*They may not have had an album since the mid-90s, but the R&B group After 7 has been keeping busy performing in various venues around the county, the latest being the recent BET Awards, where they took part in a musical tribute honoring the 1991 film “Five Heartbeats.” [Scroll down to watch.]
“After 7 has never quit,” group member Keith Mitchell told EUR exclusively backstage. “We’ve always been out here doing our music, still performing live around the country and out of the country. We’ve maybe just been a little under the radar, so it’s nice to get a little recognition when we come back to do something like this.”
The group, with Mitchell alongside brothers Kevon and Melvin Edmonds (both brothers of Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds), released their self-titled debut album in 1989. The platinum-selling Virgin Records set put them on the map with hit singles “Heat of the Moment,” “Can’t Stop” and “Ready or Not.”
After 7 also charted big two years later with “Nights Like This,” the group’s contribution to the “Five Heartbeats” soundtrack.
Following the release of two more albums in 1992 and 1995, the trio left Virgin and went their separate ways due to creative differences.
As the lineup stands today, Kevon and Keith are back, but Melvin’s spot is taken by his son, Jason Edmonds – for reasons that have yet to be disclosed.
Without explaining the reason for Melvin’s departure, Keith says the group has no intention of recording another studio album without him. He explains in the exclusive bonus audio below.
Also keeping the trio out of the recording studio is their reluctance to adapt to a 2011 industry hustle that is quite different than what the singers experienced in the 90s.
“The music business has changed profoundly, so it’s a different approach to bringing yourself back into the music game,” said Keith. “But we’ve been fortunate to have great music and great melodies, and we’ve been able to still be relevant in a live performance because we put so much of our career into live performances. It’s made a pathway for us to continue to have some presence, but at the recording level we just haven’t made that next step.”