Six years have elapsed since Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank conceived the idea of teaming up as TGT. But the R&B supergroup isn’t wasting any more time.
This week, TGT announced its Atlantic debut album, “3 Kings,” will arrive at retail on Aug. 20. In fact, the trio has already hit the road with its “3 Kings” Tour. Kicking off June 26 in Oakland, Calif. with recent shows at Hampton, Virginia’s Jazz Festival, New York City’s “Groovin’ in the Park” festival, as well as stops in Miami (July 4), Atlanta (July 6) and the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans (July 7), the tour wraps Aug. 4 in Atlanta.
Also announced recently was TGT’s new single, “I Need.” The romantic ballad is the follow-up to the trio’s seductive lead single “Sex Never Felt Better,” which peaked at No. 13 on Adult R&B. Featuring collaborations with such producers and songwriters as the Underdogs, Lonny Bereal, Ivan Barias and Carvin Haggins and Tim & Bob, the 15-track set artfully melds classic and contemporary R&B — both sonically and production-wise. Tying a ribbon around the soul-oozing package: the combustible chemistry of the voices behind such solo hits as “How You Gonna Act Like That,” “Differences” and “Maybe I Deserve.”
It’s all part and parcel of the trio’s quest: to bring back true R&B. “We want to get R&B back in a place where it’s heard by everybody and not just older grown folks,” says Tank during an often uproarious interview with TGT recently at Billboard’s Los Angeles office. “We want to inspire the younger generation the way New Edition, R. Kelly, Guy and others inspired us.”
It was Tank who came up with the “3 Kings” album moniker. “Tyrese wanted to call it ‘TGT: Ignited,’ says Tank in an overdramatic voice, drawing laughter from Ginuwine and Tyrese.
“That’s because what we do ignites bedrooms,” declares Tyrese. “But seriously, I feel this is the culmination of three great careers. We’ve put in the work. And that’s what you’ll hear on this album and see on this tour.”
Friends for nearly 10 years, the three crooners initially whetted fans’ appetite for their pairing in 2007 with a remix of Tank’s single “Please Don’t Go.” However, various contractual issues derailed momentum until last year when Atlantic signed the trio.
Conversations regarding the tone, style and direction for “3 Kings” began during boot camp sessions at Tyrese’s home. Then recording segued over to the Underdogs’ studio, where the three singers were all physically on hand to collaborate and record with the writers and producers.
Besides, “Sex…” and “I Need,” the album’s other standout tracks include the Tank-penned “Explode” and “Weekend Love.” Rapper Problem is the set’s only featured guest on the track “Ain’t No Fun.”
TGT has a deal for a second album. But Ginuwine, the self-described “quiet one” of the group, says the members are “using this platform to promote our solo careers as well. So maybe sometime in 2015,” fans can expect the next TGT album.
“At the end of the day, R&B is what we know,” adds Tyrese who says the next installment in the successful “Fast & Furious” film franchise will begin production soon. “So we’re looking to be around for 20-40 more years, inspiring people to enjoy this music all over again. True R&B is never going to get old.”