When Silk takes the stage, the five-man R&B harmony group makes it a mission to electrify the crowd with their dynamic vocal abilities and thrilling stage presence-an all too rare commodity on the contemporary R&B scene. Always on their A-game, Silk is a constant reminder of just how thrilling a male R&B vocal group can be, in a musical style perfected by a number of great talents ranging from The Temptations to Boyz II Men. Silk emerged in the 90s with a string of sexy and timeless hits such as “Freak Me,” “Hooked On You” and “Lose Control” among other memorable anthems. Their smooth harmonies live up to their name and they have reigned as one of the greatest male R&B vocal groups of the past 25 years.
They continue-with all five original hit-making members now that lead vocalist Lil G has returned-to tour and mesmerize large audiences with hits and stunning harmony singing and emotive lead vocals. On March 18, 2016, Silk will release Quiet Storm via Silk Entertainment/Shanachie Entertainment, their long-awaited new album, and first in a decade. Featuring production by Wirlie Morris, who has produced hits for Charlie Wilson, Keith Sweat and Dru Hill, the album delivers a sparkling set of all-originals that deliver Silk’s classic style but with an updated and refreshing sound palette.
Silk got together as teenagers in 1989 in Atlanta and before long their talents caught the eye of hit-making artist/producer Keith Sweat, who signed the young singers,becoming their mentor. By 1992 their classic line-up of Gary “Big G” Glenn, Gary “Li’l G” Jenkins, Timothy “Timzo” Cameron, Jimmy Gates, Jr., and Jonathan “John John” Rasboro had solidified and Silk scored their first hit with “Happy Days,” followed by their #1 R&B smash “Freak Me” in 1993. Silk was blessed with a decade-plus run of charts hits, including such staples as “Lose Control,” “Girl U For Me,” “I Can Go Deep,” “Hooked On You” and “Meeting In My Bedroom,” selling nearly 3 million albums in the process. In 2004 “Li’l G” Jenkins launched a solo career, appearing in Tyler Perry’s play Madea’s Family Reunion and the group continued as a quartet, releasing an album of covers, Always & Forever in 2006 and performing concerts worldwide.
In 2014, “Li’l G” rejoined the group and they began working on material for a new album. Show-stopping performances on televised Soul Train Awards, BET Music Awards and the Trumpet Awards, demonstrated Silk‘s ongoing vitality and whetted their fans appetite for new Silk music. The Quiet Storm album is the fruit of two years of crafting just the right material at the right time!
UB recently caught up with the fellas of Silk to discuss Quiet Storm. Aries also talked to Silk about their return, their opinion of Day 26‘s Lose Control cover, best advice from Keith Sweat and what we can expect next.
We’re also happy to give you an Exclusive First Listen of Silk’s “Slow Grind” from “Quiet Storm.”
Silk (Jimmy): The new album is called Quiet Storm and comes out March 18th.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who did you guys work with on the album?
Silk (Jimmy): We worked with a guy from the Hit Squad J-Dub, Darrell Delite who did Meeting in My Bedroom and other classic Silk songs. Wirlie Morris, Marcus “Daheatmizer” Devine and Anwar Phillips.
Silk (John-John): It’s definitely a well rounded Silk classic sensual album. We’re looking forward to giving it to you guys.
UrbanBridgez.com: Love the album, takes me back to Lose Control.
Silk: Thank you!
Silk (Jimmy): That’s good news!
UrbanBridgez.com: “Baby Maker” is hot and definitely has a Prince vibe to it, was that the intention?
Silk (Timzo): Everybody says that. It kind of was not on purpose, but I know when I listen to it from a personal standpoint I kind of thought it too. We’ve had various people say that to us that have heard the record. A Prince vibe, but with a Silk twist to it. It’s always a good thing to be mentioned in the same sentence as Prince. He’s just phenomenal as an artist, writer and musician.
UrbanBridgez.com: What made you guys want to return now?
Silk (John-John): Well we’re still here, 22 years in the game. We’re still together with all original 5 members. So we wanted to do another record and said let’s do it! We all felt strongly about it, so we put our all into it.
Silk (Jimmy): Doing it independent was great. We got to take our time and not be pressured to putting it out sooner than we were ready. This is our first major/independent record that’s being released on Silk Entertainment/Shanachie Entertainment. We had a chance to do it our way and we’re happy with the ending results.
UrbanBridgez.com: Day 26 remade Lose Control and if you ask me did a hell of a job, what did you guys think of the cover?
Silk (John-John): I heard it and think they did a really good job!
Silk (Timzo): We’re actually cool with those guys and see each other off and on. We had to get a chance to run into one of the members in L.A. at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles. I mean I took it upon myself to make sure that I expressed to him that we really liked their rendition of Lose Control. He said it was a song they all love and they were kind of inspired by that one so they wanted to record it.
Silk (Jimmy): It’s an honor man, to be held and looked at in that light, to the point that somebody wants to re-do your song. That’s just all around positive. I actually love that record.
UrbanBridgez.com: Take us back to the Lose Control project, what were your goals as a group then and have you achieved them?
Silk (Jimmy): Personally I think we just love to sing. We always wanted to sing and be famous. When you first get in the industry, that’s one of your main goals is to be famous. We always wanted to get awards and that type of thing. It was just one of our passions to sing like we had made it to hopefully get those accolades. That’s pretty much how it is today still, we’re striving for those awards and we have the same passion and pride that we’ve always had all those years ago. We just hope everybody loves the music we’re doing now as they did the music in the past.
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s the best advice Keith Sweat ever gave you guys?
Silk (Timzo): A lot of stuff, but the main one was to stick to what we do and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When we would be in the studio recording, he would always tell us if you can’t perform it live on stage, don’t record it. So we’ve always stuck to that when it’s came to our recording and getting on stage doing it live.
UrbanBridgez.com: What else can fans expect from you guys this year?
Silk (John-John): We’re gearing up for tours and what not for the summer. We’re currently in strong negotiations with some other R&B artists to put together some summer tours. We’re just really going to be out working the record and making sure everybody is aware of it. Just aware that we’re back and just pushing everything forward man. We’ve been gone a good while now and we got a lot of ground that we want to cover. We’re excite that people are loving the new single and video. So we’re just going to jump back in head first and keep it moving.
Silk (Jimmy): We also have an Unplugged performance album with a band that we’re recording. Something that is long overdue that we’ve been wanting to do for years now. We finally got to the point of actually putting it together.
Silk (John-John): The live record will have about 5 songs from the new album and like 3 from previous ones. Just raw and uncut.
Silk (Timzo): We’re shooting it in Atlanta and will have people from our social media’s come out and be apart of it. We can’t wait.
UrbanBridgez.com: Anything else you want to leave with your fans?
Silk (Jimmy): Yeah we want the fans to know how they can reach us on social media @SilkFans where you can find out all of our touring info, [Twitter, Facebook and Instagram] Go on there and follow us!
Next week check back for our UB Review of “Quiet Storm” and how to enter for a chance for you to win a copy!