Many music fans are familiar with R&B singer “Q” Parker as one fourth of the 1990s group 112, best known as Bad Boy signees who released a string of hits such as “Cupid”, “Peaches and Cream” and their feature on the Notorious B.I.G’s single “Only U.” But now, Q is the latest member of the group to step out on his own with a upcoming solo album, The MANual.
The album’s lead single, the Kendrick Dean-produced “Show You How”, is a love song about showing a woman how he could be the better one for her, feeling that her guy is taking her for granted.
With the album on its way, Q chatted with BallerStatus.com about making the album, as well as his feelings on today’s crop of R&B.
So after being with 112 for so many years, what made you decide that it was time for you to branch off and do your own solo project?
I decided to do a solo record after our last album. We all decided to just take a break and allow everyone to explore their own individuality. During that time — you know, I’m a songwriter, and I was writing for other artists. Because I’m a singer as well, I demo my own records. As I was demo’ing records, some of the records would speak to me, and I said, “Well shoot, I need to keep this record for me.” Before I knew it, I had seven or eight songs that I had tucked away. I spoke to my manager and we decided what the next step is for Q. I played her these records and she said, “Man, this is the start of an album.” From those seven records came the process of making The MANual.
Who were some of the producers that you worked with on the album?
Some of the producers are Chuck Harmony, he’s known for a lot of the Ne-Yo and Chrisette Michelle records; also, Carvin & Ivan, they did a lot of Musiq Soulchild, Jaheim, Jill Scott stuff; Warren Campbell, he’s done a lot of gospel stuff, hip-hop stuff, and R&B stuff; [and] Kendrick Dean who produced the lead single, “Show You How”.
Will there be any features from other guest artists on the album?
I have one guest appearance right now and that’s from my sister Faith Evans. I chose not to have a lot of features because coming from a group, it’s important for me to allow everybody to get to know who Q Parker is. I didn’t want that to be overshadowed by having so many features on the album. A lot of the times, you get caught up in who you have featured on the record to the point where your vision is not being fulfilled and your vision has not been accomplished. My vision is to really let people in on who Q Parker is, as a vocalist, as a man lyrically, as a producer, as a complete entertainer and as a businessman. So for me, that was done on purpose not to have many features.
What would you say is your favorite song on the album, or was your favorite song to record while making the album?
You know, man, I really enjoyed this whole process to be honest with you. Even though every record comes from a different place, I don’t know if I really have a special one or favorite one. I really have just enjoyed the process; I tell you this is a solid R&B album. It really is and I’m not just saying that because it’s mine. I put my heart and soul and foot into this album where I can constantly say this is a solid R&B album with substance, great melodies. I took that into account every time I went to create a record, so they are all special in their own right.
How do you feel about today’s R&B music and how it has changed since the nineties when 112 first arrived on the scene?
One of the most obvious differences is the subject matter. I think that in the ’90s, artist were concerned with making timeless classics. I think artists of today, in today’s industry, are so about “the now.” We are living in a microwave society, no one wants to take it slow, just put it in the microwave and then move on to the next thing. Whereas for me, I’m bringing the teachings and things that I’ve learned when we came in during the early ’90s. So, that’s what you get from this MANual album — just records of substance. I’m actually singing about something, the melodies are timeless and I think the songs will be around for a while and not just this year.