What Makes A Man Fall In Love With A Woman? Q&A With Stokely Williams of Legendary R&B Band Mint Condition
RELATIONSHIPS360: So many of your hit songs, “Pretty Brown Eyes,” “U Send Me Swinging,” “If You Love Me” and “You Don’t Have To Cry No More” are about men in love. Why have you chosen to focus on this theme throughout your career?
STOKELY WILLIAMS: We like to think we are just providing a balance. We can’t just be this — men can’t just have this testosterone-driven image 24×7, because it’s not true. We are vulnerable sometimes. We get a little nervous about whatever. Men cry. We are humans. So that’s just the things we notice. We try and provide that balance, a full scope of what a man is.
However, that’s not the only thing. It just so happens that that’s been the most popular stuff, ‘U Send Me Swingin’ ‘Breakin’ My Heart’, ‘What Kind Of Man Would I Be?’ ‘Someone to Love’, all those kind of songs like that. So I mean, it just speaks to that.
We are not the only ones doing it either. I mean, it’s not just us. That’s kind of the way we look at it.
It’s not the only thing that we do. If you listen to a full Mint Condition album, throughout our career, we have got all kinds of themes. It does speak to somewhat what you are talking about, but there is a lot of different stuff.
We are a very eclectic group. If you see us live, you will see a lot of rock and roll, you will see a lot of different things going on. So the themes are pretty much like that too.
But it’s kind of like we try to balance it out as much as we can. So I mean, we are just doing what’s natural to us, what we see, some of our experiences, whether it be about a friend, whether it be about a lover, about a wife, or something like that, or some situations you would have loved to have been in but didn’t happen so you got a little grumpy about it, whatever the case may be, we speak to that.
But again, the most popular have been the ones that people know, like again, ‘What Kind Of Man’ ‘Breakin’ My Heart’, etcetera, etcetera.
RELATIONSHIPS360: What does it mean to fall in love?
STOKELY WILLIAMS: It pretty much means that you can’t really control what’s going on, in a nutshell, and that can be really, really tricky, especially if you don’t need to be somewhere you ain’t supposed to be. If you know somebody is really bad for you and you shouldn’t be there, you can’t control what’s going on. It’s like your emotions are getting the best of you.
Now, it’s kind of tricky too, because it could be lust and you could confuse the two, but when it actually is love, I think it’s something you just can’t control, the feeling of it.
RELATIONSHIPS360: When a man tells a woman he’s in love with her is that different from telling her “I love you?”
STOKELY WILLIAMS: I think saying “I love you” and “I am in love with you” can be two different things, depending on who is saying it and who is receiving it. Sometimes dudes might be like, “I love you girl, I love you girl,” and the next day the girl is all giddy telling the girlfriends, he is in love with me. He really didn’t mean it that way. He is like, he just really loves her as a friend, thinking it’s going to go somewhere, that kind of thing, and just loves her like a homey friend, without the lover.
She is looking for that homey lover friend, but the love is kind of out the door. It’s just like homey friend. But I think it can be two different things.
RELATIONSHIPS360: What makes a man fall completely head over heels in love? Is it timing, certain qualities he’s looking for, or basic chemistry?
STOKELY WILLIAMS: It’s all up in there. I think timing definitely plays a big part, because if the timing is right, then for a man he is going to be like, oh, this is destined to be. There is nothing in the way. There is nobody in your life, nobody in mine. I think that, that definitely plays a part. So that can really make you even fall deeper, if you are already there.
I think of course basic chemistry, for sure, that brings that whole passion and the qualities, I mean these are things you want – somebody who is intelligent, who can kind of think for themselves, and has kind of like an independent thought, not like a follower. Somebody who is just really sure about themselves, or whatever’s your thing, so I mean whatever the characters or the qualities are that you are looking for in somebody. I think absolutely those play a big part.
RELATIONSHIPS360: Can a marriage or serious relationship without chemistry last?
STOKELY WILLIAMS: It definitely has in the past. There are a lot of old school relationships that keep a marriage going without chemistry, for the sake of kids, maybe religious views or something like that.
But I think really a full scope of what marriage is, the tradition of what it’s supposed to be, with everything going for it, I think you have got to have that chemistry in order to have that passion burning, and it’s something you have got to maintain. It’s maintenance, like anything.
You have got to work on it, and you have to be very focused about it. You can’t be just kind of like — it’s not going to happen on its own, because anything that you do day in and day out or people that you see, it can become mundane if you let it, and it can become very normalized if you let it, but you have got to keep it fresh. That’s why you see all these articles and newspaper clippings and films about keeping it fresh, keeping it new, because that’s a real issue.
So I mean, I think you need the chemistry in order to fuel that passion, but it can absolutely happen without it, because it has been done. Not that folks like that really want to, but it has happened.
RELATIONSHIPS360: What was it about “your wife” that made you fall in love with her?
STOKELY WILLIAMS: Well, so many things, too many to mention. I will only say a couple of things. For sure her eyes are very alluring, to me. It’s just like, who is that? And I had just seen her from like across the room, like literally, and just wow! Just really pierced my soul, I guess.
But she is just incredible — she is incredibly talented, and her personality is just wow, is just really, really attractive to me. The tone of her voice, the way that she cares about her friends, her family. And as I got to — as of course now the way she loves her family, her children, and our children, it’s really incredible. It’s like I keep falling in love all over again.
We have these healthy debates. She challenges me in a way that I have never been challenged before. And of course, she is just sexy as hell.
RELATIONSHIPS360: You recently performed “Slo Woman” from your eighth studio album “Music @ The Speed of Life,” the second for your new record label Sanachie Entertainment at the BET Honors. Why did you choose to showcase that song and tell us more about the album?
STOKELY WILLIAMS: That is a song that not only we love, but a lot of the fans have been checking for that song, and we just kind of do our research and we look on iTunes or some of these other social media sites, and we love the song.
We are talking about it for our next single, something like that, and it’s just kind of one of those things where it goes right along with a lot of our themes. We talk about slow woman, not necessarily somebody who is mentally slow, but someone who is just your speed, somebody who is just your type, for what you are looking for in life. So we thought it’s a cool arrangement we put on it.
It’s real simple and people can get it, some people loved it, it just came together at the right time, for the right event.
RELATIONSHIPS360: Should fans expect to see more Mint Condition performances in 2013? You seem to have been in hiding for a while.
For Stokely’s response to this and several other questions, listen to the entire interview on Relationships360′s BlogTalkRadio page.