How is life treating you?
How was your transition from making hits to being normal and going back to school?
It’s like anything else. You adjust. I started modeling, so I wasn’t completely out of the entertainment business.
Was it easy to going back to music professionally again?
Yes, because it’s like second nature. I love to sing.
What did you miss most about music? What did you miss the least?
The work, I miss. The politics is what I miss the least.
What inspires you to write?
My brother, Dino, whom I write with a lot, convinced me I could do it if I really wanted to.
How involved are you in the recording process, from start to finish?
Very involved. Both the producers and I collaborate.
I was curious about a couple of songs and wanted to toss a couple at you and see what the first things that come to mind are. “If U Wanna Get Down”.
Party song, hanging with my girls and flirting with guys.
The first guy I ever dated and thought he could do no wrong.
Fantasizing about the perfect relationship.
“Not Gonna Cry”.
A relationship that is gone bad. Teaching yourself not to just walk away.
“It’s On Tonight”.
Another party song.
A girl whose heart has been completely broken, almost, but finds the strength and courage to carry on.
How did you hook up with Diane Warren?
We just called her and she said she was very interested and sang the song to me in her office.
Who were your influences growing up?
My father, Marvin Spencer. He had his own band, The Cavaliers, and opened shows for Jackie Wilson and Little Richard.
Who or what inspires you today?
Lauryn Hill to Alanis.
What would we catch you listening to right now?
The Chemical Brothers, Juvenile, Mary J. Blige, and myself, just kidding, and 98 Degrees.
How does this album compare or not compare to your previous releases?
It’s a more mature album. That is why I call it my coming of age album.
Are there other things you’d like to do aside from music?
Acting, possibly directing one day, and have my own label.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? New Year’s?
Going to Europe to promote the album and spending the holidays with my family.
+ rae gun