Harry Wayne Casey, KC for short, is ready for a return engagement to Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca. On Saturday, July 12, fans will be asked to “Shake Your Booty” and “Get Down Tonight,” while KC and his band are on stage thinking “That’s The Way (I Like It).”
Branded as one of disco’s most successful bands, they’re still performing over 100 shows a year to sold-out crowds not only in the U.S., but in countries around the world.
With three Grammy Awards, an American Music Award and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ top honor, the Governor’s Award, KC is not one to rest on his laurels. He continues to write music and has just finished a project that will be released in July called “Feeling You,” which we talk about in the following conversation.
For a genre of music that people thought would not last, disco music has stood the test of time. KC and the Sunshine Band can be heard everywhere from your radio to your TV in commercials for Burger King, General Motors and Old Navy as well as on “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars.” You may have recognized their undeniable sound in feature films such as “Forrest Gump,” “Rush Hour,” “Carlito’s Way” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember.” Add in all the times we’ve rung in a New Year with KC and his band mates with their many appearances on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
This is my second time interviewing KC, four years apart, and he is still as enthusiastic and ready to show you a great time as he was four years ago. The one thing I can guarantee is that with every show, the singer brings the party with him.
A CONVERSATION WITH HARRY "KC" CASEY
HULICK: How have you been?
KC:Good! We just got back from South America and Mexico.
HULICK: How did that part of the tour go?
KC:It was absolutely amazing.
HULICK: I saw your show the last time you played Seneca Allegany about four years ago and it was hands down fun from start to finish. Do you get tired of doing shows or does it get dull to you after a while?
KC:No, not at all. I love performing and seeing the audience get up and get involved.
HULICK: The thing I noticed at your show is how people sitting all around me are texting on their phones and by the middle of the first song the texting stops, the phones are put away, not just for a song or two either, and everyone’s head actually comes up and they are all up dancing at their seats. They’re singing along and really enjoying the show. You must notice that. How does that feel to have that kind of power, for lack of a better word, through your music?
KC: I don’t think of it as power or anything like that … for me doing a concert is the only thing that helps me connect with the people that have purchased my music or sent emails, have been part of my fan club. It’s really the only connection with the public. The only thing I’m looking for is that they’re having a good time together. Of course my eyes always go and find that one person who just looks like they’re not having a good time.
HULICK: Like the husband that the wife drug along? (laughs)
KC: (laughs) Yes! The one with the arms crossed! I used to concentrate on that one person, but I have since decided how ridiculous it is to center on that one person to try and get them to have a good time and ignore the thousands that are.
HULICK: Tell me about the remake of your song, “Give It Up.”
KC: It was done by a Latin artist and soap star in Miami in the Spanish market. His name is Jencarlos (pronounced John Carlos). Originally he wanted to do a remake of “Give It up” and wanted to know if I would sing on it with him along with Pitbull. So Pitbull put his vocal on it and then something happened in the negotiations and now Pitbull’s off of it and Psy from Gangnam Style is on it.
HULICK: The actual title of it is “Give It Up Tonight,” and Jencarlos approached you about doing this.
KC: Yes, right.
HULICK: It’s great when these young musicians go to the entertainers from past decades and want to combine their talents with them. It’s really good to see that. In the current music scene, collaborations are quite popular … like Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga as an example. Is there someone you would like to work with?
KC: Wow … I don’t know. It would be fun working with any of the young artists today. To say which one or narrow it down … I can’t really come up with one in particular, because I like so many different ones.
HULICK: Who do you listen to today?
KC: I’m a Top 40 person, so whoever is in the Top 40.
HULICK: Do you have any new projects coming up?
KC: I just finished an album that was a year and a half project. It’s 17 songs from the ‘60’s. It has almost 24 brand new original tracks. It’s called “Feeling You.”
HULICK: When will that be released?
KC: It was supposed to come out in June, but I didn’t sign the contract until a week ago, so I don’t have a new release date from the company yet, but I’m hoping sometime this month (July).
HULICK: Will you be doing any of the songs in your show at Seneca Allegany?
KC: I’m doing only the ‘60’s stuff because they’re familiar.
HULICK: It’s the start of the busy summer concert season, and you have come back to the WNY area twice since I saw you last at Seneca Allegany with shows at the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival and a free outdoor show at Seneca’s other property in Niagara Falls …
KC: No … we didn’t play the Niagara Falls show because of a tornado warning and really bad weather, remember?
HULICK: That’s right! It was cancelled last minute. Thinking about summer, do you have a favorite summer memory as a child or adult? It doesn’t have to do with a concert you went to or anything … just in general.
KC: Well, we always went on vacation to see our family in Georgia. Living in Miami summer for us was always going to the beach. I live in a climate that every day is summer. (laughs) We don’t really have “seasons” here. It is just a spring and mostly summer season. (laughs) Our winter is two days long. (laughs)
HULICK: (laughs) That’s true. We on the other hand have a week in July for our summer season … the rest is winter and construction season.
KC: (laughs) There you go!
HULICK: We are so excited having you come back to Seneca Allegany. Before you go, can you tell our readers who have not seen your show before what they can expect?
KC: There are 15 of us on stage, the show is high energy … it’s a production show where everyone participates and we like to encourage the audience to participate also. It’s just an evening of great music and great fun. So if you want to have a lot of fun and feel good for an hour and a half to two hours, it’s the place to be!