Five Questions With Ginuwine

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Over the last two years, platinum R&B artist Ginuwine has experienced great personal highs — and lows.

He and his rapper girlfriend, Sole, recently celebrated the birth of their first child together, a daughter named Story. But the singer is still struggling through the pain of losing both of his parents within a year of each other.

The upheaval in his personal life has made Ginuwine put his career in the proper perspective.

"When you get into this business you have to take your time and make sure this is what you want to do," he says. "You know, it ain't all that it's cracked up to be. You can easily be sidetracked by the cars, the girls, the hype."

A native of Washington, D.C., he grew up as Elgin Lumpkin, idolizing Michael Jackson and Prince. "If you're going to follow somebody, follow the best," he says.

He says his new album, "The Life," displays his growth as an artist since his 1996 debut, "Ginuwine ... the Bachelor," and its follow-up, "100 Percent."

Ginuwine also stars in the upcoming film "Juwanna Mann" with Vivica A. Fox and Tommy Davidson.

1. What was it like working with Vivica A. Fox and Tommy Davidson?

Ginuwine: It was a blessing to be on the set of my first movie with those actors. They really took me under their wing, especially Tommy. He was making sure I was in that mode. It was harder than people think. They would stop and pull me to the side and tell me, 'You have to make it convincing.' When I got it right they were there with hugs. When I didn't get it, they were in my face. I've got something in the works with Busta Rhymes, too, a remake of 'The Wizard of Oz.'

2. What can fans expect from your new album?

Ginuwine: It's kind of like a different direction. I worked with six producers, everybody from Diane Warren and Timbaland to Raphael Saadiq. Everyone added something fresh. My songs are always about life situations and this album is all about that. It's about what I've been through, what my friends have been through. Listen to 'Two Reasons I Cry.' ... I dedicated that to my mom and my dad.

3. What's influenced you the most?

Ginuwine: My mom died in September, my dad died the year before. That's where it gets real hard on making it. It makes you angry, it's just a hurting feeling. Losing my mom and dad, I think that made me stronger. It made me realize there's got to be something more for me.

4. Are you a spiritual person?

Ginuwine: That's one thing I've had trouble with. ... Having faith. You have to be spiritual for oneself, to have peace with yourself. I got friends who tell me how their moms call them up and get on their nerves. Know what I say? 'Man, I wish to God my mom could call and get on my nerves.' That is the worse thing that could happen to someone, losing your parents. Just taking it for granted, you'll be messed up when they're gone. You have to let your mom and dad know you love 'em when they're here.

5. What keeps you in the entertainment industry?

Ginuwine: Just knowing that (my mother) always wanted me to do good, just knowing that keeps me going. I mean, for a while there I lost hope but I had to get a grip. You gotta take the good with the bad. I want to go as far as I can. I don't ever want to stop. I mean, I know I won't be able to dance all my life, jumping off speakers and carrying on. But I look forward to bowing out gracefully.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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