This week on My Classic Soul Podcast, SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan interviews the original Funky Divas - En Vogue! Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron and Rhona Bennett discuss their entire careers and their plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album Born To Sing.
ON THE LONGEVITY OF THEIR STORIED CAREER:
HERRON: "I don't think that we actually really thought about it. We were just in the moment with it and the record had become so successful and we were just busy trying to keep up with the success of the record. We were on the road 95% of the time. And we were just, you know, enjoying ourselves and appreciating the moment. But thank God we're, we're here talking to you 30 years later."
NATHAN: "What do you think it is that has allowed for En Vogue to have a brand and have a longevity like this? What is it?"
"I think probably the first thing, one of the things that allows us to have this brand moving these 30 years is the music was just great. You know, that first album Born To Sing was really a great album and it was embraced by people worldwide. And became sort of the soundtrack to so many lives, you know, during that moment in time."
"And became endearing for one thing. And I think another thing is that we had really great videos to go along with the music. I think that that played a big role, too."
ON JOINING SUCH A PIONEERING GROUP OF FEMALE SINGERS:
NATHAN: "When I think back to that time period... En Vogue is considered to be a pioneering female group of a particular era in the 50's or 60's in particular, the Supremes and you know, Martha and the Vandellas and all the different female groups that came out of Motown. As well as, you know, in the 70's, we have The Emotions and just in other words, they're in the point, you're sisters. So there are different kind of eras of female groups."
"And I don't know that there were that many in the 80's that I can think of, and then comes En Vogue at the end of the 80's into the 90's, which sets up for a whole another group of female groups. Rhona, I want to ask you, when you had the opportunity to join En Vogue, what was your reaction to joining such a pioneering group?"
ELLIS: "You know, I guess at the time I didn't imagine being a part of a group. I always was pursuing the solo career. Iy was more of a surprise, I guess, in the sense that it was not something I imagined or my path. And I do feel like I've lived in my vision a lot for my career. But maybe the visions that I had, they were not attached to a solo career. And so it came through my experience with En Vogue, so it was very unexpected."
"But it's been an incredible experience and I would not have even known that I would be with them as long as I've been with them now. So yes, I was surprised."
NATHAN: "Had you been listening to En Vogue's music yourself?"
BENNETT: "Absolutely. I was a fan of the group. And that's what I think is so uncanny about life. Right. Like you don't anticipate that something like that might take place, but it did, go figure."
ON THE FUNKY DIVAS' 2020 ITINERARY:
HERRON: "Many, many shows. We are actually, um. We pretty much work every week at least, at least, three days out of the week, every week."
NATHAN: "That's a lot, for a performing group?"
HERRON: "It is a lot. It is a lot. It's definitely been a blessing in term. , schedule for touring for the rest of this year and beyond."
BENNETT: "We do a lot of spot gigging, but definitely looking to create something special as far as touring is concerned for the 30th so. Be on the lookout for. Yeah. Yeah. We're actually in the process of having our own podcast. So we're really excited about that."
Listen to the full podcast here.