When I learned about this multi-talented power couple, I was eager to know more about them. To me, they are similar to a modern-day Ashford and Simpson. I grew up in a time when band and duos were the thing. You know, the good old days as many like to call it. I loved that era and I love it when couples come together for one common goal, resulting in masterful work. Many talented couples find it to be extremely challenging working together an any compacity, but not this couple. They are talented, in love and optimistic about their future with music and each other. I had the opportunity to interview them regarding all the amazing things they do in contribution to the wonderful world of entertainment. Here's what they shared.
Hi guys! So, tell me about each one of your backgrounds? SH: I was born in Massachusetts, grew up in Los Angeles with my mother and sister. I was excellent student but gravitated towards the entertainment industry, dancing on Soul Train, then to singing with the Good Girls on Motown Records. I began modeling for many companies and fashion designers, which then led me into acting. Thankfully, I’m still doing it all.
RI: I grew up in Vero Beach, Florida, in a musical home, singing in church with my family. So, on the weekends, instead of going to the clubs, we were at gospel concerts.
How did your journeys lead you to each other? SH: While I was with the Good Girls on Motown, Ricky joined another group on the label called Yours Truly. My manager, Jonathan Clark, also managed his group, so we were around each other quite a bit, but no love connection back then. It wasn’t until many years later when we reconnected for writing purposes that we had a love connection!
What inspired you both to seek careers in the music business? SH: For me, it was a fluke, or so I thought - God had a plan that I hadn’t even thought of… All 3 of us Good Girls were dancers on Soul Train where we met a lot of artists and managers. We met with one, Jonathan Clark, who had the concept of 3 girls in Catholic school uniforms. We were a perfect fit.
RI: My dad and my mom inspired me. I was singing in gospel groups in Middle School, and then formed my own bands in High School, playing in clubs at 15 years old. Later, I marched and sang in the band for Southern University, playing at the Bayou Classic in New Orleans while in college. I flew out to Los Angeles on a vacation and never left.
How long have you been married? SH: 6 years. This is our 2nd marriage. We married other people on the same day!
How many children do you both have collectively? SH: We’re a blended family. I have 3 myself.
RI: All together, we have 10. How do the both of you juggle family and career? SH: Juggling family and career is a day-by-day challenge. I’ve got a good organizer; I write everything down and make sure no one is bleeding! But seriously, I’m glad to have both to juggle! I love my family and my career, so I take each challenge as it comes, and enjoy the rollercoaster along the way. I do love a good rollercoaster!
RI: Patience and discipline. It’s not easy. What is your view about the entertainment industry that differs today than yesterday? SH: For me, it’s truly a new world, an exciting landscape, so I’m just learning as I go, much the same way I did as a Good Girl. Only now, I’m more in the loop. RI: Independent artists have more control. How do you feel that the industry looks upon married couples in the business? SH: I’m not sure how the industry looks upon marriage… I guess I’ll find out! Honestly, I don’t know. I do believe we’re missing the sanctity of marriage in duo groups. Like Peaches and Herb, Marilyn MCoo & Billy Davis Jr., and Ashford and Simpson… Even though Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack, Donnie Hathaway, weren’t married, just the unity of the songs for love.
How do you safeguard your marriage in this industry? SH: Marriage is marriage no matter what industry you’re in. To safeguard, we pray a lot, talk a lot, laugh a lot and remember what’s most important - the relationship. RI: Don’t go to a lot of Hollywood things, and don’t put our personal business on social media. Be private with personal business.
How important is it to have strong moral values in this business and have you ever had a time where you had to draw the line because of your values? SH: Strong moral values are important whatever you do. If you lose yourself in the building of your career, what do you have left? I do have lines, boundaries, and such. Gotta always check to see if what’s being asked of me is in line with what I believe. There have been times when I’ve betrayed myself, but it’s all a learning experience, so c’est la vie. RI: It’s important to have strong moral values and stay true to yourself.
As a married couple how do you show support for one another in this business? SH: I show my support by being available for whatever he needs, whether that’s an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on. He doesn’t do much crying so, it’s mostly advice and my delightful company! lol RI: Always tell each other that we matter to each other more than the business, and don’t discard how we feel, no matter what, any issue.
How often do your careers take you out of the home away from your children and how do your children handle the travel aspect of your career? SH: So far, I’m not away that much, but the kids do well when we are. They get to spend time with their Nana, which they love. As the saying goes, it takes a village, and we’re blessed with a good one. RI: Everyday I’m out working, but we take time to talk and go over instructions with our kids. The kids are good. We’re blessed.
Do you plan on doing what you’re doing for the rest of your life? SH: I plan on doing it until I don’t want to do it anymore, until God leads me to something else. Life unfolds, doesn’t it? RI: Yes! Cause we love the art.
What challenges have you encountered with the new changes in the music industry?
SH: Everything is a challenge for me!! That’s it, that’s all! RI: We’re learning it all over again.
Tell me about the three latest projects that you’ve done and what is the inspiration behind them? SH: Besides Crutchfield Jones, I’ve been modeling and acting, TV project called In The Shadows, a crime drama, and a film called Fire, a period piece, to be released this year. Inspiration… I LOVE TO WORK! RI: Two are surprises – I can’t say, and Crutchfield Jones is the major one that I’m excited about, and we have a lot of great songs on the album! I call it therapy.
What are the positives and negatives of being an independent artist? SH: The positive part of being an independent artist is that we can be ourselves and express ourselves the way we desire. The negatives are more so challenges – having to learn the do’s and don’ts along the way. RI: The positives are, you have more control. The negative is the more backing that you need for the world to see the individuality of the artist. But it’s coming.
Do you see yourselves recording together for the rest of your life or do you just plan on recording as a project for a few albums and then go off to your own careers? SH: I see us recording together forever. We initially started writing together just to be writing. It wasn’t till several years later that we decided to do a project together. So, when he’s ready to do more solo projects, I’ll collaborate with him as much as he likes, and vice versa, and we’ll write for other artists, as well. RI: We’re chasing the art and the art is our marriage that God has put together, and we’re being true to ourselves.
Do you have any tours or shows coming up anytime soon? SH: Yes!!! Stay connected via our social media platforms for upcoming events. RI: We’re getting our schedules together -yes, we do!
If you could inspire someone right now, what would you each say to upcoming artist? SH: Take your time, stay the course. It won’t be easy; nothing worthwhile is and be true to yourself. God put gifts inside you. That’s your baby and His. He’ll help you bring it to pass. SH: Be true to yourself, no matter what.
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