Reggae Music News

Ginuwine talks ‘Pony’ success as he prepares to perform in Toronto

By Victoria Ahearn


Ginuwine - Toronto

TORONTO _ It’s brought a saucy flair to “Magic Mike XXL,” “Lip Sync Battle,” “Wild Hogs,” “Glee” and “Parks and Recreation” _ not to mention many a sweaty nightclub.

Yes, the bassy and brash hit song “Pony” has had a remarkable 20-year lifespan that shows no signs of abating.

And its singer, R&B star Ginuwine, is happy to trot it out as much as fans want.

“It’s a song that just won’t go nowhere and I’m glad it’s not. I’m not complaining at all,” says the Washington, D.C., native, who will perform at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on March 24.

“That song will be here for years to come, probably when I’m dead and gone, but it will probably still be here. So that’s just something that I’m glad I was able to make and be a part of.

“You don’t get too many songs like that.”

“Pony” was the first single off his 1996 debut album, “Ginuwine…The Bachelor,” which was certified double platinum. The single was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for two weeks and peaked at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Its unmistakable burp-sounding bass was the idea of producer Timbaland while its lyrics came from Ginuwine as well as the late Static Major.

Ginuwine says he and Static Major went back and forth freestyling lyrics until it came together.

“We started and I was like, ‘I’m just a bachelor,’ and he’s like, ‘Looking for a partner,”’ he recalls, singing the intro over the phone. “And that’s how we did it, just went back and forth, line for line.”

But oh, those lyrics.

The song is unabashedly sexually charged, which Ginuwine says was groundbreaking at the time.

“I like to think that that song was one of the songs that broke down a few barriers to allow radio to play certain songs like that,” he says. “Because it’s really a nasty song.

“I won’t say it’s just nasty, but it’s a real sexual song. But I believe we were so creative in putting it together that it was accepted and it broke down barriers.”

Ginuwine (who was born Elgin Baylor Lumpkin) went on to release five more albums, collaborated with many big-name artists and started his own label, Bag Entertainment.

He says Toronto R&B hitmaker the Weeknd is among his fans.

“I actually talked to the Weeknd a while ago and he told me I was a real inspiration to his career, so I appreciated that.”

Ginuwine also formed the group TGT with singers Tank and Tyrese, which he says is trying to work through their differences that have been widely reported in the media.

But it seems “Pony” has had the longest shelf life of all his tunes and Ginuwine hopes fans “never get enough of it.”

“Anything that’s going to continue to keep you out there as an artist, you’ve got to appreciate and embrace it,” he says, noting it’s introduced him to a whole new generation of fans.

“It’s just a good thing to be a part of history and a lot of people will not be able to say that.”

Ginuwine says he’s working on new tunes, but he’ll of course incorporate “Pony” into his setlist when he performs in Toronto.

“If I don’t play that, I’ll probably get booed,” he says with a laugh.

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