Jun 18, 2015

Posted by in Dopeness, Interviews | 0 Comments

1 on 1: Nu Shooz


Ready to board this summer's SoulTrain! #nushoozliveband #rosefestival #80sDanceParty

A photo posted by Valerie and John (@nushoozmusic) on


MahoganyGirl Throwback: Nu Shooz 


MahoganyGirl: So, glad to check up with you again.. You recently came off tour.. How was it? Where did you stop? And where was your favorite city to perform and why? I want all the juicy dets!


Nu Shooz: Actually – we’re still ON tour! We do the weekend warrior thing now. It’s perfect. Over the last two years we’ve played in Fresno, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, San Jose, Sacramento, Phoenix….plus shows with our 8 piece band closer to home in the Pacific NW. We’re looking forward to more shows this year too. Some are places we haven’t been since the 80s – like Las Vegas, Philadelphia and El Paso. Every city has it’s own charm. Every audience we’ve played for has been so warm and welcoming. We said we’d never do the 80s music again, but it’s addicting!


MG: Last year R&B artist Keyshia Cole released and album called Point of No Return and I thought of you…Would you like to take credit for that title..??? lol


NS: No one can take credit for titles. They get reused over and over. For example, we have a song (on Kung Pao Kitchen) called “Would If I Could.” That title was borrowed from a Bing Crosby cut from the 1930s.


MG: Many still see your music as R&B even your Wikipedia says that… How do you guys feel about that?


NS: It’s an honor to be thought of as R&B artists. Some people think of Nu Shooz as 80s synth pop, but we started out as a big horn band in the tradition of Tower of Power and Earth Wind & Fire.


MG: Cool. Will there be a new Nu Shooz album in the future?


NS: Working on one now. We think it might end up being our last one, so everything’s going in the frying pan.


MG: I don’t believe that… You guys are using social media to stay connected with fans.. Although I feel your Instagram is in need of more TLC… lol How important is that to you?


NS: It’s super important to us. Without our fans, we wouldn’t be performing today. In the 80s, we answered all our fan mail by hand. Today’s social media tools enable us to interact with more people on a personal level than ever before. That being said, sometimes we have to just BE in the moment, rather than documenting it through photos or video or tweets. It’s easy to get distracted from focusing on the music and doing the work of making our live shows the best that they can be. We wouldn’t want to go back to the letter writing days though!


MG: True. Where do you keep your gold plaque for Poolside?


NS: In the closet.


MG: Tell us something about Nu Shooz that not many would know?


NS: When we were kids in the 60’s Valerie wanted to be a ballet dancer and John wanted to be a pathologist.


MG: I recall maybe one “I can’t wait..” sample.. Have you been approached about samples? Have you ever turned a artist down or denied clearance? If so, why?


NS: There have been dozens…”Happiness” by Vanessa Williams, “Jam Knock” by Brian McKnight, and “Buzzin” by Mann w/50 Cent are some that come to mind. We’ve turned down a few, when they want to rap about guns, or use profanity, or refer to women as “bitches” or “hoes”.


MG: That’s cool… Some people think you live a breath music 24/7 but you must have other interest and hobbies.. please share??


NS: Portland is a cloudy, rainy place to live, so it turns out it’s one of the best places to be into movies, books, and coffee. John is an amazing visual artist. You can see a few of his pieces here.


MG: I always ask you about throwback shoulder pads but I’m curious.. Do you still own any stirrup pants or neon accessories? Lol Do tell…


NS: John is proud to say he always thought shoulder pads were stupid an hideous. (Don’t get him started!) As for me…well there are photos I’d like to make disappear. Now in the internet age they will live forever.

MG: lol its okay. You looked fab then and now… Last… What can fans look forward to in the future from Nu Shooz???

NS: We’re just happy that people are keeping the music alive. The 80’s are even better the second time around!

MG: Thanks Val and John.. I appreciate your time..

Nu Shooz Tee

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**For throwback interviews, photos and suggestions email latisha.simmons@gmail.com

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