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  • Interview: Usher

    Fri, 23 May 2008 12:50:37

    Interview: Usher - R&B heavyweight talks maturity and standing for what you believe in

    Usher Photos

    • Usher - SANTA MONICA, CA - OCTOBER 19: Singer Usher attends FIJI Water at the 9th Annual Pink Party Benefiting The Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Program at HANGAR:8 on October 19, 2013 in Santa Monica, California.
    • Usher - SANTA MONICA, CA - OCTOBER 19: Singer Usher attends FIJI Water at the 9th Annual Pink Party Benefiting The Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Program at HANGAR:8 on October 19, 2013 in Santa Monica, California.
    • Usher - HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 10: Singer Usher Raymond and songwriter/record producer Kenny 'Babyface Edmonds attend a ceremony honoring Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds with the 2508th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 10, 2013 in Hollywood, California.

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    Madonna, Cher, Diddy. If you're going to run around calling yourself by one name you'd better be able to back it up with some serious talent, not to mention a few album sales for punctuation. At this point in his career Usher Raymond IV, or Usher as he's known to his fans, has earned the right to brevity. A man with five grammy awards and 30 million records sold worldwide can pretty much call himself whatever he pleases. Now, riding high on the success of first single, "Love In This Club," he's poised to further solidify his standing with the release of his fifth studio album, Here I Stand.

    A testament to his maturity as both a man and father, he describes the album as, "an example for my son to someday understand that when you stand and you stand for what's right, regardless to what anyone else's opinion may be, you are right because no man is able to judge another for what he stands for." Impressed by his new music, not to mention the sentiment behind it, we were lucky enough to get Usher on the phone and have him explain his intentions first hand. Along the way he talked to us about the power of honesty, living up to your own expectations and why, sometimes, it's just too hard to choose.

    So what's your favorite song on this album and why?

    I know it sounds cliché to say that all of them equally are my favorite, but my favorite thing that I did on this album, which are the interludes, because honestly I feel like it's one cohesive effort to make an album. An album—it takes, you know, a chapter at a time to make a great book.

    Can you talk about maybe one or two of the songs for this album that you feel are most personal for you?

    You know, as I said, all of them, together, collaboratively, make up the chapters of a great book, of a great journey. You know, with all great novels, books, there is a beginning, a middle and an end. But the plot has to be something surface, something of substance and value. And that topic is love. So, you know, I'd have to say the entire album. Of course, it's called Here I Stand, so everyone is going to look out for that record. And it is incredible.

    You kicked off Confessions with the Club Banger, "Yeah!" and then you came with the more serious record behind it. And now we have "Make Love in the Club." So that's sort of a strategy or that's just how things sort of worked out?

    Well, it was twofold. One, it is strategic, you know, in a way, because you want to make a record that is relative to what I think the pace of life is and the beat of life is. But the greatest part about it—it kind of worked to our advantage because what I'm doing by having "Love in this Club" as my first single is I'm taking you back to the beginning of this story, well, the story of the journey that I'm getting ready to take you on, the story of my life, the story of the guy who was the hustler and a player in the club and finding his way for the moment, making his way through a lifetime. And life will see you through many seasons and high peaks and low valleys. And then life will give you tons of, you know, seasons, sometimes when it's raining or sometimes when it's shining. But, ultimately, the end of the story leads to a lifetime. And that's what the entire project is all about.

    I just wondered if you had any film projects in the works. Are you still putting acting on the backburner or are you thinking about coming back to the screen?

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