Sisters With Voices, or SWV, came onto the scene in the early 1990s and grew to be a multi-platinum-selling R&B group before fading away with the end of the decade. Coko, Lelee and Taj have now been touring and working on new material since 2005 and recently sat down with the Huffington Post to talk about the changes they've made over time, their new album, I Missed Us, and motherhood.
First off, listeners will discover that lead singer Coko will be sharing the mic more on this record and get to hear what the entire trio brings to the group vocally.
"With this new SWV, where everybody is just used to hearing me sing lead on everything, everybody is singing lead," Coko says. "You get to hear everybody's vocals. Lelee didn't sing as much, but she's come out a lot and she's singing on this record — she's doing a great job."
All three are currently mothers and shared how they juggle parenting with their music careers. Coko, who's married to drummer Mike Clemons and has two boys, says she and her husband travel a lot for their jobs, but they make sure the family is taken care of first and foremost and they make sure to spend their weekdays at home tending to their children.
Taj, who appeared on her own reality TV show called I Married a Baller with her husband, NFL running back Eddie George, says her life is just like every other working parent's. Lelee on the other hand, has the added stress of doing everything herself since she's had to raise her son and daughter, who are now in their 20s, on her own.
"I'm single and a parent so everything falls on me. I've never experienced a boyfriend or a husband taking care of me in any kind of way — it's always me doing everything," she says. "And when you live a cash-only lifestyle it gets tough. You have your regular bills to live and function, lights, car note, gas, rent, then you have your personal bills, tithes, taxes, doctor, clothing, etc. It can get over your head sometimes. I'm thankful that I'm able to do it, but Lord knows I can't wait 'til the day when my wallet and account can get a rest!"
Lelee admits that having had her two kids at such a young age and going into the music industry without a complete education made things a bit harder for her. "[Twenty] years ago I was an 18-year-old with two children, so my life was a little different. I would have told myself to finish my education before I went full-time into the music industry. Having something to fall back on is very important," she says. "I would have told myself to get to know God and build a personal relationship with him so that he could have prepared me for the life that lay ahead. I would have also told myself to hold on, be strong and believe that there is power in prayer. I'm so happy I know God now, but I totally regret not being a praying mom over my kids. I was just too young."
Taj also shared some advice with her younger self, saying, "I would have told myself that the only person able to deter you is you! Since no one was there to nurture you, you're strong enough to nurture yourself. Everything that you think of yourself was filtered to you through people who feel that same way about themselves. It only matters if you believe it yourself."
As for the fact that girl groups faded from the scene back in the '90s, SWV hopes that they promote the trend by coming back to continue where they left off.
"I believe that some of the older girl groups will be inspired to make a comeback after seeing us," Lelee says. "That's a good thing though because we're always on the road with the guys."
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(Photo: PNP/ WENN.com)
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