Ginuwine Aims for Timeless Music With Release of ‘Elgin’
With a decade and a half in the game, Ginuwine has reached his lucky No. 7 album with ‘Elgin,’ dropping today. The R&B singer/songwriter opted to use his government name — Elgin Baylor Lumpkin — for the album’s title, but according to him that doesn’t mean the work is too personal.
“I just named it ‘Elgin’ because my mom told me to use my name for something before I’m done with this business,” the singer explains. “I thought now was as good a time as any to use it. When they asked me what I wanted to name my album, I was like why not name it ‘Elgin’? It’s not even about me being deep with this record, it’s nothing like that. It’s that my mom told me to use my name.”
Ginuwine’s previous album, 2009’s ‘A Man’s Thoughts,’ had a personal feel to it. However, according to Ginuwine, the difference in content between the two albums is his use of songwriters.
“People might feel a little different about these CD’s because I haven’t been writing on my last one or this one,” he explains. “It’s pretty much because I wanted to see what other people can do and where they can take you. On my first five albums I pretty much wrote 95 percent of it. I’m out of things to say. You’re talking about over 100 songs. That’s kind of hard.”
Ginuwine enlisted famed songwriters like Diane Warren, Bryan-Michael Cox, and Tank to pen his tracks while still writing a portion of the new album. On the Billboard chart-topper ‘A Man’s Thoughts,’ apart from Cox, several lesser known writers were included.
“I was like you know what? I’m gonna let the newcomers come in and help them establish themselves as new artists and new writers. Just try to see if they can help me say the things that need to be said from a different perspective. I can only say things so many different ways.”
While other artists with a long history opt to take a more “youthful” approach to their sound, Ginuwine maintains the mentality that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. “My strength has been ballads and I didn’t want to stray from that. I just want people to continue to like what I’m doing,” he says. His formula has stood the test of time, and he hopes to be an example for newer acts. “A lot of people don’t make it to that second CD. I think it’s vital that I’m contributing to the music business what an artist should be and what they should be talking about. I think I’ve been doing a good job too of that so I’m gonna just keep doing that. Good music is timeless.” That includes not leaning on rapper cameos, or really any cameos for that matter. “I believe if you want a compilation album, you can get a compilation album. If you want Ginuwine, that’s what you’re gonna get,” he says, as his only collaboration on ‘Elgin’ is ‘Batteries’ with rapper Trina.
Ginuwine may be granting his mother’s wish by using his name for something in his career before he bows out, but if that’s any indication of his retiring, think again. The artist has a few more in store before throwing in the towel. “I’m trying to get to No. 10,” he states. “This is only No. 7.”