KC & The Sunshine Band: The kings of the disco are back

Samedi 5 Septembre 2015

Interview. Harry Wayne "KC" Casey is back with his Sunshine Band. They have just released the cover album, Feeling You - The '60s and they will play live in Amsterdam, on October 2015.


Photo Credit - A. Streiber
Photo Credit - A. Streiber
When did you feel that music was your vocation?

Ever since I was a child, I told my classmates and teachers that "I was going to be an entertainer."  I knew from a very young age that singing and writing songs was my calling.

Your music has become a symbol of the 70’s. How could you define the music and the sound of KC & the Sunshine Band?

As I was born and raised in Miami, I heard the sounds of Junkanoo and Caribbean beats when I was young, so they always played into my musical development.  When I started writing, recording and producing, you can hear the influence.  I only ever intended to make music that made people want to get up and dance.  It seems to have made a long-standing impact, especially on the sounds of the '70s.

Miami was a hot spot for disco in the 70’s. What memories do you have of that time?

The 70s was an exciting time in Miami for music, but I was so busy writing, recording and producing, that I didn't see much of the action.  I spent all my time in the studio.

TK Records has become a cult record label. Could you tell me more about the way TK works and the atmosphere at the studios?

TK Records was like a family.  We had a lot of freedom to experiment with new grooves, and as a producer and writer, I worked with a lot of talent-George McCrae and Rock Your Baby, for example, to lay down tracks that people around the world really connected with.  After "Rock Your Baby" became a world-wide hit, I knew it was my time to write and record my own tracks, I had already worked with so many talented artists.  The time was right for KC and the Sunshine Band to come to the forefront.

“That’s the Way I Like it” is your musical signature. Could you tell me the story of this song?

"That's The Way (I Like It)" was originally a much racier song- sort of like Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby."  But I decided to leave the interpretation to the listener and left the lyric to "uh-huh uh-huh."  It's simply a love song, set to a groove that still resonates with people, young and old, today.

KC & the Sunshine Band slowly disappeared in the 80’s. What happened?

After I released "Give It Up," I gave it up.  I was worn out by the music business, and I retired.  Thankfully, The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, took me aside and told me that I needed to do what I was born to do.  U.S. talk show host Arsenio Hall also welcomed me to perform on his TV show while I was in retirement.  I realized I had to return to the work I love doing.

Your new album is made of covers from the 60s. How did you select the songs?

Feeling You-The '60s, is a musical diary of my life. Every song on the album holds a special memory for me, and I wanted to share that with the audience, while making a new impression on these cover versions of songs that were so important for me while I was young.

What was the main challenge making of the Feeling You album?

Staying away from Motown songs.  The Motown catalog, from the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye...everyone...all were tremendous influences.  I didn't want to do a Motown-only record, but who can resist these songs?

Could you tell me more about The Sunshine Band? Is there still original members in the band?

While there are no original members of the Sunshine Band from the earliest recordings, I've been working with Latin percussionist Fermin Goytisolo for nearly 40 years.  My current band have the heart and soul of the original Sunshine Band, which fans can see when we play live.

Is there a chance to see you live in Europe and more particularly in France in the near future?

Definitely!  KC and the Sunshine Band will headline RTL's "Let's Dance" concerts (inspired by the Netherlands' successful TV show of the same name) at the Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, 29 and 30 October, 2015.  http://www.letsdance.nl/

We hope to expand this tour to Europe in 2016, as fans throughout Europe have been contacting us, and telling us that it's time to return to Europe after such a long absence.


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Boris Plantier