En Vogue’s Cindy Herron-Braggs has high expectations about her group’s show at the Chandler Center for the Arts.
“You’re going to get all our greatest hits, all the songs you grew up with and you know, and then you’re going to get new songs from our latest album, ‘Electric Café,’” she says enthusiastically.
Recognized as one of the top-five, highest-selling American female music groups in history, En Vogue, currently consisting of Herron-Braggs, Terry Ellis and Rhona Bennett, has sold over 20 million albums.
The group has amassed more than 30 million streams and over 26 million YouTube views on its top six hit singles alone: the R&B and Pop smashes “Hold On,” “Free Your Mind,” “Never Gonna Get It,” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” “Don’t Let Go” and “Whatta Man,” featuring Salt N Pepa.
Not willing to give up on its career, En Vogue released “Electric Café” in April 2018. It marks the group’s first new album since 2004.
“We were just looking for a vibe,” she says. “In the beginning, we were feeling that electronic dance sound, but then the music started to evolve creatively.”
“Electric Café” features collaborations with Ne-Yo, who wrote the first single, “Rocket,” and Snoop Dogg. En Vogue also worked with producers Curtis “Sauce” Wilson and Raphael Saadiq. “Raphael, we’re all from the San Francisco Bay area,” she says. “We have a history.”
The line of familiarity continued, as Oakland-based production and songwriting duo Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy worked on “Electric Café” as well.
“We also worked outside of Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy,” she adds. “We always like to start with them because they are the creators of our signature sound.
“It was nice to work with other producers and songwriters because, for our thing, we’re fans of other’s people’s works, and they can give our sound a different flavor, a different kind of vibe.”
Herron-Braggs says this was the perfect time for “Electric Café.”
“We would have had it finished four or five years sooner, but with the record industry changing like it has, record deals are not structured like they used to be,” she says.
“The best move for us was to get our own label and get a distribution deal. But even then, we had to find somebody who would fit and could work well with us. It had to be somebody who got us, got who we were, how to market us and could understand the kind of music we wanted to do. We achieved that.”