Published on August 1st, 2014 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson0
Color Me Badd: “Wow! They’ve still got it.”
Please introduce for me the members of Color Me Badd…
Kevin “KT” Thornton
First things first, can we please address the “Elephant in the Room,” in order to get it out of the way right off the bat…In light of certain events surrounding your friend/former group-mate Bryan Abram’s permanent departure from the fold, can you all please shed some light on what actually all has transpired between you all?
Without going into detail about his personal issues, Bryan has decided to do Bryan Abrams; solo and independent of COLOR ME BADD. His choices were drastically and negatively affecting the brand. Mark and I did as much as we could to support him, but in the end we had to protect the brand and legacy that we built from the beginning. We do pray for Bryan, and hope that he will get his life together in a positive and productive way.
Okay now that that’s been dealt with…Well, this year’s surprise, and very well received might I add, appearance on this year’s BET Awards was your “official” resurgence back onto music scene, and not only that but it was also your first unveiling of new member Martin Kember — How did this situation even come to fruition?
We were contacted by BET, who wanted to do a surprise ’90’s Throwback segment of this year’s award show. We had to contractually keep it a secret from divulging our appearance publicly, and didn’t find out who the other two acts were until we arrived for rehearsal 6 days earlier. Once we all got together…us, TROOP, and SILK…we had a BLAST!!! We all share a common respect for one another.
As an extension to that last question, how did you all discover Mr. Kember in the first place? And, what was it about him specifically that prompted you all to make him 1/3 of CMB?
There came a time when things with Bryan had increasingly gotten worse…even down right ugly. Mark and I knew that we could be faced with having to continue without him. Martin was introduced to us via a mutual friend, Jamie Jones, of ALL 4 ONE.
…Upon meeting Martin, we hit it off quite well. But, what sold me on Martin was when we did an impromptu version of the a cappella song, “HUSH.” His voice blended so well with Mark and mine that I had gotten goose bumps. In time, we’ve gotten to know Martin as an incredible vocalist, family man, and friend.
With that being said, it’s been over sixteen long years since the masses last heard from you all — Where exactly have you all been? And, what all have you all been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, during this lengthy musical hiatus?
All of us have families now. I believe that God granted us much needed time to raise our children. Now that they are older, it’s time for us to get back to work on what we do best…MUSIC!
…However, personally, I’ve gotten involved heavily in the ministry. I became a licensed minister in 2006. My goal, even now, is to share with others the love that Christ has so graciously shared with me over the years.
…That is why this time around, we are very conscious of our duty to “give back” as much as possible.
Why did you all opt to take so much time off between records?
There is a lot that goes into making records. We are extremely creative and passionate individuals that seek to create the absolute prime musical experience for our fans. With that said, part of it is creativity.
…Another aspect would be “the business.” The late, great Luther Vandross once said, “The music industry is 10% talent and 90% business.” So, another reason would be making sure that our business is handled correctly behind the scenes.
…Finally, there is the aspect of politics. Sometimes artists get sucked into the political agendas of the powers that be. We’ve been no exception to that reality of the business.
…Nevertheless, one lives…One learns…and one perseveres to the end. We are dedicated to making good music for our fans for as long as they will have us.
In having said that, what was it about NOW, in 20-14, that made you all decide to make this “comeback” at this given time?
We’ve actually been back since 2010 doing shows. I believe that with all of behind the scenes drama that we had to endure with the former member, that we were not ready to make a major public appearance. I earnestly believe that once the dynamic changed more positively, that God blessed us with open doors. And guess what? More doors are about to open! Stay tuned!
How has not only the business of music in general, but, even more-so, you all collectively, either changed and/or evolved since your whole inception into music?
Social media has drastically changed the entire dynamic of the music industry, insomuch as record companies have had to adapt and change their whole structure of business since we were out.
…It has done so by giving artists immediate and direct contact with the consumer. In fact, products that could have taken months to promote back in the day can reach myriads of people in seconds.
…As far as how we’ve changed as individuals, I believe that vocally we have gotten stronger. With regards to business, we have gotten wiser. In reference to being artists, we have matured.
Longevity, what do you all attribute yours to?
God. Our love of music. Our respect for one another and others. And, the dedication of our wonderful fans.
Do you all have any other outside/additional future aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
Personally, I love ministry and helping people in need. I am an encourager by nature. So, I will most likely be involved in some aspect of serving others.
…In addition, I’ve done some plays and love acting. It’s fun.
…All of us have charitable hearts. So, we all would probably be doing some sort of outreach to help others.
…Mark and Martin are very gifted on the production side of the industry, and would most likely write and produce for other artists as well.
On a more serious note, are you all happy with the current state of R&B? And, even more specifically, when it comes to the overall sound-scape of today’s current music trends, where exactly do you all “fit in?”
I personally love the fact that music in general is getting back to its roots…live instruments…real vocals…harmonies…and substance in its lyrical content. These are the musical elements that we desire to preserve in our comeback.
To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?
We have had an amazing career with many memorable moments. But, one of the most monumental occurrences in our career would have to be the inclusion of our first single in the movie NEW JACK CITY; and consequently the reception of the song by the masses.
…That gave us our beginning. That gave us legs to run. That gave us the tools to build the foundation of the legacy we possess to this day.
Looking ahead, say five or even ten years from now, where do you all see yourselves?
Making hits! And, making people say, “Wow! They’ve still got it.”
As for the immediate, what’s next for Color Me Badd?
We are dedicated to releasing some phenomenal music, and to continue performing. For me, performing is one of the greatest experiences in life!
Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?
People may keep up with us on Twitter at @The ColorMeBadd and on our website: www.colormebaddmusic.com.
Any “parting” words for our readers?
Thank you Todd for your time and interest in interviewing us.
…We are forever grateful for the love and support of our fans. We realize without you there is no us! Therefore, we are dedicated to keeping you in mind as we continue laying the building blocks of the legacy that you helped us create.
…May God richly bless and keep you all in His loving care!
Kevin K. Thornton
CMB Music Group, LLC