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After 7

Saturday, July 14, 2018, 5:00 AM

It has been said that true talent never dies. And in the midst of a classic R&B revival, the original group line up of the Platinum R&B vocal trio, After 7, makes a remarkably dynamic return with their unmistakable sound. Riding the wave of their new Billboard Adult R&B hit, I Want You, and reunited with esteemed Grammy winning producer/songwriter Kenneth Babyface Edmonds and Daryl Simmons after a 20-year hiatus, After 7s new single and forthcoming album marks a fine return to form a vocal group that adeptly distills the essence of soul.Founded in Indiana by brothers Kevon and Melvin Edmonds along with friend Keith Mitchell, After 7 began as a trio intent on refining their live show at local venues. Some years following the groups inception, Kevon and Melvins younger brother, Kenneth Babyface Edmonds, began to take the R&B charts by storm with his unique and unparalleled musical prowess. As one half of a songwriting/ production duo, L.A. & Babyface, the younger Edmonds brother, racked up a bevy of hits with new and established artists such as Karyn White, Paula Abdul, and Bobby Brown. At that time, everything they touched turned platinum or gold, recalls Keith. But we never thought that lever would be pushed in our direction as a trio.However it did. In 1988, fate was on the groups side. After relocating to Los Angeles to join L.A. & Babyface, they scored a recording contract with Virgin Records and began work on their eponymous debut album. Released the following year, After 7 was an instant success. The album was eventually certified Platinum and produced two #1 Billboard R&B singles: Cant Stop and Ready Or Not. The two singles subsequently reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and were both certified Gold. We walked in the studio and we didnt know who we were, says Keith. So it was a beautiful thing that we had them to guide us and help create. Without question, the aforementioned lever had finally and firmly been pushed forward in After 7s direction.On the heels of their outstanding debut album, the group spent the better part of the next three years on tour with the likes of Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, The Whispers, and Whitney Houston. Along the way, they released a top 10 R&B hit with Nights Like This, a slice of throwback soul which served as the lead single from the soundtrack of the 1991 motion picture The Five Heartbeats. Yet, when they prepared themselves to return to the studio to record a follow up, approaches to R&B music production and songwriting had already begun to shift around them. In addition, L.A. & Babyface were preoccupied with starting a new venture in Atlanta that would become LaFace Records a torchbearer for the citys burgeoning music scene and stable for some of the industrys future legendary artists. After 7 found themselves charged with the great task of commanding their own ship. It forced us to grow, says Kevon. We had to prove ourselves.The group went to Atlanta and enlisted the help of producers, such as then up and coming Dallas Austin, to help shape their sophomore effort, Takin My Time. Released in 1992, the album proved to be a rite of passage for After 7. It required the group to strike a delicate balance between updating their sound, to reflecting the times while maintaining their rich, soulful core. The group employed just the right blend as Takin My Time reached #8 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart and was eventually certified Gold. The hip hop flavored lead single Kickin It, reached #6 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart while the follow up, Baby Im For Real/ Natural High a reeling dual remake of two classic soul ballads by The Originals and Bloodstone respectively reached #5. It was evident and clear that the trio had not lost their stride. For their third album, Reflections, After 7 looked to the rear view mirror to map their direction going forward. With a refined dynamic and enhanced sense of purpose, the group was more in possession of itself than ever before. For the

Cost: $39
Tickets: http://www.ticketnetwork.com/tix/tickets-3531336.aspx

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510 Embarcadero West
Oakland, CA 94607

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