We asked each member of Hi Five the same five questions to see what they had to say about the group’s legacy, what makes them Unsung and who’s better New Edition or The Jackson Five.
Q: If you had to switch careers with one group, which would it be — Jackson Five or New Edition – and why?
MARCUS SANDERS: The Jackson Five are pioneers, anything to be in Michael’s presence.
FARUQ EVANS: The Jackson 5… Because of Michael, of course.
BILLY COVINGTON: New Edition. Growing up for me they were the pinnacle! Singing, performing, style, etc. And really its the same today! They’ve had longevity and have managed to stay on top of current styles and trends without compromising the integrity of their music.
TRESTON IRBY: It would be the JACKSON FIVE cause I like that era of Motown.
Q: What is the future of R&B and which artists do you see heading in that direction?
MARCUS SANDERS: There are some strong roots planted in R&B with artists like Bruno Mars, Miguel, and Trey Songz, etc.
FARUQ EVANS: It’s going to come full circle, back to the realness and we’re the artists to bring it back.
BILLY COVINGTON: There are a few artists that could possibly be the future of R&B: Bruno Mars, Miguel, Trey, Chris Brown! And vets like Usher and Tank always stay true! Notice I didn’t mention any groups? There are none! Sad! R&B needs that again! I can think of one super talented R&B group with a current project “TGT” but that’s just three vets doing it together!
TRESTON IRBY: The future of R&B music is going back to the past. I believe that artists such as Hi Five and other 90s group that are able to make it back will be the future.
Q: Which of your albums or songs is the most underrated? Why?
MARCUS SANDERS: “Fly Away” is underrated, Tony’s vocals were exceptional during this recording.
FARUQ EVANS: The new Hi-Five EP because they’re underestimating the skill.
BILLY COVINGTON: This one! The EP. No one knows what to expect. We’re walking in new water now. New singers, new sounds but still good R&B music! I hope we can make some noise!
TRESTON IRBY: I believe the “Faithful” album because it was not promoted by the record company. Without promo, no one will hear it.
Q: If you could go back and advise a younger version of Hi Five, what would you tell it?
MARCUS SANDERS: Take more interest in your group and your music as a business.
FARUQ EVANS: Don’t let anyone infiltrate your group circle.
BILLY COVINGTON: Stay grounded, stay hungry! Watch out for the industry demons who try to persuade you into bad decisions. Carefully count your blessings and your money! Because tomorrow is promised to no one!
TRESTON IRBY: I would tell Hi Five that you only have five minutes of fame, it’s what you to do with those five minutes that matter!!!
Q: What Hi Five song would you play for someone who had never heard of you before?
MARCUS SANDERS: “I Like the Way (The Kissing Game).”
FARUQ EVANS: “Never Should’ve Let You Go”
BILLY COVINGTON: One song, huh? “Never Should Have Let You Go” has always been my favorite record! I guess I could have said “Its Nothin” just because I sing on it but the Hi Five of the 90’s was extraordinary and Tony was a vocal pioneer! The new Hi Five music only exists because of great songs like that!
TRESTON IRBY: I would play all of Hi Five’s songs because each one means something to me — I got to record with the LEGENDARY TONY THOMPSON !!!