It’s hard to imagine calling someone who’s only 25 a veteran, but that’s exactly what Marques Houston is. Whether it was as a part of Immature, or his roles in numerous movies and television shows, MH has been making moves in the entertainment world since he was eight. Last week Houston released his latest solo album, the appropriately titled Veteran, and the other day we sat down to talk about his music, as well as the much hyped offer from Playgirl, his new role with TUG Entertainment, and his plans to possibly stop recording in a few years.
Adam Bernard: You have the new album, Veteran, that just came out. What’s different about your music this time around?
Marques Houston: This time around I decided to do a really personal album. I really wanted to dig into my relationships and everything I had been through and all my experiences and kind of show my sensitive side. I think women like when a man can express his emotions. You know fellas, we go through heartbreak, too, but we don’t like to admit it sometimes, and we go through our emotional days, but we go through that on the low, we don’t really like to do it out in public. So I felt like this was an opportunity to get real personal.
Adam Bernard: The first single off the album is "Circle." What personal experience inspired the song.
Marques Houston: “Circle” is about a relationship from the past that just keeps haunting you. It’s one of those relationships that you had when you were younger, maybe early 20’s that was your first real thing and it might have went away or something happened, but you kind of never forget about it. You can be with somebody else and you can think you forgot about but you’ll hear a song on the radio or you’ll see a picture that just brings you back and brings back all the emotions full circle.
Adam Bernard: You have Mya on the new album. I gotta ask, did you hook it up? And if not can you throw me her math?
Marques Houston: (laughs) Mya’s a great friend of mine, we’ve been friends since we were kids. It’s nothing there, no intimacy, no relationship, just friends, but I’ve always wanted to work with her and I felt like this was the right opportunity, it fit both of our styles in music and everything like that and it was just perfect timing.
Adam Bernard: Last year you turned down quite the offer from a certain magazine. What went into that decision?
Marques Houston: It got all blown out of proportion with the whole Playgirl thing. You can’t always believe what you hear, that’s all I gotta say about that.
Adam Bernard: They were throwing Dr. Evil money at you.
Marques Houston: You know we all heard different stories about that, but moving on to this album, which is in stores…
Adam Bernard: You’re like, “they offered me five cents and a Bazooka Joe comic.”
Marques Houston: (laughs) Veteran album, we’re talking about the Veteran album!
Adam Bernard: You are a veteran, actually, and that leads nicely into my next question. After doing TV, movies and music, what gives you a sense of accomplishment at this point in your life?
Marques Houston: I like to make people feel good with my music, I like to be a good example, a role model, and go out there and do my thing. I love my fans, my fans always support me. With this album the first week sales are great. Album sales are at an all-time low right now, and it actually did better than people expected. That’s God just blessing me and I thank God every day for His blessings and I thank my fans all the time for supporting me and keeping me in it.
Adam Bernard: With album sales so low across the board are you readjusting your thoughts as to what great sales number are?
Marques Houston: Yeah you definitely have to readjust your thoughts. I think the biggest album last year was only two million and when that kind of things happens you definitely have to look at it and say wow, having a gold album nowadays is amazing. Before albums would sell ten and twenty million and a great successful album would be like eight million, six million. I think the country market is still huge, but R&B, Hip-Hop and Pop are definitely markets that have plummeted in album sales.
Adam Bernard: You’ve been doing this for over 17 years, is early retirement in your vocabulary?
Marques Houston: Maybe. I’ve always told myself I was going to retire at 30 no matter where I was in my career or what I was doing I was gonna stop at 30. You never know what’s gonna happen, the love always calls you back.
Adam Bernard: If you did stop at 30 what would you end up doing with your life?
Marques Houston: I definitely would want to get more focused into the film industry. I just got promoted to CEO of TUG Entertainment so I’m definitely behind the desk a lot more now. When you’re in front of the scenes you’re an entertainer and it takes a lot of your time and I want to start a family, I want children, I want to be married and I want that. I don’t want to be a husband and my wife is sitting at home while I’m traveling the world promoting albums and stuff like that. Maybe a couple movies a year, something like that, more steady.
Adam Bernard: What are your job requirements for your new role with TUG?
Marques Houston: A lot of decisions, a lot of decision making, a lot of paperwork, staff meetings, board meetings and all that kind of stuff. Decisions, decisions, decisions with not only myself, but all the other artists on the TUG roster, we have Omarion, we have O’Ryan, Mila J, NLT, a new girls group we’re putting together and a couple of rap artists. It’s crazy in the office.
Adam Bernard: Have you had to fire anyone yet?
Marques Houston: Yeah. I’m good at firing. (laughs) My thing is I’m a businessman, business is always first, I don’t take is personally and I don’t think that anyone else should take it personally. Business is business and personal is personal. Whenever you let personal feelings get involved that’s when you don’t have a great business. You have to always be able to keep it separated.
Adam Bernard: So are we going to see a Marques Houston version of The Apprentice?
Marques Houston: Nah. Maybe you’ll see a reality show one day, not right now.
Adam Bernard: We don’t hear about you going crazy at the clubs. Do you avoid that scene or do you just do it more discreetly?
Marques Houston: I definitely avoid that scene. I’m not a party-goer, I’m more laid back. I have so much on my plate, it’s not like I just do one thing, if I was maybe just a one thing kinda guy and I just sang and I wasn’t so busy doing everything else then I probably would get out a little more, but it’s just not my thing. I’m so busy all the time I just take the time that I have to spend time with family and friends and just relax. I’ll stay in the house, watch a movie, or go to the movies, or something like that, go bowling. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke or anything like that.
Adam Bernard: Your brother, Omarion, has one of the hottest songs in the country, do you feel any sibling rivalry pressure to try to equal or top that?
Marques Houston: Me and Omarion don’t even get along. (laughs) Nah, it’s nothing like that, that’s my little brother and I’m very very proud of him and all his accomplishments with his career. He’s one of my artists! And don’t sleep, he’s in a high position, too.
Adam Bernard: Finally, what are your realistic goals for the rest of ’07?
Marques Houston: My realistic goals for the rest of 2007 are to have a gold album, I don’t think it’s gonna happen this year until the end of the year, but for this album I plan on having a gold album, another movie for you guys to watch and a TV show, and hopefully this TV show I’m trying to put together I’ll be Executive Producing. I won’t be starring in it but I’ll be behind the action.
Adam Bernard: You had Cuts, but that didn’t survive the WB – UPN merger, right?
Marques Houston: It got cut! (laughs)
Adam Bernard: Dude, you went from working with Shannon Elizabeth to Mya. Your girlfriend must be insanely laid back to not get jealous.
Marques Houston: She is. You can never have a jealous girl in this industry because I’m around too many beautiful women, but my girl is the most beautiful.
For more MH check out myspace.com/marqueshouston.
Labels: Music Interviews