One of 2014’s most anticipated films “Think Like A Man Too,” the sequel to the 2012 comedy film, will hit theaters on June 20. In the same week, on June 17, a soundtrack will be released to go with the film. The soundtrack features 14 tracks recorded by R&B veteran Mary J. Blige with guest appearances The-Dream and Pharrell Williams.
While the soundtrack was nearly completed, music genius Mark J. Feist was able to make the soundtrack’s final cut. “Suitcase,” produced and co-written by Feist, serves as the lead single off the soundtrack.
After working on different track ideas Feist, who resides in Los Angeles, traveled to Atlanta for one of his frequent week trips to work with Crystal Nicole, who helped pen the song. During this particular visit he states, “We [were] trying to write a bunch of female empowerment records.” However, he gives the credit to Nicole for coming up with the “Suitcase” concept. “We just sat there in her basement and she had a pen in her hand and she sung me a hook, a verse and then I jumped up and down, screaming ‘That’s it, that’s it’ and then we cut it,” he says. Feist says he and Nicole wrote the record in a hour and a half.
Once the demo of “Suitcase” was completed, Feist says L.A. Reid, chair and CEO of Epic Records, loved the track and was very instrumental in getting Blige on it.
However, while cutting a demo is one thing, Feist realized it was a hard song to sing. “First of all, it’s in a very low key,” he says. “Second of all, if you don’t have the swag and you’re not a strong woman and you don’t have the ability to pull emotions from your gut to pull that record off – then it’s not going work.”
Now that releasing singles have become more profitable than full-length albums, as a producer Feist knew that the track couldn’t just go to anyone. While he has worked with female artists of all genres in the past, he had faith that Blige would give the track the right touch. “Yes I have Beyoncé on my resume, yes I have Kelly Rowland, yes I have Celine [Dion] but man, “What’s the 411?” [album] is one of the biggest albums of my growing up. When ‘Real Love’ [by Blige] dropped, I listened to that record so much. So to be able to share my music with such an icon and to be able to have her on a record that completely connects with her and she sounds so amazing on, I’m just so humbled. I’m so blessed.”
After hearing Blige’s version of “Suitcase,” he knew it was a hit. Even the feedback from his social media followers let him know he has a great record on his hands. “My Twitter has been blowing up all week,” he laughs. “It feels good to know that it’s touching people.”
In regards to working with Nicole, Feist calls his music relationship with her, “magically” and “indescribable.” He compares their music bond as the team of Tricky Stewart and The-Dream. “I really believe that Crystal and I have that magical thing going on,” he says. He believes that his chemistry with Crystal can make R&B a hot commodity on the Billboard Hot 100 chart again. “I feel like Crystal and I have so much to offer at a time where R&B is at a crossroad and I think that we can really help bring it back to the mainstream and have people go back to hearing great records.” He continues, “We both respect each other so much, which makes it a real collaboration. She can say to me, ‘What if we did this or what if we did that’ and I can turn around and say, ‘I’m hearing this and I’ll hum something to her’ and we make magic.” He praises Nicole by her calling her a “walking musical beast.”
Although, “Suitcase” is Feist and Nicole’s only placement on the “Think Like A Man Too” soundtrack, fans should know that the duo have a lot of records in the pipeline for L.A. Reid and Epic Records.
Be sure to look out for part two of our interview with Mark where he talks about creating Destiny Child’s “Emotions,” working on Kelly Rowland’s solo projects and her music growth and much more.
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