Courtesy of Concord RecordsAfter co-founding Mint Condition and recording eight albums with them, Stokley is enjoying being a solo artist, but he does expect to create new music with the group in the future.
“Right now, I’m exploring, and I can’t tell you for how long,” he tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I’ve been on the Mint Condition train a long time, and there’s still some gas left in that tank. I would think we have more to say, but I don’t know when that will be.”
With several top five hits including, “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes), “U Send Me Swingin‘” and “What Kind of Man Would I Be?,” Mint Condition has developed a loyal following. Stokely says he’s gratified by their accomplishments, including opening for Prince in 2010 and 2011 on his Welcome 2tour.
“I’m very proud of it,” Stokley says. “That’s part of me that will never leave. This is an extension of that.”
Stokley served as Mint Condition’s lead singer for nearly 30 years, launching the group in 1989, and releasing their debut album, Meant to Be Mint, in 1991. His debut solo album, Introducing Stokely, features Estelle, Robert Glasper, and Wale, and the singer says it’s allowed him to express himself as an individual.
“I got to a point where I wanted to work differently, wanted to say things differently, express what I have inside,” he says. “When you’ve done something for so long, you want to do something differently.”
Stokley is touring solo throughout the summer, and he’s enjoying experimenting and expanding his sound.
“When you’ve done one thing for so long, you get typecast for doing one thing,” he says. “I wanted to get deeper and challenge myself, go out there and get it. I wanted to raise the bar within myself.”
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