From the skating rink to backyard barbeques, the opening rift of “Touch Me, Tease Me” always got our bodies moving. For Case, creating a chart-topping clubbanger is more than any R&B vet could ever hope for. Througout the 90’s, he continued his hit-making streak with the music industry’s elite, from Foxy Brown and Mary J. Blige to Joe and others. The native New Yorker can even take credit for putting a ring on Beyoncé’s finger long before Jay-Z in his video for “Happily Ever After,” which remains one of his hallmark ballads. Now eight years later, Case returns with “The Rose Experience.” The crooner stopped by ESSENCE.com offices to share why he’s excited to offer some variety to the music scene and why brothers are guaranteed to get breakfast in bed after playing his album for that special lady.
ESSENCE.COM: We’re happy to have some new music from you and the hot first single, “Lovely.” How would you describe the current climate of R&B?
CASE: It’s changing for the better. I was listening to Jazmine Sullivan recently and I love her. For quite a while it’s been a copy-cat thing. If one person does something and it works, then everyone does it. That cheats the fans and you aren’t giving them variety. They are pigeonholed to listen to the best of the same. I never really got into that, and I try to do my part. Back in the day you had Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, and they all were popular and sold records, while doing their own thing. People weren’t forced to listen to the same thing on the radio.
ESSENCE.COM: That’s true. And when do you realize you were officially on as an artist to add to the variety?
CASE: It was up and down. “Touch Me, Tease Me” came out and it was a hit and I thought, I’m good, I made it. Then the album came out and didn’t do well at first, which was good for me because it showed me that you have to keep working and there’s no such thing as “you made it.” You have to keep growing and stay focused.
ESSENCE.COM: You have worked with so many big names. What has been one of your best experiences?
CASE: I loved working with the guys on “The Best Man.” We got to work with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, which was amazing. I remember spending about two hours talking to Terry Lewis. The best lesson he taught me was that when you are hot, you are hot, but when the bread gets stale, be prepared for what you’re going to do.
ESSENCE.COM: And we hear you are living single and on the market. What do you look for in a woman and how would you like to be romanced?
CASE: A woman for me has to be understanding to deal with an artist, especially me. I’ll admit that. (laughs) I’m a moody person anyway and it’s nothing personal . A sense of humor is a must because I joke around a lot. I don’t like to meet someone and all they want to talk about is my music. For romance, I don’t need a whole lot. It can be as simple as dinner. After a show in Jamaica one time, I came home the place was spotless and dinner was ready. That works for me.
ESSENCE.COM: It’s been eight years since you released an album. Will fans get to witness your growth ?
CASE: Yes, I love music and am always growing. I could sing before I could talk and don’t ever remember not singing. This album is your Friday Night soundtrack and how you get breakfast made the next morning (laughs.)