Speaking with EUR’s Lee Bailey, frontman Morris Day as well as producer (and band member) Jimmy Jam label the turn of events as “freeing” in terms of being under a new name, The Original 7even, and providing a new trail to blaze, despite name recognition as The Time.
The name change to The Original 7even came as a mixed blessing for Day, Jam and fellow bandmates Terry Lewis, Jellybean Johnson, Jerome Benton, Monty Moir and Jesse Johnson as they found themselves unable to use the name they’ve built their careers under. In light of Prince owning the name of The Time, the collective reached a crossroads with the music icon’s refusal to let them use their former moniker.
“Simply, business is business and at a certain point we realized that we’re not going to be able to use the name The Time,” Jam explained. “The decision was made at that point that we could either continue to, shall we say, negotiate or argue or plead or whatever. We decided to go the route of let’s not hold things up because of the name. Let’s embrace the opportunity to move forward in a new era, with a new outlook, with a new album and that’s what we did. We think the name reflects exactly who we are. We are the Original 7even and that basically, for me, covers it.”
The change to the Original 7even came after members explored different names to call themselves. Ultimately, the Original 7even provided a good fit for the group, Jam noted. Despite Prince not letting the group use the name The Time, Day sees the move as a positive.
“The good thing about it was in a way he pushed us out of the nest, so to speak, because we had to rethink this whole thing and I think we approached it differently,” he stated. “I think it’s more interesting because now there’s something more to talk about because we changed the name…we approached the whole project differently, as the Original 7even versus being The Time. So in a way, he forced us to think outside the box and expand this whole thing. And I think it made the project even greater.”
History aside, Day and Jam hope fans as well as Prince enjoy “Condensate” and appreciate the effort that went into their latest creation.
“We hope that he enjoys the music. We hope that he’s proud of us for what we’re doing. And we think he will be,” Jam said. “We think he will love the record and I think he will sit back and whether he admits it or not he will go ‘I taught them well.’”
To celebrate the release of “Condensate,” on Tuesday (Oct. 18), the Original 7even will hold a screening and Q&A session for its new documentary at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles in LA Live. The 80-minute documentary, which will be available Tuesday in a fan pack with the album at Best Buy, will center on the history and formation of the group as well as feature members discussing popular stories involving them over the years. Tickets for the screening are $10 and are available for 200 people.
On Wednesday (Oct. 19), fans will be treated to the Original 7even’s debut live performance at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles at LA Live. Tickets for the event are on sale now.
The video for the group’s latest single, “#Trendin,” which is slated to premieres this week on Centric. You can check it out below or at the band’s website: www.theoriginal7ven.com.
Written by By Chris Richburg / [email protected]