T.O.K. celebrating 15 at Famous
The singing group might have started as a ploy to get attention from their female counterparts during their high-school days, but now T.O.K. is looking forward to an event celebrating 15 years in the industry at Famous Nightclub in Portmore on October 18.
"We just started to sing to get a few girls and look at us 15 years later, one of the biggest dancehall acts ever," said Flexx, one of the members of T.O.K.
"Woman a one of the hardest thing to get in high school, enuh. If you are not one of the popular ballers, play a sport, or bright, you better can sing," fellow member Craigy T added laughing.
Bay-C explained that it is important for the group to return to Portmore for the show, as that was one of the first places where they performed.
"Part of it is that we started out at Cactus in Portmore, so it is really important for us to go back and have the anniversary in Portmore at the biggest club in Portmore, which is Famous. It's kinda like a full circle for us. Three quarters of the group is from Portmore, so it was really important for us to go back to Portmore," Bay-C told The Gleaner.
"We weren't even supposed to be in the club (Cactus). We were underage and I came in slippers and the security said no slippers in the club. So is whole heap of styling we go through. So we have to shout out to Father Earle who was pushing for us to be in the club and Jerry D who was instrumental in the early days."
But celebrating 15 years is a major milestone for the group that has created waves with songs like Footprints, Eagles Cry and Guardian Angel.
"It feels good to be celebrating 15 years. Not many artistes can maintain the level of consistency that we have had throughout the years and still be relevant," Alex said.
This is especially significant since it is a group with four different persons and personalities.
"We started as a group in school days, enuh, so we go through all kinds of changes as a group and personally. We have had our ups and downs, but for the most part, it has been ups for us. We have been blessed to have a career that reaches all over the world. We have a fan base that is huge and not a lot of people can say that from this industry," Flexx added.
As for the long-term future of the group, the members say it is unpredictable. Making reference to the Rolling Stones band that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, they say the group could last just as long.
"All of the members love music, so much so, there is no stepping away from music. What we will continue to do is reinvent ourselves. So the future is not predictable for us at all. It is like an evolution. You don't know the end game, but you know you won't stop along the way," Bay-C said.
Celebrating with fans
One thing the group is sure about, however, is the 15-year celebration on October 18 at Famous Nightclub, and for the event, Bay-C promised "... clubbing, partying, a bit of live performances, but it is just really celebrating with the fans and the industry. It won't be like a stage show."
And going forward, Alex added that they "plan to broaden the brand T.O.K."
This has already started with their reality TV show, T.O.K.: Taking Over, that is currently airing on CVM TV. The group also released its EP, Taking Over, on September 23 and plans to release the full album of the same name next year. They say they are also looking forward to next year's staging of the Blue Mountain Music Festival, which is the brainchild of T.O.K. member, Bay-C.