Tao (Left) Jazz, Sisqo and Nokio (Right).
Nokio (Tamir Ruffin) Producer, Songwriter, and Rapper, from legendary singing group, Dru Hill, stopped by #Interruptedblogs a couple weeks ago, before he and members headlined the Saturday Soul Series: Battle of the Bands on September 2, 2017.
Nokio said they weren't necessarily working on a new album because they’ve been on the road touring; however, Dru Hill recently got into the studio and made it do what it do.
“It’s like, when we're on stage, it’s business as usual. It’s a well-working machine, and everybody comes in and does their part.”
Sisqo, Tao, Jazz and Nokio
Although the group established around 1992 as 14K Harmony, the members changed their stage name several times before becoming Dru Hill in 1995. Fans didn’t experience the Dru-ism until 1996, when the group released their first album drop, Dru Hill, which jumped to the number twenty-three on the Billboard 200 Charts.
By 1997, the album was certified platinum, with "Five Steps , Sleeping In My Bed, and Tell Me as the versifier buzz singles that would set the tone for R&B placement in the 90’s for innovative singing groups.
The natives of Baltimore, Maryland, released Enter The Dru in 1998.
Both albums hoarded sultry story-lines with an emphasis on compassion. “We’re not making love no more ” hit the billboard charts after featuring on the Soul Food Soundtrack.
Singles were featured on Def Jam: How to Be a Player starring Bill Bellamy, as well as the memorable action flick, Rush Hour.
In 2002, Dru World Order stomped confidently on the scene, with powerful love ballad, “ I love you .” The track is still an emotional churner that tugs at the brain waves, and heart strings simultaneously
Striking the airwaves while the iron was steaming hot, the group performed around the world, and released Enter the Dru in 1998. The LP encompassed banger after cathartic banger, but still gravitating to the originality of Rhythm and Blues.
As crazy as this sounds, Interrupted has conducted many interviews within the last couple of years, with prominent artist and singing groups. Ironically, these melody-makers echo the same opinions about the state of Rhythm and Blues— And Nokio agrees that that this generation isn’t growing up on the foundation of love and soulfulness. The message in today’s music is aggressive. If you listen closely to the lyrics, an artist might perpetuate killings in their song a lot faster than they would love.
Dang! What happened to the soul?
Beauty, [my] favorite love song of all time, it's still one of the snazziest singles that the group released.
It's obvious that someone was crushing when they penned that track.
As for the creative impulse behind the chantey... “I’ll never tell," chortled Nokio. "It was inspired by some true events and I’ll leave it at that—Young love."
As for likes and dislikes... Nokio doesn't care for the Vegan craze, but he's tried it. The singer prefers a big sloppy Angus burger over a turkey burger any day of the week.
Although he's extremely fashionable, Nokio doesn't get into the feminine looks that modern artist sample from time-to-time, but he doesn't knock what they do either.
Secondly, he's a doting dad. When Nokio isn't touring, he's doing PTA meetings, going to the park, spending time with his kids, like most dads do when they stop home after being on the road for months at a time.
Nokio also shared that he's a mentor aside from being a multimedia artist.
“I do a lot of mentoring. I’ve been trying to get into the schools. I’m actually trying to build a studio, here, in Baltimore— And part of the goal is to be able to open it up like an after-school program for kids that want to learn how to make records, engineer, play instruments, or learn [the mechanisms to] live sounds or whatever. It’s a fifty-five-hundred, square-foot place, with a theater and all kinds of stuff.
Dru Hill is the ambassador for VH1’s “Save the Music” .
As mentioned above, the group performed at the Fox Soul Series, Battle of the Bands alongside K-Ci, Jo Jo, and “Tony! Toni! Tone!” on September 2, 2017 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jeremy Hill, the show promoter is excited about the last installment at the Fox Theater Soul Series. He’s preparing for the next show, featuring Five-time Grammy-Winning songstress, Lala Hathaway, Multi-Award Winning Avery*Sunshine, Avant, and Jon B. Tickets are still on sale at wwww.foxtheater.org