Lately, the Brownstone all-female singing trio has been all about the “re.”
“We’re reinventing ourselves, we’re refreshing, we’re refreshing, we’re refreshing,” CNN senior Teisha Brown said in a recent interview. “Now don’t get it wrong: you’re still getting brownstonebut we’re giving them a bit of a new feel.”
That “new sensation” is his single, “All I Want,” his first new music in more than 25 years.
The group first burst onto the scene in 1994 with their hit single “If You Love Me.”
A lot has changed in the music industry since then.
“The songs aren’t that long,” said Nicci Gilbert, a founding member of Brownstone. “In the past they were songs, they were bodies of work. I think now the industry is more about a vibe. We’re hearing a lot of short-form content. Everywhere we look it’s like a TikTok video that’s a second and a half and it really works.”
Music is now more digestible, he said, and the trick is to keep the art while it adapts.
So while they lean toward change, they do so from the foundation of being a beloved R&B girl group.
That love helped when the group’s original member, Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell, died in 2015 at the age of 46 after 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 mannerisms and personality.
Jackson, for her part, said she is thrilled to be a part of Brownstone.
“I have a rare opportunity that you don’t get in this industry to learn from living legend Nicci Gilbert, and on the other side of me I have what I consider to be the most talented woman in the world, Teisha Lott Brown,” Jackson said. . “And I can bring my talent and showmanship to this group to blend and keep the Brownstone legacy alive.”
The trio is dedicated to putting out stellar R&B. Brown noted how popular ’90s groups continue to resonate with audiences through “old school” tours going around.
Gilbert said that’s one of the reasons you see their contemporaries, like SWV and Xscape, also making new music.
“We’ve gotten to a place where things are so tough that people are looking to lean on really talented people and great songs and great music, because I think it speaks a universal language,” he said.