Club Nouveau, after nearly three decades of success, is reemerging with a soon-to-be released album entitled “Consciousness”. The group’s founders, music mogul Jay King and singer, songwriter, arranger Valerie Watson, rejoin original member Samuelle Prater for a number of fresh music projects. King unknowingly launched an empire when he formed the independent label JAY Records, whose first release—the Timex Social Club hit “Rumors”—ushered in the biggest selling single of 1986 (3.5 million copies and #1 R&B single on the Billboard Charts). With a Top 10 single on the Billboard Pop charts for over 56 weeks, the results were history-making as nobody had before taken an R&B song from an indie label to such heights. Although having independently produced, pressed and marketed his own music; King was financially unable to compete at radio plays and so got creative with promoting the group’s music. Bypassing traditional methods, he utilized Macola Records because of its position as an indie manufacturer with no association to a major label… Read more
Such moves from a 24 year old entrepreneur made the year 1986 even more memorable, as King quickly followed up with a label/production deal with Warner Bros. Records and his King Jay Records label. He formed the group Jet Set, which was changed to exploit the subsequent breakup of the Timex Social Club and redubbed Club Nouveau (French for “New Club”), which consisted of King, Valerie Watson and Samuelle Prater as the original vocalists. Other members over time included: Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy, and additionally James L. Richard II, Kevin Irving, David Agent, Walter Phillips and Mario Corbino. King utilized his Warner Bros./King Jay Records label to release the group’s first three albums. The debut—“Life, Love, and Pain”—scored four consecutive hits: “Jealousy” that went to #8 on the Billboard R&B charts and appeared on the soundtrack for “Modern Girls”), “Situation #9” followed at #4 on the charts,
“Why You Treat Me So Bad” and the massive hit “Lean On me”. The sound of 1987 was punctuated by the group’s Bill Withers’ cover and became the #1 Billboard Pop/#2 BillboardR&B platinum single, winning a Grammy for R&B Song of The Year. The Billboard Hot 100 hit was also nominated for two American Music Awards, and received others such as: The Bammy Award, a BRE Drummer Award, two Narm Awards, and a Bay Area Star Award. “Lean On Me” was Club Nouveau’s biggest hit going #1 on the U.S Pop & Dance charts (#5 in Australia, #22 in Austria, #1 in Canada, #9 in Germany, #5 in Ireland, #4 in Netherlands, #1 in New Zealand, #7 in Switzerland and #3 in the UK).
Also in 1987, Club Nouveau’s single ‘Step By Step’ appeared on Madonna’s ‘Who’s That Girl’ multi-platinum soundtrack, while King negotiated a second label/production deal with BMG records and signed three acts. Changes occurred when Foster and McElroy left to form their own production team, while Prater (lead vocalist on “Lean on Me”) pursued a solo career, and were replaced by David Agent and Kevin Irving. 1988 met with a second Club Nouveau album, the critically acclaimed “Listen To The Message” with ‘It’s A Cold, Cold World’ going to #25 on the Billboard R&B charts. Without missing a beat more Billboard hits followed in 1989 after the release of “Under a Nouveau Groove” album, with the single “You Ain’t No Friend of Mine” landing at #12 on the Billboard R&B charts and “What Kind Of Love” from the 1998 “Collection Volume I” album. Notable recordings during the decade that followed included a dancehall-influenced version of the gospel classic “Oh, Happy Day” from the 1992 album “A New Beginning”, and “Let It Go” from the 1995 “Everything Is Black” album. Always standing out as a clean cut, drug free ensemble; the group has never wavered from the focus and hard work that took them to such heights. Again coming together like a family unit—both on and off stage—they continue to bring a consistent act as veterans offering that refined R&B group sound. Original members Jay King, Valerie Watson English and Samuelle Prater are set to deliver the Club Nouveau album “Consciousness”, in the spring of 2014, and as a precursor they will release the single “That Ain’t Love” in October of 2013. As well, fans can anticipate the “Club Nouveau Greatest Hits” project in the fall of 2014; offering previously unreleased versions of “Rumors” & “Thinking About You”.
Biography courtesy of Double XXposure Media
00 – Club Nouveau – Everything Is Cool (Intro) (Everything Is Black, 1995)
01 – Club Nouveau – Everything Is Black (Everything Is Black, 1995)
02 – Club Nouveau – Autumn Breeze (Everything Is Black, 1995)
03 – Club Nouveau – That Ain’t Love (Consciousness, 2014) (Promo)
04 – Club Nouveau – Change The World (Consciousness, 2014) (Promo)
Background music during the interview:
Club Nouveau – Jealousy, Club Nouveau – Why You Treat Me So Bad, Club Nouveau – Situation #9, Donald Byrd – Flight Time, Social Club – Rumors, Club Nouveau – Lean On Me, Africa Bambaataa – Planet Rock, Club Nouveau – Under A Nouveau Groove, Club Nouveau – Money Can’t Buy You Love, Timex Social Club – Rumors, Club Nouveau – Lean On Me, Mikki Bleu – Something Real, Club Nouveau – Fool For Your Love, Club Nouveau – I Like Your Way