Boyz II Men reveals who they've been trying to collaborate with for 23 years
By CHELSEA HUANG
Boyz II Men may be known for the 1992 hit "End of the Road," but just like the longevity of a multitude of their hits on the radio and in the hearts of many, an end isn't in sight for the iconic group.
The boy band may have lost one of the members of their quartet in 2003, but the remaining trio has remained active since, performing worldwide and releasing their most recent 2014 album, "Collide."
On Saturday, the boys -- err, men -- stopped by Pier 84 in NYC for a quick performance at the #BlogHer15 closing party, presented by McDonald's, before heading back to Atlantic City for a double feature.
Nathan, Shawn and Wanya, now in their 40s, sat down for an exclusive interview with AOL before the McDonald's event about how much has changed -- and what's stayed exactly the same -- over 23 years in the business.
What are your fans like, then and now?
Shawn: "They just have kids. They've grown up and they've grown up like us. You grow up, you get married, have children and you become fathers and mothers and things of that nature. It's better because now they're teaching their children about us. So they're passing it down. That's the cool thing."
What was your must-have item on tour, then and now?
Shawn: "Then, music. Something to listen to. Back then, we used to have these big awkward speakers. That was before everything was condensed into smaller components. And now, it's the same. We got laptops. Music is always the key element."
Wanya: "White Zinfandel. It used to be Kool-Aid back in the day, but now it's Zinfandel."
Who were your musical influences then, and are they the same now?
Wanya: "They've never changed. New Edition, Babyface, Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, pretty much the Motown catalog."
Shawn: "The greats, the ones who pretty much laid down the foundation for practically everyone."
Who do you want to collaborate with?
Nathan: "Then, we'd been talking about Prince, and now we're talking about Prince. We've been trying to collaborate with the 'Sign' guy for a long time."
Wanya: "With the purple dude, the purple leader forever."
See Boyz II Men throughout the years:
Who would you tour with on your dream tour?
Shawn: "Honestly, for me, I personally think it would be us and New Edition. I just feel like that would have been like the best tour for all ages, colors. That would have been the ultimate."
Your favorite Boyz II Men song then, and your favorite Boyz II Men song now?
Wanya: "It all depends, honestly. It depends on the day, the connection you make with someone in the audience. What they're feeling. It's all about energy transfers. If someone is feeling, 'Mama' and you get a connection with them, you actually feel that energy."
Shawn: "Yeah, it's tough. It depends on the day, it depends on the vibe, it depends on what's popping."
Who was your celebrity crush, then and now?
Wanya: "Janet, I still like Janet, man."
Shawn: "I was a Halle fan. I think everyone was a Halle fan. I think Scarlett Johansson's pretty. She's a cutie."
What has been your biggest "pinch me" moment of all time?
Nathan: "We just flew in a helicopter from Atlantic City. We got a show tonight in Atlantic City We did a sound-check there, have a show up here and another show down here. Things like that, there's always a pinch-me moment because there are so many other things you could have been doing in your life. We continue to have a whole lotta pinch me moments like pretty much every day."
Wanya: "Twenty-three years in the game is a pinch-me moment in itself."
How has the music industry changed since you came out with your first album 20+ years ago?
Wanya: "When we started, the music was there. Nowadays, it's more about the industry -- the music is secondary. You have some people who are actually maintaining the integrity, the pureness of it all. But at the end of the day, it has to come back around, so real artists can actually come back and have a chance to shine. It doesn't have to be a gimmick. The industry has definitely changed, we just hope we can be a part of it when it comes down to it."