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article imageEban Brown of The Stylistics on his new solo project Special

By Adrian Peel     Nov 26, 2015 in Music
A member of the famed four-piece since 2000, soul singer Eban Brown is spreading his wings as a solo artist and releasing a brand new single. Digital Journal spoke to him.
In 2000, Russell Thompkins, Jr., lead singer and founding member of The Stylistics, parted ways with the legendary soulsters and was replaced by the then relatively unknown Eban Brown. Since then, Brown has continued to record and tour with the band and was there when they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.
On November 29, the New Jersey-born vocalist and guitarist, currently on a UK tour with the other Stylistics: founding members Airrion Love and Herb Murrell, plus Jason Sharp - a key part of the lineup since 2011, replacing Van Fields who had joined at the same time as Brown - will release his catchy new single "No Other Lover."
"Right now it's just the single," replies the star, when questioned as to whether there's a solo album in the pipeline. "We're not really planning on any albums right now... I do a lot of recording when I'm at home, actually. When I'm not on tour I'm recording throughout the week."
Going into further detail regarding the single, Eban states, "'No Other Lover' purely came from walking down the street eating a sandwich and there were some sounds that came to me. I put the idea on my cell phone recorder and ran back to the house so I wouldn't forget the melody.
"Basically it's just me trying to stand up to what's current and what's commercial. It's definitely different from what I normally do, my jazz side, because I'm a jazz musician originally. If you listen to it, it's a dance song with a little R&B flavour, but it's mostly pop - at least that's what iTunes calls it..."
Is Eban planning to put out more songs in the near future? "Oh yeah, I got another one that I'm coming out with. It's finished, but I've got to get it mixed and mastered. It's called 'My Heart Is Aching for You.' It's like a mid-tempo ballad."
As mentioned at the start, Brown has been a Stylistic for 15 years now (prior to joining, he had been a member of Ray, Goodman & Brown, The Manhattans and The Delfonics).
"I just don't know where the time went," exclaims the able musician, reflecting on his decade and a half with the group. "I was looking at some old photos today and was like 'wow!' I had a much smaller waistline and was much younger. Where did all the time go?!"
How did Eban come to join the band? "We've known each other for years - I go back with The Stylistics almost 30 years," he reveals. "They knew me from other groups, so we've always been comrades. Herb Murrell and I we've always been partners - that was my running buddy.
"When Mr. Russell Thompkins walked away, I was taking a break from the business. I got a phone call asking me to join the band and it was highly unanticipated. Coming in for someone like Russell Thompkins, those were some big shoes to fill.
"At the time, I was 27, 28 and when I walked out on stage, everyone was like, 'Where's Russell?' But as soon as I opened my mouth, that was it. It took a whole year for me to become accepted."
The Stylistics are a truly iconic Philadelphia soul band, best known for timeless hits like "You Are Everything," "Betcha by Golly, Wow" (later covered by Prince), "Break Up to Make Up" and of course "You Make Me Feel Brand New," and I asked Eban to tell me some of his fondest memories from the last 15 years.
"I recorded a couple of albums with the guys - that was a highlight," he muses. "I recorded some DVDs with them that were very popular, actually, like Live in Norfolk, Virginia - that's one of our best. Basically, continuing to perform and travel is my biggest highlight."
"No Other Lover" will be out on November 29.
For more information on Eban Brown, visit his official website.
For more on The Stylistics, go to theirs.
More about eban brown, the stylistics, Soul Music, Russell Thompkins, Jr, Airrion Love
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