All Articles Tagged "702"
“Timing Is Everything” Meelah Williams Talks Joining ‘R&B Divas,’ 702′s Breakup, And Her Relationship With Musiq
Most of us grew up listening to Kameelah “Meelah” Williams when she, along with Irish and LaMisha Grinstead, asked the iconic question, “Where My Girls At?” As the lead singer of Motown’s ’90s R&B group 702, Meelah gained recognition for her soulful vocal range and striking beauty. Both traits allowed her to have longevity in an industry where musical careers burn out fast. Currently, Meelah has found her way back into the limelight through the reality show R&B Divas Atlanta.
As she preps for her reality TV debut, we got the chance to chat with Meelah who shared that fans will have the opportunity to listen to her soulful voice again with new music she’s been creating with hit maker Sean Garret. Garret, who has worked with Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Ciara, and Britney Spears is helping Meelah cook up some sizzling tracks our ears are yearning to hear. During our interview, Meelah proved to be the friend we imagined her to be as she shared how she balances being a mother to a child with autism with her career aspirations, how she dealt with the 702 breakup, and why her time is now! Check out our Q&A:
What would you have done differently regarding 702 and the group’s breakup?
“Nothing! I am a firm believer in timing. Timing is everything and I know it sounds cliche; the time after the breakup allowed me to find who I was as a woman and really explore my individuality. I could write songs, record with and for other people. I had some down time too, so I was able to still work behind the scenes so I can stay in the game without being in the limelight so I can perfect my craft. I’ve really learned timing is everything and my time is now.”
What lead you to join R&B Divas ATL?
“My manager and myself decided it would be best for me to do the show. The R&B Divas Atlanta producers called me saying they were interested and I weighed my options. I decided it would not be best to miss this chance because reality television has really helped redirect people’s careers.”
What should fans expect from you on the show?
“My fans will be able to see who I am, as an individual and not only as a recording artist. My son was diagnosed with autism two months ago too, so I would like people to see how I manage with that as a mother. I am excited for everyone to receive the opportunity to understand, know, and see who the real Meelah is because sometimes when you are in a group, you can kind of be in the shadow with the ‘oneness’ of the group’s identity. So ‘R&B Divas’ is great for me to really showcase who I am.”
How do you plan to revamp your career?
“I plan to rebrand myself through being a solo artist and using social media. I have a lot of room to change not only my look but my sound from who I was in the ’90s. Initially I was anti-social media because I didn’t get it. But I am realizing it is an amazing tool for your career with advertising and marketing. So now I have to use social media in order to be relevant. I want to make sure I have a strong internet presence.”
How do you balance your career with your son Zachariah having autism?
“It is very important I balance my career with having a special needs child because it is very challenging and difficult. Regardless of whether or not my child is special needs I am a mommy first. I have to make sure I am devoting enough time to my child while still developing my career especially since I am still a new mother. Thank God I have my mom and his father (Musiq Soulchild) to step up to help me out so I can still have time to dedicate myself to my music. But I am learning everyday how to balance!”
What is the key to maintaining your relationship with Musiq Soulchild?
“Musiq will not be on the show that much but fans will see him in certain scenes pertaining to my real life. Otherwise, we have been very private about our relationship. On the regular day-to-day we don’t carry a megahorn with us, it’s just not our style. So that has helped us carry on a private life but of course that will change because I will be on a reality show. But we know what we want to do with our relationship and what we want to keep to ourselves. We make sure we have those conversations to remain on the same page especially with all the blogs and magazines.”
Why are people so nostalgic about ’90s R&B Music?
“There is something very special about the music from that era. Every time I talk to people about ’90s music being at its peak, people talk about how it made them feel. Overall, people really miss that sound because it was authentic and about love. It wasn’t just about ‘I’m gonna hit it tonight and never call you again.’ Groups like 112, Jagged Edge, 702 and SWV sang about love and relationships…there was an innocence to the music. R&B songs were not about popping molly or getting wasted.”
We always laud the ’90′s and early 2000s as a time for great music. When we turn on the radio today, we realize they just don’t do it like they used to. And that’s true, that decade and the first few years of the new millennium provided us with some great music. And though there were songs and groups we used to swear by back in the day, if we listen again, we’ll realize that these songs just don’t do it for us these days. I have a theory that because the ’90′s was full of real vocalists, we didn’t mind the balance of musicians who had subpar vocals but made up for it in star quality. Here are the artists we really thought had something, only to listen now and realize they just don’t do it for us anymore.
There was a time when Motown Records owned and ran the music scene. You couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing the collaborative harmonies of The Temptations or the fabulosity of Diana Ross. These artists made you shake your hips and groove before it was even acceptable. You’ll also be surprised that some of these artists weren’t even conceived when the famous record company was at its height. Check out the 15 best artists in Motown’s history!
He had good looks, sex appeal and music that made you think and want to make love all at the same time. With hits like “What’s Going On?” and “Sexual Healing,” Mr. Gaye helped Motown remain at the top.
