Q&A: Harry Wayne Casey of KC & the Sunshine Band

Harry Wayne Casey gave his name and boundless musical talent to the legendary KC & the Sunshine Band. Ahead of bringing the heat to A Summer’s Day Disco in January, he tells What’s Hot New Zealand it’s still all about burning up the stage.

Your songs have become synonymous with the golden age of disco, the soundtrack of a generation – did you have any idea just how enduring KC & the Sunshine Band’s legacy would be? No, I don’t think you ever can have an idea what the future of your music will be. People always play oldies but the interest in our music seems to be more than I ever noticed before in the history of music.

And you’re still making new music – ‘Give Me Some More’ with Nile Rodgers and Tony Moran. How much fun was that collab? It was interesting because we were never in the same room at the same time. Tony sent me the track and I did my part on it, then we asked Nile and sent it to Nile. It’s interesting you can make music this way without being in the same room at the same time. Quite different from when we were first recording.

Without samples from you, Nile Rodgers and James Brown, would there be any hip-hop? That’s a very interesting question because so much of our stuff has been used without permission and is hidden in certain ways that it would be hard to detect. But I would think not.

Apart from this tour, what is on the cards for you in 2020? We have a lot of new music coming out and we’ll see where that goes. I love touring so that’s pretty much what I’ll do.

Is this your first visit to New Zealand? Yes it is, and I’m very excited. I’ve heard amazing things about New Zealand, so I can’t wait to experience that and hopefully I have time to do some things while I’m there.

Any live shows you’ve seen lately of note? I just saw the Jonas Brothers, Ariana Grande, Pink and I’m going to go see Aerosmith.

What has been the most surreal moment in your career/life to date? Being nominated for the Grammys; getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; and meeting some of my peers – people that I grew up watching on TV or listening to on my stereo. Those have to be special moments.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Do what you did. Follow your dreams and your heart.

Do you have a pre- and/or post-show ritual? I do. I stretch and sometimes I meditate.

What can we expect from your Christchurch gig? An amazing fun time with 15 musicians on stage having fun. And most importantly you, the fans, having fun.

A Summer’s Day Disco

January 8, 2020, Trustpower Baypark, Mt Maunganui
January 9, 2020, Park Island, Napier
January 11, 2020, Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth
January 12, 2020, Hagley Park, Christchurch