*Many people may remember the group Hi-Five who gave us the number one hit, “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game),” in 1990.
The group released a number of top ten singles such as “Unconditional Love,” “She’s Playing Hard to Get,” “Just Can’t Handle It,” “I Can’t Wait Another Minute,” and “Never Should’ve Let You Go.” However, Hi-Five broke up in 1994.
Apparently time away only increased the love the group members had for music and they decided after lead vocalist Tony Thompson passed in 2007, that there was no time like the present to hit the road again.
Original members Shannon Gill, Marcus Sanders, and Treston Irby are now joined by new members, Dre Wonda and Faruq Evans, and with a new label. They are ready to continue the legacy.
While touring, preparing and rehearsing for their concert show, Saunders and Irby chatted with Singersroom about how they evolved as an artists, their long hiatus, Tony’s death, and more.
Marcus: We realize now that we have impacted a lot of male group’s careers. Being recognized after 20 years is a big deal for us. Younger fans appreciate our music. Our music is still relevant and good in the business. That’s a big deal because we looked up to New Edition, Jackson Five, and other groups. They were huge inspirations for us so it’s a good look because without them, fans wouldn’t be able to respect our work so it’s an ongoing cycle.
Treston: The song, “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game),” changed our lives because Bernard Belle and Teddy Riley composed a song that was age appropriate for us. I mean we were 15-16 years old at the time. The song catered to our generation, and Tony’s vocals made it a number one song. We crossed over as a group when we released the song, so many thanks to Teddy and Bernard. Our career wouldn’t be where it is now without our number one smash.
Favorite Songs to Perform
Marcus: “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game” – I love performing that song on stage. We receive a positive reaction from the audience when we sing that song. It’s our number one hit and everyone remembers it.
Treston: I love them all. When we perform the songs, it’s great to see fans know our songs word for word. We see them get in tune and I get upset when time is running out on stage.
Separation in 1994
Marcus: We believe everything happens for a reason. It was truly a time where we needed to grow and develop as artists and men.
Treston: The separation made us humble ourselves in such a way that made us appreciate life. We started to have a different perspective on life and concentrate on the things that’s really important. For that, we have much more to say in the business and music. Back in the early 90′s at 16 years old, we were very successful, but we didn’t really know the ins and outs of the business. It was hard being recognized because outside of BET, our music wasn’t really played. Now, you have MTV and all kinds of stuff, a drastic change.
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