Real McCoy Announce First US Dates Since The ’90s, With Original Vocalists: O-Jay Gives Us The Scoop
Nearly two years ago, we ran through the 50 Best Pop Singles Of 1994 here on Idolator, and naturally Real McCoy‘s Eurodance staple “Another Night” ranked pretty high — way up at #4, to be exact. The following year, we placed the Berlin-based act’s “Run Away” at #10 on our 50 Best Pop Singles Of 1995 roundup. Now rapper/songwriter Olaf “O-Jay” Jeglitza is hitting the road for select live dates around the world to perform the band’s classic hits for the first time in nearly 20 years. The reason for this Real McCoy revival? O-Jay has linked up, and made amends with, the group’s actual other vocalist, Karin Kasar.
We say “actual” because the voice you hear on songs like “Another Night,” “Run Away” and “Come And Get Your Love” from the first album — called Another Night here in the States and Space Invaders in other parts of the globe — belonged to Kasar, who was recorded on the original demos. Female Real McCoy members were subsequently added to publicly front the act at the time. As O-Jay explained to us two years ago, the decision to keep Kasar out of the picture came down to the record label and the producers.
But now the two original Real McCoy vocalists are lining up performance dates together, after knocking the rough edges off by hitting the stage for the Love Message Festival in Poland in August and doing a club date in Finland in September. Up next: gigs at New York’s Melrose Ballroom on November 4th and Chicago’s Stereo Nightclub on November 5th.
“Karin and I started working together again in 2014. Back then she did backing vocals for a German Artist called EO,” O-Jay explains. “We’ve talked a lot about doing shows together since then, but it took more than two years and a phone call from my friend Tony Cottura to actually put us back on stage for real. We reorganized a couple of things in our private lives and hooked up with long-time friend and producer Marvin Gate in order to create a show that contains the essence of Real McCoy, including Karin and O-Jay.”
Real McCoy’s last album, One More Time, was released stateside by Arista in 1997, with the title track being the group’s final Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. When asked about the idea of new music coming to fruition from this reunion with Kasar, O-Jay hints that it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
“Of course we have talked for endless hours about new material,” he says. “And of course we asked many people about it and got them involved. I would lie if I’d deny the truckloads of masters we already produced but eventually decided to destroy last week! But, seriously, it’s a tricky thing. Everything is possible but not always necessary. But then again…”
For now, O-Jay and Kasar are content to perform their well-known tunes from the two Real McCoy albums released in the ’90s — though Olaf admits that taking that initial step in front of a crowd again took some nerve. “Once I was on stage, it felt like coming home. Lots of memories, a very uplifting feeling and an immediate connection with the audience,” he says. “But three hours before, I hated myself for ever saying yes to this. That stage fright was killing me! By now I still get the necessary amount of stage fright, but it’s way better for my stomach.”
O-Jay notes that when he used to travel and perform in the ’90s, the audience would sing along because, naturally, the songs were popular. Twenty years later, he’s noticing a different kind of happiness from the crowds at Real McCoy shows.
“People are coming mostly to listen to those songs and sing along because they were strong enough to become classics for them,” he says. “A lot of people connect memories, good or sad, with these songs, including myself.”
You can catch Real McCoy live in New York on November 4th, in Chicago on November 5th and in Berlin on December 3rd. Get more info via the band’s Facebook page.