Wayna Morris, Shawn Stockman and Nate Morris are the trio best known as Boyz II Men. They’ve been together for 23 years and even though they were once a quartet (member Micheal McCary retired from the group due to back injuries some years ago.)
Now a trio, the group keeps going, currently enjoying a residency at the Mirage in Las Vegas through 2015. Their new CD, Collide was released this week, on October 21st. Their current single is “Losing Sleep.”
“It’s a collection of songs that we just decided to do because we felt like it,” says Nate. “It wasn’t or let’s make the smoothest R&B record. It was bring us great songs, we’ll perform them and put them on the record. After 23 years, when you realize you’re not relying on record sales to pay your bills you can make the records you just want to make.”
The Philadelphia-born trio says that their longevity has happened, in part, because they knew the pitfalls other groups experienced before them.
“We’ve taken a lot of lessons from groups that came before us and we’ve heard a lot of stories,” says Stockman. “We were very involved in a lot of those groups and seeing their dramas and we were like ‘Man, we ain’t trying to do that.’
“We talked to the Temptations and the O’Jays because we’re kind of part of the old school,” says Wanya. “They gave us insight.”
“We were kids that actually listened,” says Stockman.
The group says they’ve sold 50-60 million albums worldwide also learned from some of those earlier groups financial pitfalls. There are no sad stories of financial mismanagement, rampant overspending, tax problems or money stolen by shady labels. And the group says they’re staying in Vegas until they get “kicked out.”
“You know us Black folks,” says Shawn. “You get comfortable somewhere, so you just stay.”
“Let’s just say we do pretty well financially,” says Nate.
Listen to the the group share funny stories from their past including how Shawn went from a nobody in high school to a everyone knowing his name and why Wanya didn’t finish Philly’s famous Creative and Performing Arts High School, as well as why they’re happy to be a trio these days.