El Debarge Reveals His Triumphs in “Second Chance”
Second chances come a dime a dozen. Life teaches us that learning from our mistakes is the next chapter toward rebuilding our lives. In some cases, it doesn’t. But if the going gets tough, there should be hope at the end of the tunnel. One artist who has traveled through that fiery tunnel is R&B musician, El Debarge. Now smoother and sexier than ever, the comeback singer refreshes us with a new album in store titled “Second Chance” which marks his personal and professional trails.
From his ’80s pop stardom as the lead singer of Debarge to years of drug abuse, he emerges to ignite his celebrity all over again after a 16-year absence. With a new hit-single “Second Chance” and fall tour in the works with R&B veteran Mary J. Blige, we found out what makes the timeless singer worthy of a second chance:
MN: So El, your single “Second Chance” is burning up on radio. How does it feel to be back?
ED: It feels grateful to be back. I’m so joyful about it!
MN: Can you tell us about the new album, “Second Chance”?
ED: The album “Second Chance” [dropped] Sept. 28 and it’s got some collaborations on it with 50 Cent and myself to switch up the format. I also did one with Fabulous called “Five Seconds.” I did a duet with Faith Evans called “Lay With You.” We have Ron Fair and Babyface producing, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Mike Angelo, and some others.
MN: You surprised everyone (including us) at the B.E.T. awards. How did you react when they extended an offer to you to perform on stage?
ED: I did everything but cry. I jumped up and down. I was so happy like a little kid who was getting his first red bicycle (laughs). I was like you want me to do this and they said yes, we want to introduce you to the world and I said yes please, introduce me to the world. (laughs)
MN: You are so smooth. You haven’t lost your touch since you were with Debarge, how have you managed to stay in touch with yourself and the fans?
ED: All I have to do is stay in touch with reality. Reality is around me everyday: when [people are] on drugs or using anything as a scapegoat such as self-medication. That’s what I call time out of mind. That’s when your not in touch with reality or yourself. The way I stay in touch with my fans is through the Internet. Showing up to various places where I can intermingle with them. I love doing that because I love to know what the feeling is like out there. I get inspired to write songs when I do that.
MN: I found out that you’re taking the album on tour with the queen of hip hop soul, Mary J. Blige! First of all, how you feel about touring with her? And can you share details about the concert?
ED: Oh my goodness, I feel so good about going on tour with Mary J. Blige. Look at this second chance God has given me. I come out of prison after a 22-year drug binge that I was rescued from by the grace of God. And I was given a second chance to bring love back to the world. Interscope – I have the best management team in the world. Best record company – Interscope/Geffen, and the greatest fans anybody could ask for. And now I get to go on tour with not just a singer, not just hip hop, but the queen of hip hop soul. You’ve got to ask somebody okay! That’s grace, so if that doesn’t tell you how I feel, then I don’t know what else to say. (laughs)
MN: When does the concert kick off?
ED: It kicks off Oct. 2. I will be out there, beware or be square as they say. We’re gonna have so much fun. You know Jazmine Sullivan and Miguel are on that ticket with us.
MN: Do you have plans to reunite with your siblings again for an album or concert?