Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Koffee Brown Interview: Return to Music, Success and Impact of "After Party" & More

R&B/Soul duo Koffee Brown originally comprised of Vee and Fonz, entered the stage and took the charts, dance floors and house parties by storm. Their debut single "After Party" released in 2001 became an instant smash, paving the way for their critically acclaimed album Mars/Venus, offering a unique perspective on male and female relationships. Vee and Fonz created a magical moment for music fans globally, combining astonishing melodic composure, a unique lyrical style, and undeniable musical grace. As the duo rode a wave of success with music videos, world tours and red-carpet appearances, their journey took an unexpected turn. Fonz decided to leave the industry, marking the end of an era. However, Vee, the female counterpart, continued to make waves in the R&B scene, collaborating with heavyweights like Mary J. Blige and Faith Evans. But every end signals a new beginning. The return of Koffee Brown brings a fresh twist to the story. Vee, now joined by the talented male vocalist Ryan Lane, aims to refresh the brand and remind the world that Koffee Brown is here to stay. Ryan, with a background that includes sharing the VMA stage with Wyclef Jean, and Queen Latifah, TV appearances with reggae icon Shaggy, and performances at iconic venues like Met-Life Stadium, adds a new voice to extend the legacy. As he collaborates with Vee, they embark on the next sonic adventure, revitalizing the R&B classics "After Party", “Weekend Thing” and “Chick On Da Side”. The duo's vision for 2024 promises a fresh perspective on the male and female relationship debate. Ask Koffee Brown what they want most out of life, and their answer is clear: to have the world feel their music. The legacy continues, and with Vee and Ryan at the helm, Koffee Brown is set to brew a new chapter in R&B history—one that resonates with the raw emotion, intense attitude, and storytelling essence of the golden days.

TERRANCE: First, tell us what prompted the return of Koffee Brown.

VEE: Well, I wanted Koffee Brown to come back for a while, but you know you have to make sure you get with the right person. The chemistry has to work, the personality works, the mindset works and all of that stuff. So, it took a while for that to happen. I initially wanted to be with the original member Falonte “Fonz”, but he no longer wanted to do it, so like I said, it took a moment to find someone that was compatible with me and then we could work, and it could be cohesive across the board and have fun while working.

TERRANCE: How does it feel to be back out there performing again?

VEE: It feels incredible. The response of the people is like we’ve never left or I never left because it was me and Fonz initially. The people still love the songs. It feels really good and welcoming.

RYAN: Absolutely. Definitely.

TERRANCE: So, Ryan, tell us about your introduction into the duo.

RYAN: We actually have a mutual friend that reached out to me, and he had spoken to Vee prior to. He reached out and was like, look I know this guy, he’s pretty cool and I think you guys would work pretty well together. We then spoke on the phone and caught up and I met her in person. It was one of those things where we just got with each other, and it clicked, and we’ve just been going ever since. It was just a quick and easy process. So yeah, it’s been awesome.

TERRANCE: How was Koffee Brown originally discovered and signed?

VEE: So, originally, I came in as a solo artist and original member Fonz came in as a solo artist. We both signed with Kay Gee’s record label Divine Mill, but when we both went up to Arista to do a showcase, Clive Davis said, let me hear you two sing together, and we did and he said he think this could work and Kay Gee was saying the same thing, like, this is a great idea. So that’s how Koffee Brown was formed cause again we both came in initially as solo artists.

TERRANCE: Where were you and your reaction to hearing “After Party” on the radio for the first time?

VEE: Oh my God. I was at home, and I almost dropped dead. I was running around the house yelling, screaming, hollering. So yeah, I was home when I first heard it on the radio. Actually, someone called me and said, your song is on the radio because, you know you let people hear the song, right? So, I turned on the radio and it was there. It was incredible.

TERRANCE: Talk about the impact of the song and why it still resonates with people.

