Silk is a highly celebrated R&B quintet who has sold over 5 million records. The group debuted in 1992 and still consist of the original members. These gentlemen are Timzo (Timothy Cameron), Jim (Jimmy Gates, Jr.), Big G (Gary Glenn), Lil G (Gary Jenkins) and John John (Johnathen Rasboro). Silk is popular for its baby-making ballads and New Jack Swing favorites. Some of their legendary hits include “Freak Me”, “If You”, “Meeting in My Bedroom”, “Girl U For Me”, “Lose Control”, “Hooked On You” and “Don’t Rush”. The group was discovered by Keith Sweat over 20 years ago, yet they continue to enjoy longevity in the industry with six studio albums. Currently, Silk is touring the world and putting the finishing touches on their seventh studio LP.
The group’s embryonic stage performance began in the mid 80′s. As teenagers working at McDonald’s, Timzo, Jim and John John formed the original group with three members. Shortly thereafter, Big G joined the group. Known at that time as a gospel group, the four would get their big break singing church songs in their manager’s basement. With a unique andtheir manager’s basement. With a unique and polished harmony, Silk went in search of a fifth voice and found Gary “Lil G” Jenkins who became the fifth member of Silk. Keith Sweat signed the group to his Keia label and helped to develop Silk’s unmistakable sound.
Keith Sweat co-wrote and produced most of the steamy, sexually suggestive songs for their debut album “Lose Control” which sold two million copies. “Silk” is the self -titled second studio album released in 1995. Silk served as the Executive Producer of this Top 10 R&B album and remained in this position of creative control for subsequent projects. Silk collaborated with several artists on their third album “Tonight” which quickly reached platinum status. The success of these albums solidified them as prominent vocalist in the music industry. Silk continued to enjoy their success on their next three albums “Love Session”, “Silktime” and “Always and Forever” and gave us more of the feel good ballads that we looked forward to. In addition to their music careers, Silk is very successful businessmen who are extremely charitable. They are honorary members of the Men of Distinction and have received a city proclamation from the Mayor of Atlanta for their work in the communities.
Aside from their feel-good, baby-making music, Silk is known for being one of the few groups who are comprised of the original members. Silk’s seventh studio album is currently untitled. No doubt it will be a treasure for music lovers around the world. Fans are eager to hear what’s next from the five most signature voices in all of R&B.
AMPS: Will you please introduce yourselves? Timzo: Yo, what’s up? I’m Timzo. Lil G: What’s up Dallas? I’m “Lil G”. John John: Yo, what’s up? I’m John John. Jimmy: Yo, what’s up? I’m Jimmy.
AMPS: Where are you guys from? Lil G: I’m originally from Tennessee but I’ve been with the guys long enough to also call Atlanta home.
AMPS: How did you guys come together as a group? Jimmy: Well, John and I were working at McDonald’s in downtown Atlanta. John would always sing as he worked. We both realized that each of us could sing. We added Timzo and formed a group. It started from there. Big G joined the group later and Lil G was the last to join the group.
AMPS: Lil G, when did you discover you could sing? Lil G: It was around the age of five with me singing along to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson songs. The more I sang along, the more my Mom took notice of my talent and encouraged me to keep singing. She would have friends over on the weekend and would have me sing for them. From that, I began singing in the church choir. One of the church musicians became my mentor and helped nurture me musically. After a while, I began singing with Bobbie Jones.
AMPS: How did the rest of you guys discover your talent? Timzo: I didn’t discover my talent; I got pushed into my talent by family and friends. (laughing) The tone of my voice was a perfect fit for the group so they asked me to join. It took me a while to decide but as you can see, I did accept the invitation and I’ve been with the group ever since.
AMPS: How did Keith Sweat and Silk join forces? Jimmy: Around 1989, there was a migration of urban music to the South, mainly Atlanta. During this time, Keith Sweat relocated from New York City to Atlanta and started his record label Keia Records and opened his recording studio – “The Sweat Shop”. Lil G: The guys were singing at a barbeque cookout that Keith Sweat attended. He liked what he heard and wanted to work with the group. There were four members at the time. I was still in Tennessee.
AMPS: How did “Lil G” become the lead singer? Lil G: Keith felt the group needed a fifth harmony and decided to hold auditions for the missing piece. I drove from Nashville to Atlanta to audition. I made the cut and became the fifth member of Silk and eventually the lead singer.
AMPS: How did you decide on the name Silk? Jimmy: We came up with the name Silk because of our smooth harmonies. It represented the style of our group.
AMPS: Tell us about your new single. Jimmy & Timzo: “Love 4 U 2 Like Me”. Lil G: “Love 4 U 2 Like Me” is the name of the new single. It was produced by Mr. Wiley Morris. He is widely known as part of the Charlie Wilson camp. He came to us and said he would really like to work with us on a project and “Love 4 U 2 Like Me” is what we came up with. It’s pretty hot.
AMPS: Many of our R&B singers began singing in the church but found success in urban music. How has your success impacted your relationships with friends? Lil G: I would say that all of our family and friends, both individually and collectively, are still very supportive of us. The love has been with us from day one.
AMPS: Are there any other new projects that you are working on? Jimmy: Just the album right now. There are other things coming that we will reveal going into the New Year. We are focused on the new record, single and the video that’s coming out soon.
AMPS: How can we stay tuned to Silk? Lil G: You can stay tuned on Silk Entertainment, Silk Enterprise Group, and of course our webpage: silkenterprizes.com. John John: Once you are linked to Silk Groups, there will be a separate link to our individual page. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under Silk Fans.