Kenny Thomas - Is it true that you worked with the great Quincy Jones? What was THAT like?
Yes, I had the pleasure of singing for Quincy Jones when he was in the UK. There were a load of great artistes on the bill that night all paying tribute to him. I sang Georgia On My Mind made famous by Ray Charles, a great friend of Quincy’s. The one enduring memory of that evening will always be standing on the stage at the end of the night, singing We Are The World with Quincy, his arm around my shoulder. I remember thinking at the time “No way man, this is The Q, and I’m singing one of his biggest hits along with him”. Very surreal indeed. The man is a legend and a genius and I felt truly blessed to be there.
How did you end up working with Living In A Box?
I met the Box guys back in the day in the Chrysalis Records building. We were signed to same label. They were having hit records long before I was and as a new artist on the label, I had a huge amount of respect for them. I really loved the vibe of their songs and their productions, and they were clearly influenced by a lot of same 80’s US soul music as I was. I never imagined that all these years later I would get a call from Marcus asking me if I would like to work with them. I’ve always seen life and music as something of an adventure and this is another aspect of that for me. It’s so cool that this doesn’t feel like a random choice to work together. We have history that goes way back and the DNA of our musical styles is so similar that this collaboration seems totally natural.Are you going to be singing some of your own songs at the Living In A Box shows?
Yes, definitely! Fans coming to see The Box will hear their hits and people who want to hear some of mine will get the chance to hear those too. I think the fans will hear six Top 10 records in our set, which is quite something. From rehearsals I can tell you it works really, really well; exciting times.What have you been up to recently?
At the moment, I’m in the studio recording a new soul album which will be out later this year. I’m always out doing live shows up and down the country, especially soul weekenders. I’ve even ventured into the world of jazz and released a piano/vocal album called The Thomas Brown Affair, with pianist Wayne Brown. Most recently, I had the great honour and privilege of performing live with the incredible Jocelyn Brown.What's your favourite Living In A Box song and why?
My favourite Box song has to be Room In Your Heart. It’s such a well-crafted and beautiful melody that has such a soulfulness to it. I can’t wait to sing it with them. In some ways it’s not too dissimilar to one of my songs called “Tender Love” which was written by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. It has that classic 80’s ballad sound, which is perfect for me.How do you feel about taking over from Richard Darbyshire?
Joining Living In A Box and taking over from Richard is not something you do lightly. He is and always will be a singer that I have nothing but total respect for, his voice is amazing. I know he’s still great friends with the guys in the band but I understand that he just doesn’t want to work in the music business anymore. He’s a blue-eyed soul boy like myself and I think I will, in my own way, keep some of his vibe alive when we go out and perform later this year at the various festivals and live shows. I think the Box story is about to enter a new phase and I’m excited to be a part of it… it’s going to be fantastic!