Good Morning Here’ this week’s episode of Da-Professor’s Lounge. An online radio podcast that plays timeless hits from the past 5 decades.
Da-Professor’s Lounge is honored to continue it’s Black Music Month celebration by honoring Austrailian R&B/Soul Singer/Songwriter Selwyn for his contributions to music. Born in Durban, South Africa, Selwyn Pretorius grew up listening to the music from his native homeland as well as music by American Hip-Hop and R&B singers and rappers including Jermaine Dupri, Usher, Michael Jackson and Destiny’s Child. At the age of 16, Selwyn’s family relocated to Perth, Australia for better opportunities and while it took him time to adjust to the city, he quickly made friends and became fell in love with the city. To help his family, Selwyn secured a job at Bi-Lo supermarket pushing trolley carts where he would sing, impressing many of the customers who was amazed by the power and tone of his voice. One customer even spoke to the store’s manager and suggested that Selwyn audition for the Australian reality talent show “Popstars.” Touched and inspired by the customer’s note and suggestion, Selwyn took a chance and auditioned for the show and made the audition where he competed for an opportunity to become a member of the singing group Scadal’Us. Sadly, despite getting great reviews and praise for his unique vocal gifts, he didn’t make the cut, so he returned to Bi-Lo to help pay the bills. 3 months later, Selwyn received a call from one of the show’s judges who believed in his talent and flew him Sydney to meet and audition for many record labels and producers who was eager to work with him. Selwyn wounded up signing a deal with Epic Records and linking up with Zimbarbre born Producer/Songwriter Audius who had also remember hearing sing at Bi-Lo. The two co-wrote nearly all the songs on Selwyn’s debut release “Meant To Be” which became an instant hit reaching gold status in Australia, while becoming a hit in America and South Africa. The album scored many hits including “Buggin’ Me” “Way Love’s Supposed To Be,” “Like This, Like That” and a remake of Philly Soul duo’s Daryl Hall & John Oates’ classic “Rich Girl” which helped him gain an international following. In fact U.S. based R&B Singer/Songwriter Mya’s production team Red Zone contacted Selwyn’s label and informed them that they planned on submitting him songs for his follow up album. Selwyn embarked on an international tour around Australia, Europe and his homeland South Africa opening for Destiny’s Child and appearing on the legendary Rumba Tour with Shaggy, Pink and Sugar Babies. The singer had won several awards including a dance award which he was the 1st Black recording artist to receive the honor. After touring, Selwyn began to take more control of his professional career.He linked up with a new management team, and he decided that he didn’t want to keep recording Pop flavored music. He wanted to add more R&B, Rock and African styled music to his sound. He and his label clashed over his desire to grow which delayed his 2nd album for being released. After a long battle, he began to work on his follow up and in November 2004, Selwyn’s follow up “One Way” was released, and unlike his debut release, the new album had different types of music including UK Garage, Dance, Rock, Classic R&B, Sowetto Pop and Hip-Hop R&B. Selwyn also had co-wrote 6 of the albums songs as well as recorded a song with Singer/Songwriter/Rapper Isareal while members of the production team Red Zone composed 2 songs. The album featured 2 hit singles. “Boomin'” which hit # 28 on the Australian Pop charts, while the follow up “Satisfactual” didn’t chart at all, but many international producers began to record remixes for many of the album’s songs with several American Rappers including Mr. Cheeks of The Lost Boyz who rapped over a remix of “Boomin'” while U.S. Harlem Born-Australian raised rapper Stan Bravo appeared on a remix of the album track “Cutie” which became a fan favorite. Especially in America. Despite the glowing reviews from critics and fans, the album didn’t so well. Management and executive changes at Epic prevented the album to be promoted properly and with low sales, the label decided to drop Selwyn from the roster. After being dropped, Selwyn decided to take time out to relax and spend time with his mother, sister and friends. He also began to date and wound up marrying a Salsa dancer who gave birth to their son (The couple had divorced, and he spends time with their son). He enjoyed being a husband and father, but when his money began to dry, up he was forced to return to the work force and he worked several jobs including driving a fork lift and working for a charity. However he love for performing began to return. Selwyn began to perform at various clubs around Australia, opening for several acts including Flo Rida. He also began to record music with several producers around the world including New York and Atlanta. Some of his singles including “Me & U” was released with good reviews as well as “Not Gonna Let You Go” which was his first music video since “Boomin'” Last year Selwyn was featured on the Soul Promotions tour which featured several talented Australian R&B and Hip-Hop acts which toured around the state and in New Zealand where Selwyn performed many songs from his upcoming album. Despite his desire to return to performing, Selwyn keeps a low profile and usually connects with fans on his twitter page from time to time. Da-Professor’s Lounge is awaiting for Australian’s 1st R&B star to return, and while many are awaiting for his return, Da-Professor’s Lounge continues its celebration of Black Music Month by honoring Australian R&B Singer/Songwriter Selwyn.
