“If you had told me in 1992 that I would be releasing my 15th album, I would have been like ‘yeah right … we’ll see,’” said multi-platinum selling and 16-time Grammy Award nominated singer Brian McKnight. “But here we are.”
On August 25, his new album “Genesis” will drop – 25 years after his self-titled debut album was released. That album would go on to sell more than two million copies and cement him as a music star both in R&B and in pop music.
“For the last five or six years I’ve been trying to figure out a comfortable place to fit in between today’s music and the music that I’ve always created,” McKnight said. “I think that on this particular CD, I finally figured out that formula.”
A day after his latest CD comes to the masses, McKnight will be in St. Louis to co-headline A Serenade with Brian McKnight and Ginuwine at The Fox Theatre. The show is taking place as part of the 2ndAnnual Mathews-Dickey Family Reunion weekend programming.
“St. Louis folks are passionate – not only about their music, but about everything,” McKnight said. “I love that excitement of a St. Louis audience. If they love you, they’re going to show it. And if they don’t love you, they’ll show that too.”
He’s never had to worry about a negative reaction from his St. Louis fans because his first-tenor voice and effortless falsetto have yet to fail him during a live show. Plus, he gives the people they type of performance that they want to see – which he has every intention of doing next Saturday.
“I know the people are coming to hear my big hits from yesteryear,” McKnight said. “I am going to play all of those and then I’ll sprinkle in new music here and there – but I’m selling nostalgia and that’s exactly what I’m going to give people.”
Nostalgia may be the core of his stage show, but he is excited about handing over “Genesis” to his fans – especially those who have been with him from the beginning.
For him, the record is a full-circle moment.
“With it, I was trying to fit in without being those younger artists. Not competing with them, but phonically fitting in,” McKnight said. “I want people to see that I’m still singing, playing, writing and producing the same way that I did when I was 19 on the first album.”
His first album came out during what McKnight proclaims as the best decade of music.
“To have a record like mine, a debut album – and the other four records I released in that decade – be recognized at all is a wonderful thing considering the amount of great music that came out of that ten year period,” McKnight said. “In any career there are going to be ups and downs, but I can’t say that there have been that many downs. Twenty five years and to still be to be creating music – doing the one thing I love doing the most for a living – is sort of surreal.”
He can’t wait to relive the best of his career next Saturday at The Fox.
“I love performing these songs that people have connected with so much,” McKnight said. “You see them react as that intro comes on … that anticipation that happens. I love the fact that something that I wrote brings so much joy to someone – a total stranger – it’s truly moving.
I hope people leave The Fox saying that they didn’t pay enough, that it was so good that they should have paid more.”
A Serenade with Brian McKnight and Ginuwine will take place as part of the Mathews-Dickey Family Reunion weekend at 7 pm. on Saturday, August 26 at the Fox Theatre. For tickets, visit www.metrotix.com or call (314) 534-1111. VIP seating with 5 p.m. dinner at $200 and corporate sponsorship tables of 10 are also available, but only at www.mathews-dickey.com or by calling (314) 679-5228.