Bel Biv DeVoe scored its first chart hits all the way back in 1990 (with “Poison” and “Do Me!,” which both peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100), and over 20 years later, the New Jack Swing trio tells Billboard.com it hopes to capitalize on three years of recent touring — and an upcoming late-night gig — by releasing new material.
“Initially we were just touring and performing the classics,” says BBD member Ricky Bell, who, along with bandmates Ron DeVoe and Michael Bivins, is slated to rock NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” next Wednesday (Feb. 23).
“We released a couple of songs in 2009 that we still have on iTunes — one called ‘Welcome to My Heart’ and another one called ‘You’ that did pretty decent without great radio exposure, just from the diehard fans,” he adds, “but at some point before the end of the summer, we’re definitely gonna put something new out, maybe an EP, just to get everybody excited.”
DeVoe adds that before Bel Biv DeVoe’s members get to work on a proper full-length, they’re contributing to solo releases in the works by their old New Edition bandmates: Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant. “We’re focused on that right now, but look forward to more from us,” he says. The group is also in talks to co-headline show with fellow 90s R&B hitmakers SWV, Naughty By Nature and Boyz II Men, as well as a tour with New Edition to kick off in late 2011 or early 2012.
As for their upcoming gig on “Fallon,” DeVoe says the opportunity to play with house band the Roots sealed the deal. “The opportunity was presented to our manager to go ahead and knock out ‘Jimmy Fallon,'” he explains. “They thought it’d be a good idea to bring a classic like ‘Poison’ to the TV screen with the Roots, and we couldn’t hold back on our excitement to play with them.” [A spokesperson for the show says that the songs BBD will play have not yet been confirmed, although they will perform one song on the air and another for a web-only performance].
“Any opportunity we get to perform, we’re willing to take full advantage of it,” chimes in Bell. “[Roots drummer] ?uestlove being a longtime associate of ours, it was a no-brainer.”