Da-Professor’s Lounge is more than happy to celebrate Black Music Month by congratulating R&B/Soul Singing group New Edition who will be receiving a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame next year. Congratulations also goes out to the group’s founder Bobby Brown, who will also be inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame this summer in Detroit. New Edition has made a huge impact on music with their singing and smooth dance steps, inspiring many singers and rappers including Boyz II Men, Jodeci, SWV, L*A*W and I.K.P to pursue careers in music. The original line-up which featured Ronnie De Voe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ralph Tresvant began to sing in their Boston neighborhood where DeVoe’s uncle Brooke Payne became their choregrapher. The group had entered a talent show which was sponsored by producer/songwriter Maurice Starr, who planned to give the 1st place winner a recording deal. The group came in 2nd place, but Starr decided to work with the teens after seeing the love they received from the audience. After singing with Street Wise Records, New Edition released their debut album and single “Candy Girl” which became a huge and instant hit. The single topped the US R&B charts while topping the UK charts followed by Is This The End, Popcorn Love, Jealous Girl and She Gives Me A Bang capturing fans with their harmonies, rapping skills and urban street attire. The group left Streetwise Records and later inked a deal with MCA Records and began to gain more fans with their platinum self-titled which featured the classic hits Cool It Now, Mr Telephone Man, Lost In Love and My Secret. The group also scored a huge radio hit with the ballad I’m Leaving You Again (written by Bell and Tresvant) which would later be sampled by Bow Wow & Ciara for their 2005 gold selling duet Like You. Despite the hits, the group would later admit that they weren’t happy with the label wanting to adapt a pop bubblegum image and they also learned that the new management team who encouraged them to sue Streetwise Records after the group received only $1.87 from their first tour had them signed to a production company that had it’s own deal with MCA. Also adding to the issues was the group’s founder Bobby naturally becoming upset with not receiving proper pay and clashing with members of the group. Their management who would talk Brown into pursuing a solo career, had also told the group that Brown was messing up their image and career. Fearing they would return to the projects 3 of the members voted Bobby out while they were planning to promote their 3rd album All For Love. The following year both New Edition and Bobby Brown would release albums and while the group’s album of covers barely went gold, Brown’s album King of Stage scored a # 1 R&B single with Girlfriend. Many critics had wondered had New Edition’s time had gone? The answer was no. The group decided to shed their bubble gum image by recruiting Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis of The Funk/Soul/Rock band The Time to produce their next album as well as recruiting Soul Singer Johnny Gill to become a member of the group. Their album Heartbreak went multi-platinum, earned them a Soul Train Music award and scored many hits including If It Isn’t Love, You’re Not My Kind of Girl, Can You Stand The Rain, Crucial and the title track. Bobby did well himself. His follow up album Don’t Be Cruel became a huge and international hit. Working with L.A.Reid & Babyface and Teddy Riley the album hit # 1 on the Pop and R&B album charts and was named the 2nd best selling New Jack Swing album of all time thanks to the hits Don’t Be Cruel, Roni, Every Little Step (which earned Brown a Grammy Award) Rock Wit Cha and his signature song My Prerogative (which he co-wrote with Riley) becoming a # 1 R&B, Pop and Dance hit. Brown became the 2nd teenager to have a # 1 Pop album as well as the youngest Black male artist to have a # 1 album of the year. Both acts embarked on the classic Heartbreak tour which featured New Jack Swing/R&B/Quiet Storm heartthrob Al B. Sure! which became one of the hottest tours of the 1980’s. Around 1990 New Edition decided to pursue solo projects which became historic. Singing with Motown, Gill released his 2nd self-titled album which went multi-platinum and scored many hits including Rub You The Right Way, My My My, Fair Weather Friend and Wrap My Body Tight. Gill also made history by becoming the 1st Black artist to have an album produced by 2 major Black Songwriting and producing teams. