Home Pop Music Interview: Harry Wayne Casey of KC And The Sunshine Band

Interview: Harry Wayne Casey of KC And The Sunshine Band

Interview: Harry Wayne Casey of KC And The Sunshine Band


KC And The Sunshine Band
Picture By Larry Marano

Dave Freak talks to Harry Wayne Casey, longtime frontman of KC And The Sunshine Band

Fashioned by Harry Wayne Casey within the early 70s in Florida, with KC And The Sunshine Band the songwriter, musician and vocalist got down to create an up-tempo sound that was the antithesis of the darker musical tendencies he noticed edging into music through the time.

Impressed by Stax and Motown, and formed by each his Italian roots and a childhood spent singing in church, tracks corresponding to 1974’s Queen Of Golf equipment, That’s The Means (I Like It) the next 12 months and the Saturday Evening Fever-that includes Boogie Sneakers positioned him on the forefront of a worldwide disco growth.

Because the 70s began to attract to an in depth, Casey sensed occasions have been altering for artists related to the disco style. So after 1979’s ballad Please Don’t Go he original a brand new sound, with the intense, upbeat pop smash Give It Up returning KC to the charts after a four-year absence.

It was a exceptional comeback for the author/performer, with the observe – which had first appeared on 1982’s All In A Evening’s Work album initially to little fanfare – ultimately touchdown him a US Prime 20 hit in 1984.

However inside a 12 months of Give It Up’s US success, Casey was planning on calling it a day. “I used to be simply achieved. I used to be uninterested in the enterprise,” he tells Basic Pop of his surprising 1985 retirement.

“I used to be dissatisfied in all of it – it’s very political at occasions and I simply was uninterested in being instructed what to do, when to do it, the best way to do it, you understand? It was simply all of the calls for. My father died that 12 months, too, and I used to be simply drained.

“I’d spent 10 years or extra, day and night time, sacrificing every part in my life – each occasion, each anniversary, each wedding ceremony, every part, every part – every part got here second to what I used to be doing. And I used to be simply drained, and I simply needed to get away from all of it.”

It was recreation over for the person who’d spent his total life up that time working in music. From promoting vinyl at a neighborhood document retailer, he hustled his means into label TK Information, the place he packed bins, earlier than ultimately writing for such artists as George McCrae (the enduring Rock Your Child is a Casey co-write).

Heaving had a style for writing and recording for others, it was only a brief step to his personal debut single Blow Your Whistle and the breakout Queen Of Golf equipment – which broke the band within the UK earlier than the US. However after greater than a decade, Casey felt jaded and burnt out, and retired to do “nothing.”

However a revival in curiosity in disco ultimately led to him returning to the limelight. Since reforming KC And The Sunshine Band within the Nineties, he’s continued to tour, and see his music featured prominently in a number of hundred movies (from Forrest Gump to Minions: The Rise Of Gru and Kingsman: The Secret Service).

He’s recording new music, too, together with the infectious Give Me Some Extra (Aye Yai Yai) with Stylish’s Nile Rodgers and producer/remixer/DJ Tony Moran (whose CV consists of work with such luminaries as Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, George Michael, Mariah Carey and Rihanna).

Discussing Give Me Some Extra’s genesis, Casey says: “[Tony] got here up with this observe and we thought it might be an excellent thought to name Nile and see if he would play on it, and Nile agreed! You understand, I like the observe. It didn’t do what I assumed it might do, however I nonetheless suppose it’s an excellent music.”

It’s certainly one of many new tunes Casey has been engaged on for what’s shaping as much as be a doubtlessly monster launch.

“I’m engaged on a 3CD set – it has 56 songs – that I began placing collectively in 2012,” he says of the gathering, which he hopes to launch within the very close to future. “It’s a bit of late now, due to the pandemic type of delayed it two years, though it’s been a 10-year mission, and I feel it’s among the greatest work I’ve ever achieved.”

On the way it will sound, stylistically, Casey says: “It’s gonna be all around the board. I additionally did a remake of That’s The Means I Prefer it, Boogie Sneakers and Do You Wanna Go Occasion – fully completely different, stripped-down completely different variations that you’d ever anticipate.”

Returning to the UK this summer time to headline Birmingham’s Principally Jazz Funk and Soul Pageant (7-9 July), the now 72-year-old just isn’t contemplating retirement, and is as smitten by his chosen profession as ever.

“I at all times cherished music,” he says. “I’m unsure what my plan was, though I knew, from a really, very early age that I used to be destined to be within the leisure enterprise. I don’t know the best way to clarify it – I even had an age in my head of 23, and by 22 I used to be already a profitable author. So it was actually very unusual to me. It’s all been very magical, mysterious…”

  • KC and The Sunshine Band play Principally Jazz Funk and Soul Pageant, Birmingham, on Sunday 9 July with Incognito, Huey Morgan, and Craig Charles. Different artists showing embody Fats Freddy’s Drop and Goldie (Friday 7 July), and Ezra Collective and Fred Wesley and The New JBs (Saturday 8 July). For particulars go to: mostlyjazz.co.uk
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