A lot has transpired since the "For You" balladeer released his 2008 album, "Timeless." He had an epiphany about the purpose of his career and began having issues in his marriage to fellow R&B singer Chante Moore.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Music, Lattimore discussed how his views on life and relationships impacted the lyrical content of "Back 2 Cool"
Tell me about the single, "Find A Way."
I was happy to release the song "Find A Way" as my first single because it's saying, "Find a way to win her heart. Find a way to win her trust. Find a way to win her love" because men, we don't grow up being taught how to speak to the emotions of a woman. That's really heavy. And we get into these relationships and on the surface we're good and we know how to charm and put the romance on and do some different things, then all of a sudden, it gets to another level of depth and we're like, "Whoa. Where'd this come from?" And if we had heard someone talk about this, how this translates, and for women it's the same. Sometimes women don't know how to talk to us. And sometimes we don't know how to communicate and encourage to get that person on the same page as us. So I thought "Find A Way" was a great way to start the dialogue.
So Avery * Sunshine has this song ("Ugly Party Of Me") about her going off on her man in a restaurant …
The monster one? [laughing]
She can sing. I love her music. Wow.
I appreciate a woman telling that story.
A guy can tell his girl, "Be quiet. Be quiet. Be quiet. You talk too much. Quit talking to me crazy." But to have a woman say, "OK, now I see how in that situation, I went overboard." I thought Avery's song was so beautifully done.
Even in her video, did you see how the guy has his cell phone? He's talking on his cell phone, and she doesn't feel like she's a priority.
Yeah. I deal with that with my wife all the time. She's like, "One day you're phone is going to be gone."
And, I was the same way and probably still am the same way. But as men, what I think has to be known is that there's a certain way that we approach work and responsibility. We take on the responsibility of making things happen, emotionally. Most women don't. [For] most women, it's easier for them to put certain things down. Then on the flipside, it's easier for them to express their emotions. It's all about maturing and communicating about it so that we get to balance.
How did you determine the direction of your new album, "Back 2 Cool"?
Some years ago, I was singing at a function and a woman came up to me. She was going through a divorce and it was really painful and a lot of drama was going on in her life. She said to me, "I needed to hear a man say the words in songs that you were saying." For whatever reason, it made her hope again. It made her feel like her dilemma was not hopeless and that she would eventually be able to love again. I remembered it this year when I was working on the CD. I want everything I do to be a positive.
Will Kenny Lattimore fans be surprised by the direction of the songs on "Back 2 Cool"?
I think it builds on where we've been. I think it starts out with a very strong statement. The lyrics to the song "For You" were so well written — they weren't written by me — but they were so well written and they strong. "I'm never too busy," statements likes that. They were songs that challenge me to live up to the songs I'm living to a degree. It does deal with some of the pain of being in a relationship, but it's still positive.
I started working on some of these songs two years ago, and that was prior to any transitions going on in my family, any transitions going on in my marriage. In the strangest way, my life began to imitate the art, and I saw myself after doing "Back 2 Cool" and some of the songs ("Find A Way" and "What Must I Do") -- they are songs I sang far before I had an issue where I was going to have a transition in my life -- it was like my life took on the form of the songs.
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