VEE: We had a meeting recently and someone said, this is an international song, and it goes across all backgrounds, all nationalities. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, it is a song that everyone gravitates to. Everyone loves it. It’s a feel-good song. It’s played at weddings and everywhere. It’s just a good feeling song that thank God has lasted over twenty something years.

RYAN: If I could just piggyback off what Vee was saying as far as impact, it has truly been a global impact because even as of recently, Vee and I did a deep dive on “After Party” throughout social media and in general and the amount of TikTok’s and videos of people dancing in their houses, it has legit become a staple in R&B music. Even me being a part of Koffee Brown now, I wasn’t there in the beginning, but I still feel the joy every time we perform it. Even in the music video, there was a party. It has definitely had a huge impact. You have kids dancing to it who were nowhere near born at that time. It will forever continue twenty more years from now legit be one of those barbecues, backyard, after party, at your wedding. It will always be a part of African American culture. I’m just so proud to be a part of this because every time I watch the video, I smile so hard. I’m like, look at Vee doing her thing. It’s truly amazing and a blessing.

TERRANCE: Can we expect any new Koffee Brown music in the future?

VEE: It will be the end of Spring, top of Summer we will definitely have new music. We’re in the studio working to bring some fire and again something classic that will last forever.

TERRANCE: Talk about your unique perspective on the male and female relationships.

VEE: Artists do talk about relationships, the female artists talk about it from their perspectives and the males talk about it from their perspectives, but there’s no one out there as of right now and really no one has even put themselves in this slot to be a duo wherein you have it coming from both sides of the spectrum, you know? Back and forth, back and forth, whether it be good, bad or ugly, you know what I’m saying? And so, that hasn’t been done since we stepped off the scene for a minute.

TERRANCE: Individually have there been any career highlights that have stood-out?

RYAN: Yes, I’ve been working and trying to pursue this craft for a very long time. I would say one of the highlights for me was working with Sting and Shaggy when they were working on a joint venture album together which actually won a Grammy award. I was able to work with them and do some background on that project, so I feel like that was a huge highlight because they were so regular and down to earth and really nice. I was like, Wow! I can’t believe I’m a part of this. And also, Koffee Brown is a huge highlight for me because it just goes with everything I’m about, you know? I love R&B, I love to perform, I love a good vibe and energy. I love relationship talk. Vee is awesome. So, I would definitely say in addition to that, being in Koffee Brown has been a huge upgrade and highlight for me.

VEE: Thank you, Ryan. For me, mine would be before Koffee Brown because I had an opportunity to tour with Mary J. Blige for almost two years and work with Faith Evans and so many different artists. So, I’ve had the experience of really touring the world and being taken all over the world. Those are my highlights and things I will never, ever forget. And then I’m highlighted on “Too Close” and “Butta Love” by Next, "Touch Me, Tease Me" by Case, then there’s Jaheim as well. So that is a blessing because my voice is continuously being heard whether people know that it’s me or not. I’ve had a good journey thus far.

TERRANCE: Are there any upcoming tour dates you could tell us about?

VEE: Right now, we will be in Germany.

RYAN: Before we go out to Germany, we do have some things in the works as far as the Tri-state area doing a bunch of shows there, but yes, we are going to Germany in April as well. We also have a tour in our future, so we’re working, and we will be outside. *laughs*

TERRANCE: Any final words you would like to share with the fans and followers?

VEE: We would like to thank you so much for the fans that we’ve had prior to now and for the new fans we would like to say thank you for your love and support and even wanting to listen to us. It is really a blessing, and we humbly thank all of our fans for that. Absolutely.

RYAN: Shout out to everybody. We definitely see the messages. The TikTok, the videos and Instagram. Keep following us on all platforms and spreading the word that Koffee Brown is back and the “After Party” continues.

VEE: Absolutely!

Follow Koffee Brown:

Instagram, TikTok, YouTube @koffeebrownmusic

Twitter: @ItsKoffeeBrown

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