru Hill, it will be exactly what you expect from us. It’ll be exactly what we know our fans want. That Dru Hill that you know and love– with a new school twist to prove that we’ll forever be in season.
Looking back over the years and the success that you’ve had, do you have any regrets?
Nokio: No regrets. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be in every moment of your life.
What’s your most memorable fan encounter?
Jazz: I think I’d have to say that meeting our official #1 fan has been the most memorable encounter for us so far. Watching your video and then answering your questions on behalf of all the Dru Hill fans around the world– this is a great experience for us.
Aside from that, it’s always amazing when you can make a difference in the lives of your biggest supporters, so when fans come to us and say that the “Never Make a Promise” video saved them from different painful situations within their families or that Woody’s “Angel” made them feel like they could get through different obstacles in their lives, that means so much to us. You want to always know that what you’re doing is making a difference in the world.
What do you miss most about your life before becoming famous?
Nokio: Just the little things, like walking into a store without being recognized, but at the end of the day, being recognized is a blessing in and of itself. It’s what we asked for when we started this, and we can’t take for granted that we got everything we worked so hard for, so we appreciate it all.
If you weren’t singing professionally, what would you all be doing?
SisQo: I would probably be an animator. Some people don’t know, but I went to a special high school to study commercial art and I really think that’s what I would be doing if music hadn’t worked out.
Nokio: I honestly don’t know. I come from a family of educators, so I think I probably would’ve gone to Johns Hopkins and ended up doing something important somewhere.
Jazz: My entire family is into music in some capacity or another, so I really don’t think I ever even thought about doing anything else. It’s what I know. It’s what I love. If I wasn’t a professional singer, I would probably still be a songwriter and producer in Baltimore doing my thing.
Tao: Believe it or not, I was actually about to become a physical therapist right before I tried out to join Dru Hill. I was at a point where I really didn’t know if singing was going to work out for me, but look at God.
Twenty years in the business… can you share some things that you would like to start, stop, or continue moving toward over the course of the next twenty years in the industry?
Nokio: Going forward, we want to focus on giving back… to our fans, to our community and to music, in general. We want to keep making music that will resonate for years to come, but we also want to create real change on a global scale, so we’re starting those conversations with our newest single, “Change,” along with different community programs that we’re initiating in Baltimore. It’s been twenty years, but trust us, it’s only the beginning.
When Dru Hill is done, what would you like to be known for in the end?
SisQo: We want the legacy of Dru Hill to always live on. We’ve done our best to create timeless music for our fans and we hope that we’re always remembered for our contributions to the industry. When we first got our deal with Island, we had already been trained to write, produce and arrange our own music– and that gave us creative freedom from the beginning. That gave us the room to do things the way we wanted…to think outside of the box, and that’s what we’re known for today.
I believe that’s what we’ll be known for forever, so we’re so grateful for all of the opportunities we were given…as well as the opportunities that are yet to come.
To see when Dru Hill hits a city near you, click here.
Photo credit: Getty Images