Ronald Isley and the Isley Brothers have been making music for over 40 years. With recent hits like “Contagious,” “What Would You Do” and “Busted” and classic hits like “Between the Sheets,” “Choosey Lover" and “Summer Breeze,” The Isleys are like fine wine, they keep getting better and better with time.
Men know if they want to make up or romance their lady, putting in an Isley CD will help set the perfect mood.
Recently, I spoke with Ronald Isley about their May album release – “Baby Makin’ Music.”
Shelia Goss: You had a health scare last year, so I know the first question a lot of your fans want to know is how are you in terms of your health right now?
Ronald Isley: I’m real good now. I stay with my doctor’s appointments and do everything I’m supposed to do.
Shelia: Who came up with the alter ego Mr. Biggs?
Ronald Isley: Myself and R Kelly
Shelia: How do you spend your time when not making music?
Ronald Isley: I spend my time around a lot of music. In the summer time I like fishing and I like hunting.
Shelia: Did you go deer hunting?
Ronald Isley: Oh yes.
Shelia: Did you catch any?
Ronald Isley: No I didn’t. Well not this year, I didn’t.
Shelia: I’m a long time fan. Two of my all time favorite slow jams is Between the Sheets and Choosey Lover. Ironically, your new album is called Baby Makin’ Music. If you ask me, all your music is Baby Making music (smile).
So tell me, who all did you work with on this album?
Ronald Isley: I worked with R Kelly, Jermaine Dupri, Tim and Bob, Troy Taylor, etc.
Shelia: What are some of your favorite songs on the new album?
Ronald Isley: I didn’t do but 11 songs. Of course I like the duet that me and R Kelly did together--which is the next single. Troy Taylor’s songs. He wrote “Just Came Here to Chill” and he wrote a couple of other songs I really like. Tim & Bob did the only two fast songs and of course the ones by Jermaine Dupri and the others.
They tried to capture the character Mr. Biggs in the songs so that was kind of fun.
Shelia: Did you record the album at one time?
Ronald Isley: Bits and pieces. I would do so many things in Atlanta, GA, then California, or in Chicago. It took us about a good year to do the album.
Shelia: In your opinion, what’s the difference between the love songs from say the 70’s & 80s and the ones being made today?
Ronald Isley: With a good love song, there is no difference. For example, a love song that Alicia Keys wrote would remind you of some of the songs we did early on. She’s in tune to the [music] that was done before her.
There’s not a whole lot of difference. Some songs would be considered better than others.
Shelia: Who are some of the new music artists you listen to?
Ronald Isley: Alicia Keys, R Kelly, Musiq Soulchild, Mary J Blige, and D Angelo.
Shelia: You have longevity in the music industry. So many have come and then you don’t hear from them again. As a veteran, what kind of advice would you give anyone who wants a career as an R & B singer?
Ronald Isley: If you love what you’re doing, it’ll show through your music. If you have a blessing from God, than honor that blessing. You can go as far as you want to go.
Shelia: Do you plan on going on tour later this year?
Ronald Isley: Once the album [Baby Makin’ Music] is out, we’ll be ready to go 2 or 3 months afterwards.
Shelia: Baby Makin’ Music is coming out in June right?
Ronald Isley: It’s coming out in May.
Shelia: What’s one thing your fans don’t know about you that you’re willing to share?
Ronald Isley: A lot of people don’t know how religious the family is. That’s one thing that I’m willing to share and that I want them to know about me.
Shelia: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Ron Isley: I’ll think of something as soon as we hang up the phone (smile). Just keep your faith in God and love what you’re doing. We put a lot of love in our music.
Shelia: It comes across—listeners can feel the love—songs like Choosy Lover and Between the Sheets and some of the other songs—I can listen to it today or years later and still get the same feeling when I hear the songs.
Ron Isley: That’s great.
BABY MAKIN' MUSIC, the new album by The Isley Brothers featuring Ron Isley aka “Mr. Biggs” will be in stores on May 9 or you can pre-order your copies from various online outlets.
To learn more about Ronald Isley, go to http://ronisley.defjam.com.
To hear one of the songs from Baby Makin' Music, click on one of the links:
WM HI: Just Came Here to Chill single
WM LO: Just Came Here to Chill single