‘I’m Still Trying To Figure Out How To Balance It All:’ Meelah Of Girl Group 702 Talks Motherhood, Reality TV, & New Music
“Where My Girls At?”, “Steelo”, “Get It Together” and so on – soulful 90′s girl group, 702 are responsible for an arsenal of hits. Their smooth melodic sounds are exactly what R&B fans have been missing ever since the Las Vegas trio and other groups like them have stepped away from the spotlight. Since the disbanding of 702 and a rather long hiatus, the group’s former lead singer, Meelah is returning to the spotlight with as a solo artist to give us that distinct sound that R&B has been missing. The Las Vegas native recently sat down with our fabulous sister site, Mommy Noire to discuss motherhood, new music and the possibility of a reality show. Check out some of what she had to say.
On balancing motherhood and her career:
“I try my best with balancing, but it does get hard. There are times when I just want to spend quality moments with Zac [ her 3-year-old son whom she shares with Musiq Soulchild], but I can’t because I need to put my energy into re-establishing my career. Quite honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it all, but thankfully I have the support of my mom, which is truly a blessing. Even though balancing is challenging, Zac is motivating me to hustle harder than I ever have. I am truly inspired and can’t wait to get back out there.”
On whether or not she was fearful about going solo:
“No, because I am a firm believer in evolution. I had a magnificent run with 702, but since then I have embarked on the next phase of my life which is womanhood. Its really exciting for me, because I get to experiment with who I am as a solo artist. And I have been given the opportunity to re-invent myself.”
On the possibility of a 702 reunion:
“I get that question a lot. It’s not something that I am interested in right now. However, I can’t predict the future. I love the girls and always will. Thank God for 702. But right now, I am really just focused on exploring who Meelah is as a solo artist. But hey, never say never.”
On her first solo release since 702:
“It’s so funny, because I never would have thought in a million years that my first independent release after 702 would have been a children’s album…”
“The album ['We Are Different'] is very educational and there are empowering messages embedded. For example, there is a song about using the potty, and there is a song about being polite – using ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Also, the ABC’s and 123′s. ’We Are Different’ is also great for parents, because the production of the music is similar to what you would hear on the radio, but it is kid friendly content.”
On the possibility of embarking into the world of reality TV:
“Currently, I am entertaining the reality show route, but I am only interested in projects conducive to my artistry and craft. I am just trying to get my voice out there and remind people that I am still singing.”
What do you think of Meelah’s return to the spotlight?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Hello wonderful Readers! As you all know, Kendra is nothing else if she isn’t dedicated to making you all happy. So, when I’m not talking in third person (which I just did on the fly, weird experience, but Kendra digs) I try to find ways to make you all smile. When I did the first 90s Where Are They Now, QueenNTheMaking said: “This list needs a part 2,” and Queenie, I’m hear to abide. Here are SOME of the groups that you requested (seeing that some of the others have been covered on this site already, and someone broke down “H-Town’s” fate in the comment section).
All right, let’s get to it!
A Youtube commenter said: “Before there was swag, there was steelo,” and how right they were. The group 702 who hailed from Las Vegas came on the scene in 1996 after being discovered by Sinbad, mentored by Michael Bivins, and had a few member changes hit the scene hard with songs like “Steelo,” “Get it Together,” and “Where My Girls At.”
In 2001, the group took an hiatus and Kameelah Williams decided to go the solo route. She sang background for people like Faith Evans and Missy, and she wrote a few tracks for Faith on her Faithfully album. When Kameelah left, she was replaced by Cree Lamore and the newly formed group performed a single from the Pootie Tang soundtrack. In 2003 Kameelah came back from touring with other artists and they gave Cree the boot, and released the album Star, that placed on the Billboard R&B charts. But in 2008, original member, Orish Grinstead, the twin sister to Irish Grinstead sadly died of kidney failure.
In 2010, Kameelah announced on her twitter that she was working on a solo album, she performed in a SWV tribute concert in honor of Coco’s birthday at BB King’s, Oh, and she also had a child with Musiq Soulchild and the two have been together for 3 years. She’s still cool with the girls (who have been relatively quiet since their last album), but don’t look for a reunion anytime soon. Check out Meelah’s own thoughts in an interview she conducted with Linezofblow.com.
We’ve talked many a time about people we used to jam to in the music industry who didn’t go as far and become as big of staples in said industry as we thought they would. To put it less than nicely, they fell off. It could have been that their sound just wasn’t all that, or that their look wasn’t HOT enough (no crotch shots, no love) for the mainstream, but you won’t find these people with near as many fans as say a Drake or a Rihanna has today. Not to say that they didn’t have their share of success, but c’mon, where are they now?
After Amerie dropped her debut album, All I Have, the future looked incredibly bright for the Korean and African American singer. She had a different look, a different voice, and a great personality. And once she dropped “One Thing,” the lead single for her second album (Touch), which hit number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, I assumed more and more doors were going to open for the singer. But while she had Beyonce’s producers for her second album, she didn’t have Bey’s success. Though Touch did reach gold status, it wasn’t enough for her label, Columbia Records. She was dropped in 2007. Since then, Amerie released another album, In Love and War, which didn’t sell well at all thanks to a lack of radio support. She has hopes to release a new album, under the name Ameriie, and she’s given herself a big makeover by chopping off her hair and slimming down her nose.
Musiq Soulchild sat down with Madame Noire to talk about everything from his baby boy with 702 singer Kameelah Williams to his VERY interesting choice in classic movies. Check it all out in the video below!
What’s your favorite Musiq Soulchild song?