Although his previous album, Ridin Solo, came out only in June 2010, award-winning R&B singer Keith Sweat this week drops his latest, his E1 Music debut, 'Till The Morning. The twelve-track opus, recorded over the span of four months, sees the crooner returning to his roots, with songs like the album's lead single, "Make You Say Ooh," in the vein of his 1987 multiplatinum debut, Make It Last Forever.
"Basically, the album represents the music that I've been writing all of these years. It's more like romantic type of songs: 'I Want Her,' 'Make It Last Forever,' that type of stuff," he explained to The Huffington Post. "And 'Make You Say Ooh' is one of those suggestive, seductive type of joints. 'Make You Say Ooh' is that vintage Keith Sweat sound. It has a little bit of today and a little bit of yesterday in it."
In order to attract a new generation of fans while keeping faith with the old, the Harlem native decided to recruit Coko (of SWV) and T-Pain, as well as reuniting with Johnny Gill and the late Gerald Levert, his former LSG group members, on "Knew It All Along." According to Sweat, the track was derived from a simple phone call to the New Edition singer.
"I wrote the song, then I called Johnny to do a verse on the song, and then I incorporated some of Gerald's vocals in from my old masters that I had back in the day. So it's pretty much a LSG vibe."
Staking his niche in today's club-driven R&B scene is more than familiar to the "Twisted" hitmaker, who was at the forefront of the New Jack Swing era earlier in his career, when he worked alongside producer-singer Teddy Riley. For Sweat, R&B is finding its way back to its original soulful sound.
"Music, from what I've seen, is always revolving. Like, that club sound basically was disco," he explained. "They call it different names when it comes out, but all it does is revolve. Because half of the stuff that you hear today, you can go back years ago and you might compare the club sound to the disco sound. What I see people are trying to do now is what me and Teddy Riley was doing."
"Back in the day, me and Ted, we just did what felt good. We just wrote what was in the heart. We didn't know it was going to be a hit," he continued. "It was about the artist back in the day. Now it's about the producer. So if a certain producer produce, then it's a hit. Before, you didn't even know who the producer was."
The singer-songwriter said that he's open to reconnecting with the "Rump Shaker" producer as soon as they find time in their schedule. "Or I just may have to call him and say, 'Yo dude, I'm working on a song, so why don't you just fly up here and work with me on this joint?'" In addition to collaborating with Riley, Sweat also mentioned that he would also love to get in the studio with some of today's notable crooners including Kem, Trey Songz, Chris Brown and the timeless Charlie Wilson.
Aside from making music and touring, the 50-year-old also connects with fans via his two radio shows, "The Quiet Storm" and "The Sweat Hotel." "It's fly because I get to do things on the radio side of things," he said. "I'm still able to connect with my audience and have callers call in and talk to me and get what their vibe is."
The chart-topping singer is also the latest celebrity to share his thoughts and wisdom on relationships, with a forthcoming book from Simon & Schuster, "Make It Last Forever: The Dos and the Don'ts." Although the May release was co-written with erotic fiction author Zane, Sweat insists that the book isn't as sexually charged as their collaboration might suggest.
"It's not as in-depth [sexually] as some of her books, but my book is more like a relationship help book," he revealed. "What you should do in your relationship to make it last forever and what you shouldn't do in a relationship to make it last forever. We all need help in certain areas in making our relationship good, and there's certain things as a man or as a woman that we should not do as a person to hurt the relationship. So my thing is trying to help people not hurt their relationship and build a stronger bond."
One of the vital traits of any relationship, he added, is to be more transparent in the way one communicates with one's partner. Sweat elaborated: "Talk to me, not at me. A lot of people don't know how to communicate, and that's what kills a lot of relationships. A lot of times they talk at each other and not to each other."
"A woman might not be sexually satisfied with her man in bed," he continued. "Instead of telling her man what she likes, she continues to let him do the things that he been doing when she was never happy. So she goes out there and looks for satisfaction from somewhere else because she feels she can't be satisfied at home."
Check out a few of Keith Sweat's hits below: