Lately, female singing trio Brownstone is all about the “re.”
“We’re reinventing, we’re refreshing, we’re renewing, we’re renewing,” member Teisha Brown told CNN in a recent interview. “Now don’t get twisted—you’re still getting the Brownstone, but we’re giving you a new twist.”
That “new feeling” is their single, “All I Want”, their first new music in over 25 years.
The group first broke out in 1994 with the hit single “If You Love Me”.
A lot has changed in the music industry since then.
“The songs aren’t that long,” said Brownstone founding member Nicci Gilbert. “At one time they were songs, they were bodies of work. I think it’s all about the industry atmosphere now. We’re hearing a lot of short-form content. Everywhere we look it’s like a TikTok video, a second and a half and that’s what really works.”
Music is more digestible now, he said, and the trick is to hold on to the art while adapting.
So while they’re leaning toward change, they’re staying true to their core of being a beloved R&B girl group.
That love helped when original band member Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell died in 2015 at the age of 46 following an accident.
Brown and Gilbert have a new member, Arin Jackson, who they say reminds them a lot of Maxwell, not only in terms of his talent, but also in his manner and personality.
Jackson, for his part, said he’s excited to be a part of Brownstone.
“I have a rare opportunity that you don’t get in this industry to learn from the living legend Nicci Gilbert, and on the other side of me I have what I think is the most talented woman in the world, Teisha Lott Brown,” Jackson said. . “And I get to bring my talent and my showmanship to this team to mix and keep the Brownstone legacy alive.”
The trio is dedicated to releasing the R&B star. Brown noted how popular bands from the ’90s continue to resonate with audiences through their “old skool” tour.
Gilbert said that’s one of the reasons they see their contemporaries, like SWV and Xscape, making new music.
“We’ve gotten to a place where things are so tough that people are looking to build on really talented people and great songs and great music because I think it speaks a universal language,” he said.