ESSENCE.COM: What do you plan on giving the crowd at the 2011 ESSENCE Music Festival?
DWELE: We’re throwing out that baby making music. It’s going to be fun, ESSENCE is always great and I always enjoy myself there. I definitely know that I have to do some slow songs this time around because the last time I performed, the majority of the audience was women and they wanted to hear ‘Weekend Love.’ So for ESSENCE Music Festival, we’re going to party but I’m going to take ’em to bed too a little bit.
ESSENCE.COM: What’s your favorite slow jam to perform?
DWELE: I’d have to say ‘I Understand’ from the “W.ants W.orld W.omen” album. It’s a ballad but the message is meaningful. When I created the music for ‘I Understand’ I wanted to make one of those songs that you could light a candle, put it on repeat and go all night. But once I started writing to the song the lyrics took more of a serious turn, talking about how I know I’m a man and I know I’ll never understand you fully as a woman. There are still things in your life that you need to help me understand. It’s reaching out to a woman from the perspective of a friend who wants to be more. But I understand where I am in our relationship and I’ll try to help you from here.
ESSENCE.COM: Sounds like you’re in the friend box in this song, but you’re taking it well.
DWELE: I’m in the friend box, but I understand.
ESSENCE.COM: You usually take two years off between albums, will there be another in 2012?
DWELE: I’m trying to get a new one out this year, that’s the plan at least.
ESSENCE.COM: Kanye is headlining ESSENCE Music Festival, will you two perform “Power”? DWELE: I don’t know! If not, I definitely want to check out the show. I haven’t seen a Kanye show since we performed together over five years ago so if not, I’ll definitely be there to watch.