Keith Sweat has come a long way since his R&B heyday. He is still recording (currently on tour), is the host of the nationally syndicated “The Sweat Hotel,” is launching a dating reality show and now adds author to his list of credits. “Make It Last Forever: The Dos and Don'ts” (Atria, $24) offers tools to help couples build and maintain strong, long-lasting relationships.
Gaining its title from Sweat’s R&B popular 1987 debut album and single, “Make It Last Forever” offers tools to help couples build and maintain strong, long-lasting relationships. According to Sweat, the writing process was very like his songs — very personal and mighty intimate. “It still comes from within, in terms of all the music that I have written, especially because I have written all of the music I have done to this day. The majority of my songs I have talked about relationships — cheating on somebody, being with somebody, loving someone — so it comes naturally for me really,” laughed Sweat, clearly reflecting on his life. “That's why it's called ‘Make It Last Forever: The Dos and Don'ts’ — I've done the dos, and I definitely done the don’ts.”
Over the course of 31 concise chapters, Sweat offers detailed advice on how to better communicate needs and desires to your mate, including suggestions for keeping a relationship romantic and exciting for both parties. “Love is love, you know,” says the crooner. “I mean, you can't help who you love and you can't help how you love. I really see Black love as being a little more passionate — we love hard, you know what I'm trying to say — that's why I can tackle it the way I see it as the way other people don't see.”
Sweat’s record breaking and trail blazing contributions to the pop and R&B genre spans to the late 1980s when he became an architect of the New Jack Swing phenomenon. His album debut sold more than three million copies, producing four R&B hit singles, including “I Want Her,” which also landed at #5 on the Pop charts. The album stats also include a nomination for the 1989 Soul Train Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Song of the Year award. Keith Sweat has delivered five straight #1 albums, selling a worldwide total of 25 million records. His critically acclaimed collaboration with fellow superstars the late Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill on the double platinum “LSG” was launched a decade after he first landed in the music business. His timely transition to the R&B mecca of Atlanta in 1992 added “label impresario” to his roster of talents.
On the cusp of his third decade in the spotlight, Sweat has almost become a genre unto himself, his pleading ballads a mainstay of radio’s “Quiet Storm” format. And, as if in acknowledgement of that, Sweat, hosts the #1 night time nationally syndicated radio show, “The Sweat Hotel,” a live call-in program that boasts 3 million listeners exchanging dialogue with Sweat about matters of the heart.
It was from his experiences as the host of the radio show that this book was born. “Being a radio personality is much the same as being an entertainer on CD,” explained Sweat. “All I did was take my craft to a whole other area which is radio, so now I'm an entertainer on radio. It's pretty much the same thing, you know, to a core audience you're giving them what they want. On my show, ‘The Sweat Hotel,’ which has enabled me to write a book like this, I deal with apologies, confessions and the maintenance matter— I tackle all those topics.”
Sweat also suggests how to fix, mend and reinvigorate troubled relationships.
“The book is for men, as well as women,” said Sweat. “It is not geared towards one specific sex. It's like men as well as women in a relationship sometimes have the tendency to talk at each other and not talk to each other. And that's on both ends. So when I talk about ‘pay to play’ in this book, like the men who get what they want in terms of trying to win a woman over but then when he gets into the relationship he doesn't do all the things that he did initially to win her over and she has a problem with that. So that's geared to man who go into a situation where they need to conduct it or keep it because otherwise that she's going to be very uncomfortable with the situation—or you.”
Keith Sweat’s trademark blend of love talk and R&B slow jams airs on 105.3 WDAS weekdays and Saturdays from midnight to 5 a.m. Keith Sweat will have a presentation and book signing at the African American Museum of Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., on February 21 from 6-8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit aampmuseum.org.