“I Like the Way [The Kissing Game]’, “I Can’t Wait Another Minute” and “Quality Time” are just a few of the greatest hits that the quintet originally hailing from Waco, Texas gave us in the 1990’s. Although modeled after the Boston-bred R&B super-group, New Edition, Hi-Five had their own unique sound and style that kept young women and girls all over the world mesmerized.
With production from hit makers such as Teddy Riley and R. Kelly, the group which originally included Tony Thompson, Marcus Sanders, Toriano Easley, Roderick Clarke and Russell Neal, would experience the highest of highs and unfortunately encounter significant misfortune and personal strife over time.
However, after the death of their hugely popular lead singer who tragically succumbed to drug addiction, losing another member as a result of a prison term, a horrific accident that left yet another member paralyzed, a lawsuit, a recent murder charge and 25 years since their introduction to the world, the platinum selling singing group is back and ready to regain their position in R&B.
When asked how it is that they’ve managed to stay together in spite of all that they’ve endured over the years, Marcus [Sanders] told Sister 2 Sister, “You have to have a strong faith foundation, for sure. We have to have the respect for each other as individuals. I think that has been the one thing that has worked for us throughout our trials.”
Having initially disbanded in 1994, Hi-Five was officially reformed in 2012 with Sanders, Treston Irby [who replaced Easley in 1990] and Shannon Gill [who joined the group in 1993]. They then added Billy Covington and Faruq Evans to complete their ensemble and in August, 2014 released Hi-Five: The EP with the catchy lead single, “It’s Nothing.”
Donna: What made you all decide to reform the group?
Treston: I was out promoting a single that I had done and all the fans, every time I did a show, would ask ‘Where is the rest of the group, we wanna hear “The Kissing Game”; we want Hi-Five to comeback’. They kept on saying it everywhere I went. So, I called Marcus and told him that the fans were asking for us and asked him if he was down and he said yes. I pretty much told Gill the same thing; that we owed it to the fans to give them what they wanted and Gill was down with it too. And that’s what started us getting back together. Prior to that of course, Tony had passed away when we were getting ready to record a new Hi-Five CD, [but] the Lord had called him home. We just felt that we had to keep the Hi-Five legacy going on and the best way to do it is by putting out good music, doing good shows and getting out there with the fans.
NEXT: The group members talk about their new CD>>