Nineties dance queen CeCe Peniston is ready for a comeback!
Fifteen years have passed and the music industry has definitely been remixed since she last dropped a full-length CD, but Peniston is confident she can deliver what her fans have been missing. Her latest single, “Stoopid,” is out -- and her new CD will be released later this summer.
ESSENCE.com caught up with Peniston, who is in the middle of a divorce, and talked about love lessons, changes in the music industry and the makeover she gave her 5’4” frame.
ESSENCE.com: We haven’t heard from you in a while, but about 18 months ago you gave yourself a bit of a makeover where you dropped from a size 10 to a size 6. What did you have done?
PENISTON: I woke up one day and wanted to change may look. And I was like, “Okay, what are you going to do about it?” I said I’m going lose 30 pounds, I’m going to get a little lipo and I’m going to get a Monroe piercing and I’m going to cut my hair. I’m going to get totally wild. So within a month I had scheduled the surgery. Several weeks after that, I lost 30 pounds and I had also gotten my Monroe about two to three months later.
ESSENCE.com: Why liposuction?
PENISTON: I got lipo because I felt that that little stomach, no matter how much I was working out, wasn’t looking exactly as I wanted it to be. I feel like we all have problem areas on our body and I just wanted to fix a problem area. I also got lipo underneath my chin and underneath my arms. The lipo was not a quick fix; it's a jump start to help you improve the areas that you need to improve. But if you don’t lose the weight around the lipo area you’re still going to look like you’re not pulled together. I’ve just been maintaining it through my diet and how I eat and working out. It’s not easy. If you are not on top of it, trust me, it will come back.
ESSENCE.com: Your new single, “Stoopid,” is a little reminiscent of “Keep on Walkin’,” in terms of a guy trying to pull a fast one on his girlfriend. What inspired that song?
PENISTON: When I wrote it, I was like, you know what, this is my “Keep on Walkin’” for 2011. It’s just something for my girls; it’s something that we say every day. You know how you’re talking to your girlfriends and you say, “He didn’t call, and he didn’t hit me back, he must think I’m stupid.” I would just hear people say that all of the time not just in my own set. I was like, "How can I make this song sound so real and make it sound like it’s current, but not male bashing and still get the point across?"
ESSENCE.com: You’re back making music now. How has the industry changed since you hit the scene 20 years ago?
PENISTON: It was not as Internet based. Now it’s like fully Internet based. There were actually video channels and they were for videos. It wasn’t for reality shows; it wasn’t that same kind of energy. People used to come home from school and be like, “I can’t wait for the video to come out.” They would debut videos like that and it was really exciting. I miss all of the singing from the ‘90s, I miss groups. There are no groups like Jagged Edge and SWV or Brownstone. [The industry has] changed a lot more to single artists now. You know what’s different too? Everyone could be the record company now. When I was out, to get signed to a record company was like, “Man, I just got signed!” The hype and the mystique and all of that are a lot different.
ESSENCE.com: Who are some of artists you admire and who are you listening to right now?
PENISTON: I've loved Patti LaBelle since I was a little girl. I love her so much because she’s spontaneous. I love Shirley Murdock, Keyshia Cole, Jazmine Sullivan and Tweet and Faith Evans. Faith’s songs got me through a lot. On my iPod right now are Jazmine Sullivan and Musiq Soulchild. It’s like on my list all of the time. Oh, and Charlie Wilson. I just like those real singers, girl, I love their voices.
Welcome back, CeCe!