En Vogue is the legendary singing group that catapulted to success in the 90’s with hits that gave every woman astronomical confidence and made every man feel worthy of loving a classy, yet sultry and sexy woman. Today, the group is reliving this nostalgia after more than 30 years, returning to the music scene at full force.
Now consisting of two original members, Cindy Herron and Terry Ellis, along with Rhona Bennett who joined the group in 2003, the trio has hit the ground running, releasing their latest album “Electric Café” this year. Recently, the Sentinel conducted an exclusive interview with the ladies to discuss their evolution and to reflect on their history as the girl group who paved the way for groups like TLC, SWV, Destiny’s Child, and countless others.
We all know how much the music industry has changed since En Vogue’s chart-topping success, so we asked the ladies about how they’ve managed to evolve in the music game. “This evolution is different for us because we’ve been out of the market in terms of having new music for so many years, for about 14 years,” Herron stated.
“The music reflects our evolution, where we’ve been. We like to bring our life experiences into our music; we like to bring relevant messages into our music, messages that other people can relate to. For us to have been gone for so many years and been welcomed back [the] way we have been with open arms and well received at radio, it means a lot to us,” she continued.
Ellis says the main difference she’s noticed is the power of social media, the digital space and how much it drives their marketing, sales and music promotions. “Definitely the recording process is different, from analog to digital, everything is digital now,” Ellis said.
As a result of En Vogue’s rise to success, group changes and presence in the limelight, they’ve received several requests to tap into the daunting world of reality television. Herron says that while reality TV can sometimes be used as a platform for good, it mainly thrives off “controversy or conflict.”
“We’ve always been apprehensive because of that because you can’t always control your narrative. It’s a very touchy area and unless we could know 100 percent that we can control that narrative, we think it’s best to sort of stay away from that,” Herron added.
In terms of untapped gifts and the ladies lifestyle outside of music, Bennett says she works as a personal power life coach. “I have an affinity to study the human condition and figure out what they may call a ‘life hack,’” she said. Bennett, the youngest member of the trio, says she thrives on solving issues of the mind, the spirit and the heart of people who may be struggling. “That’s something I’m passionate about and I’ve gotten a lot of reward from helping other have their breakthroughs. It’s good heart work,” Bennett declared.
As for Ellis, well she’s really into paper and mixed media art. Herron, on the other hand, prides herself on helping others with their nutrition and full body detox regimens.
Bennett says the primary way to remain centered is to develop a daily “routine for success.”
“We are creatures of habit, so if we get caught in a pattern, you could be caught in a pattern of negativity, you’ve got to scramble the pattern,” she said. “How you start your day has a lot to do with how your day continues. All of us have some type of routine in the morning,” Bennett said.
As for what it takes to maintain sustenance as a group, the ladies say it’s important to know who you are as an individual to work in a team environment. “When you’re in a group, you have to understand that you’re individuals, everybody is brining something different to the table but it’s those differences that make the whole of the group work,” Ellis declared. Ellis also says it’s critical to learn to the business of music.
We also asked what advice the ladies could give to women of this generation about being a woman of substance and virtue. En Vogue said that it first begins with being in touch with the core of who you are. “I think it starts with loving yourself, self-love and honor and setting boundaries for yourself. You have to give that to yourself because if you don’t, you don’t know how to give it to other people,” Ellis affirmed.
The group says that they hope their legacy simply consists of the music they have shared with the world and the messages that have resonated with those who love their music. “We were a girl group who came and did what we wanted to do, and we hope that we’ve left a mark in a positive way as female musicians, as African American women,” Herron stated.
Be sure to check out En Vogue’s latest music video for their hit-single “Rocket” directed by Damien Sandoval along with the exclusive footage from our interview by visiting www.lasentinel.net. Also be sure to support En Vogue’s latest album “Electric Café” featuring collaborations with Raphael Saadiq, Ne-Yo and En Vogue’s staple music producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy.