If you thought Xscape was going to slink away quietly after wrapping their reunion tour a couple of weeks ago, well, that would be incorrect.
The ladies (or, at least three of them) – Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, LaTocha Scott and Tamika Scott – gathered in an Atlanta studio Wednesday afternoon with super producer “Tricky” Stewart to play some new material and talk about their plans for 2018.
Xscape is embarking on this next chapter sans Kandi Burruss, who is starring in “Chicago” on Broadway as Matron “Mama” Morton through March 11.
Burruss had already expressed a desire to move on months ago, saying she preferred to keep the legacy of Xscape in the ‘90s, when the quartet topped the charts with “Just Kickin’ It,” “Understanding” and “Who Can I Run To.”
But even though Cottle said in our Facebook Live conversation below that Xscape will always be a foursome, the music on the EP “Here For It,” arriving March 2, is the work of the trio.
The songs previewed for members of the media on Wednesday were an engaging mixture of slow jam finger-snappers (“Memory Lane”), a club banger title track that sounds like a Missy Elliott/Timbaland jam and the made-for-arena-singalong, “Last of Me,” a sweeping ballad that could have major crossover appeal.
Cottle said the goal of the new music was to bridge the old and the current.
“In a perfect world, you grab your core audience and then expand,” she said.
The girls recorded six songs in six nights during rehearsals for their reunion tour last fall, heading into the studio in the wee hours to work with Stewart on the new tracks.
Once the tour started – a successful run that found Xscape playing arenas for the first time in their career – it became obvious through fan interactions that there was a craving for new Xscape music.
“We still believe in our sound and our music,” Cottle said.
Added Tamika Scott, “It’s not about the (sales) numbers – it’s about giving back.”
Xscape has a round of tour dates ready to go through May (again, as a trio). Other plans this year include work on a TV biopic, currently in the casting phase, and, perhaps a full album.
But let them tell you about that…