Take 6 Interview

Answers by Claude McKnight
Q) Back in 1988 or so, I remember first being introduced to the music of Take 6 when I saw the video for “Spread Love” on VH1, which was VH-1 at the time, with much of their programming being hosted by Rosie O’Donnell. Back then your group had a video on VH1. Do you think VH1 will play your videos today— why or why not?
A) I honestly don’t know whether they would play our videos now or not. I do believe however that there is music on this new CD that is VERY worthy of getting a shot for video rotation. You never really know from year to year what the “climate” will be in the music business.
Q) What do you consider to be Take 6’s biggest hit, the one song most people associate you with, and why?
A) Our biggest song, and probably the one song that defines us, was our first single, “Spread Love.” I think that’s the case because it came out of nowhere for people— many had not really heard this style of music in the mainstream.
Q) Take 6 is unique because it’s gospel, pop, R&B and jazz sounds all combined together with a rich and soothing harmony. Name the members of your group, what parts they sing, and for each member, include one musical artist they look up to and are always talking about.
A) Claude McKnight…1st tenor….for me…I have always loved James Ingram, Michael McDonald, The Winans; I don’t know if it’s a good idea to answer for the other members, who they “look up to” or are always thinking about. There are so many different artists for each member. Mark Kibble…1st tenor…David Thomas…1st/2nd tenor…Joey Kibble…1st/2nd tenor…Cedric Dent…baritone…Alvin Chea…bass…
Q) With the new CD, “Feels Good,” what makes this CD different from your previous projects, and why do you think a longtime fan would want to buy this CD?
A) This new CD is/was a different kind of labor of love. It’s our first on our newly formed Take 6 Records’ label, and it’s the FIRST project we’ve done where every single member of the group completely loves the CD from top to bottom. I believe the Hand of God orchestrated the writing/arranging/recording/mixing…you get my point!…LOL.
Q) Describe your audience, and indicate whether or not it has changed over the years.
A) Our audience can best be described as a cross-section of every facet of life. We’ve seen young/old/Black/White and everyone-thing in between. It’s very interesting, and I believe a testament to the fact that we write and perform so many different styles of music, even in this package of “A cappella Soul.”
Q) You’ve won several Grammys and Doves, and in fact, your group has won more awards from different prestigious organizations than most groups could ever hope to win in a lifetime. What do these awards mean to you?
A) Honestly the awards are just a “pat on the back” symbolizing what others in our field may think of us at any given moment. They’re something that we appreciate, but we take very seriously that we aren’t in this for the awards, but, rather, to “share” a very important message with people who we really think need to hear it.
Q) Do the members of Take 6 live near one another? Where do they live? Do they go to church together? If so, where— what kind of church or churches? Fill me in.
A) Four of us live in Nashville and two live in Los Angeles. I believe we all pretty much worship in different churches at this time. We tend to need our time away from each other as well…LOL.
Q) What advice would you have for singers to take good care of their voices? What are some of the practical things you do to keep your voice in tip-top shape?
A) One thing I think is very important for the voice is rest— I can’t emphasize that point enough. As the body feels, the voice will follow. Also for me, drinking plenty of water and being as relaxed as possible when time to perform is crucial.
Q) What is new with your brother Brian and his career? Have you two recorded together?
A) My brother Brian is always recording— he’s working on a new project even now. He’s a very busy writer/producer, and yes, we have recorded before together. He’s recorded with Take 6 and I’ve been on a couple of his CDs.
Q) How many albums have you sold, overall, in your career?
A) I’m not exactly sure how many albums we’ve sold. You’d have to research that one for me.
Q) What do you think of Jesus?
A) I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and also a friend like no other.
Q) When you have a bad day, what helps “get you through?”
A) Knowing that, “Weeping may endure for a night…but…Joy cometh in the morning!!!”
Q) Besides singing, what are some of the other activities you and the guys are involved in?
A) Most of us also produce other artists. We play basketball and lift weights. Cedric teaches at a university, so we all have rather full plates outside of Take 6 as well.
Q) What song on the new CD, “Feels Good,” knocks your socks off, and why?
A) “More Than Ever.” It’s just a song that I feel everyone can/should be able to relate to and the vocal arrangement is very haunting and beautiful.
Q) Most groups break up after about 3 or 4 years and go their separate ways. How come Take 6 has been able to last for 20 years?
A) I feel that this is the Lord’s group, and what the Lord has brought together “let no man break-up!” LOL. Honestly…it’s with much prayer and maturity that we’ve been able to stay together for so long.
Q) What spiritual advice do you have for people who are searching for God?
A) I would just say…open your Heart…let Him in…He won’t let you down…EVER!
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