Last night, PYNK had the pleasure of meeting and sitting down with LaTocha, former lead singer of Xscape, prior to her performance at B.B. King’s R&B Spotlight in Times Square, NYC. The R&B Songbird gave us the dish on her start in music, life after Xscape, and her upcoming projects.
When asked about her early beginnings in music, LaTocha credited her father with being her biggest influence. LaTocha grew up hearing her father singing all around the house. She states, “Anything he needed…whether it was a roll of toilet tissue, he would sing it.” She recounted memories of her father and his brothers traveling and performing throughout the Atlanta area. It was around the house and in church that LaTocha first started singing and developing her voice.
Years later, she rose to fame with legendary R&B group Xscape after securing a record deal with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def Records. Her powerhouse vocals paired with the groups’ extremely relatable lyrics and unforgettable melodies made Xscape one of the biggest girl groups of the ‘90’s. The group achieved monumental success including multiple platinum albums and over 8 million records sold worldwide but LaTocha’s career highlight with Xscape was the first time the group heard their song, “Just Kickin’ It” on the radio in their hometown of Atlanta. “We were going crazy…(we felt like) we had finally arrived.”
When asked about the group’s disbandment in 1999, LaTocha says, “We kind of grew apart as individuals.” She goes on to compare being in a singing group to being in a marriage and states that they each wanted the chance to do solo projects.
LaTocha recently ran into Kandi and Tiny at an event and the three reminisced on old times but when asked about the possibility of Xscape reuniting LaTocha says she’s not sure if that will happen. “The fans would love it. I definitely wouldn’t say no.”
Her new solo album is slated for release at the top of the year. The album’s first single, “Bad Timing” is available on iTunes and her second single “Complicated” featuring Wale was just released about two weeks ago. This fall, she will embark on a tour to support her new singles and also to let fans know that she has an album coming.
LaTocha is also releasing a memoir about her life and her ups and downs in the music industry around the same time that her album will be released. “It is a reflection of the things I’ve gone through. I was faced with a lot of adversity but I overcame. I hope it will inspire others,” LaTocha says. She states that she will also be discussing self-love in the memoir as well as the challenges she faced being a full-figured woman in the music industry. LaTocha recently started a foundation for young girls. The foundation addresses these same self-esteem issues. “I teach them to love themselves,” states the talented singer. “I always tell them to hold a mirror up and say something that they love about themselves.” She hopes that by mentoring these young girls, listening to them, and instilling self-esteem, the girls will realize their own worth.
With LaTocha’s eyes set on claiming her place amongst the stars as a solo artist, she gave an astounding performance on B.B. Kings’ stage. It became quite clear after the first few notes that life after Xscape has not caused her to miss a beat vocally. She commanded the audience’s attention with the same melodic prowess that she did in the ‘90’s. Her comeback is welcomed by her fans and as for us…it is also #PYNKapproved.