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis of The Time and L.A. Reid & Babyface of The Deele. Ricky, Mike and Ronnie formed the Hip-Hop/R&B/Pop trio Bell-Biv-DeVoe and became a household name on their own thanks to their singles Poison, Do Me! BBD (I thought It Was Me), When Will I See You Smile Again and She’s Dope becoming hits with fans including many in the LGBT/SGL community who love their street attire and their messages of being true to oneself. The success of their singles also helped the trio win awards in the Best New Artists and Best song by a Duo or Group categories. Lead vocalist Ralph Tresvant scored a huge hit with his single Sensitivity which topped the R&B charts and earned him many awards for Best Male Vocalist. Bivins also pursued a successful career in management and artist development where he discovered singing groups Another Bad Creation and Boyz II Men who became very successful. The former’s album Coolin’ At The Playground Ya Know made them the youngest kid act to score a platinum album while the latter’s debut album sold over 9 million copies along with their single End of The Road made them the 1st Black group to have one of the longest running single of the Pop charts breaking Elvis Presley’s record. In 1996 all 6 members of New Edition reunited for their classic Home Again album which debut at # 1 on the R&B and Pop album charts while the album’s lead single Hit Me Off debut at # 1 R&B and # 3 Pop. The group made history again by becoming the 1st Black group to have a reunion album debut at # 1. The group embarked on the historic reunion tour which helped introduce the group to a new generation of fans. After the tour wrapped, Johnny teamed up with Gerald LeVert and Keith Sweat to form the super group L-S-G who’s debut album reached platinum status while the single My Body became a huge R&B, Pop and Quiet Storm hit earning the trio many nominations for Best New Artists. Ricky and Ralph joined fan rapper LL Cool J on the single Candy while the former released his only solo album before re-joining BBD to release their 3rd album which featured the single Da Hot Shit featuring Posta Boy and Shamari of Blaque who would later become DeVoe’s wife a few years later. Bobby starred in several movies and in a reality show with his first wife Whitney Houston. In 2004, the group minus Bobby signed with Sean Puffy Combs’s Bad Boy Records and released their gold album One Love which got great reviews despite the group’s clashing with Puffy over creative control. The following year Bobby re-joined the group for their performance on BET’s 25th anniversary which earned them a standing ovation. The group began to perform with all 6 members as well as solo artists with Bobby, Johnny and Ralph forming the trio Head of State who got bookings around the world while Ralph released his long-awaited solo single. Bell-Biv-DeVoe released new music and toured as a trio. In 2011, Johnny released his long-awaited solo album titled “Still Winning” and the single “In The Mood” becoming a hit, followed by Bobby releasing his solo album “Masterpiece” which featured duets with Johnny and Ralph.New Edition began to finally receive the recognition they deserved. In 2008 the group was honored by ASCAP for their contributions to music and in 2012 the group was honored by the Soul Train Music Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014 the group embarked on the successful all six tour which gained lots of great reviews. Johnny also released his Disco-flavored album Game Changer which featured New Edition’s single This One’s 4 Me and You which hit # 1 on the Adult Comtemporary Charts making it the group’s 1st # 1 hit in 20 years. Bobby also released his line of seasonings and Bar-B-Que sauces which has fans ordering to add to their food pantry’s. Bobby was also honored for his success as last year’s HAL Music Awards and he recently released his memoirs “Ever Little Step which recently made the Times’ best sellers list.. The group is recently co-producing a mini-series about their live that will be airing on BET next year which has fans excited along with the news of them finally receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. New Edition continues to make an impact on the world and they are showing people that a group of 5 boys from the Boston projects and a preacher’s son from the national’s capital were able to live out their dreams. Da-Professor congratulates Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph & Johnny for their recent honor.