Exclusive: The long awaited return of former Kool And The Gang singer JT Taylor
Former Kool And The Gang singer James JT Taylor is nearing completion on his first solo album for 15 years, Classic Pop can reveal.
Taylor is working with a series of producers on the new songs, having released his last album A Brand New Me in 2000.
The singer behind hits such as Celebration and Ladies’ Night also hopes to tour the UK soon, but admitted he finds it hard to get promoters to book him in Britain.
Taylor told us: “I haven’t toured in Europe since I left Kool And The Gang. The problem is, promoters say: ‘But we’ve just had Kool And The Gang play here.’ Well, yeah, but Kool And The Gang ain’t me. I have a totally different show. People know me, and they certainly know my voice, but I’m not as big a name as Kool And The Gang. But I’d play in the UK like a shot if the chance arose.”
Speaking of his new material, Taylor added: “I’m putting songs together now, and I’ll start releasing them periodically every few months. It feels like there’s a renaissance of my sound. Lyrically, the new album is about the heartbeat of the world. It’s political – what’s in the news and what’s up with everything. I grew up listening to Gil Scott Heron and Marvin Gaye: People who spoke about issues, as well as love and fun. The sound is a combination of what I do and working with some DJs.”
Taylor left Kool And The Gang in 1988, before rejoining briefly for 1996’s album State Of Affairs. He said: “I wish the band the best, but part of the break-up was very distasteful. It’s like arguing with your siblings, when you suddenly turn your head and go ‘Why would you say that?’ They claim I was never really part of the group, and I don’t know why they’d say that. But I’ve tried to move on. They do their thing and I do mine.”
In the new issue of Classic Pop, on shelves now, Taylor talks about his involvement on the original Band Aid single, alongside exclusive interviews with Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, Spandau Ballet, Bananarama, Status Quo, Heaven 17, Paul Young, The Boomtown Rats and Jody Watley.