Learning from The Sing-Off with Shawn Stockman
The Boyz II Men star and Sing-Off judge talks about his career and why he loves judging the popular singing competition.
Do you think that a capella music can dominate the charts?
I hope so. Because, the art form of a capella deserves it, and these kids deserve it. I’m not saying it just because I’m a part of the show. I might be a little biased, but the truth is that these kids work harder than any other vocal competition show that’s out there. That’s just the truth. It’s one thing to sing and dance, but to sing and dance without any instruments, it’s harder. It’s a different discipline. It’s a side of your brain that not too many people have. These guys have that and they do all of it without any help from any pyro, guitars, anything. It’s just them and their vocals. That in and of itself is amazing, and that’s what sets them apart from anybody. I’ll put it this way – I’ll put them up against any artist from any of those other shows, no disrespect, but the bottom line is that I’ll do that and we’ll start off with music and at any given point the music will cut off and we’ll see who can continue to show.
You’ve been there from the beginning, what do you love most about being a judge on the Sing-Off? What do you get out of it?
I get a lot. I’m not gonna sit here and lie and tell you that I don’t learn something from these groups, from these artists. I learn so much musically, I learn how far you can take music; the ideas, and the possibilities just by listening to them. It’s inspirational in the sense that I’m taking mental notes watching them and listening to them. Being still an active musician, I can’t help but to be inspired by sounds and I get to hear that for hours at this show. That’s just a treat for me, if anything I should be paying NBC, but I don’t want to give them any ideas (laughs). I enjoy all aspects, I love the fact that again I get to sit down with two other co-judges who I truly and utterly respect and listen to not only good music but their take on it. It’s all a learning experience, and at my age that’s what it’s about. It’s about learning and understanding and just getting more information to become a little bit smarter than you were before.
Which artist has surprised you with the most with how they’ve grown throughout the competition?
To be honest, the Dartmouth Aires, the college guys. They’ve surprised me because I honestly didn’t think that they would have as much diversity as they have had. After awhile I thought that I was going to get tired of them doing all the jumping around and things of that nature. They’ve shown that they are so much more than that. They’ve shown that they can be serious artists and that they can really change it up. They’re probably one of the most diverse groups in the whole competition and I think they are going to go really far.