“Ready For the World” is back with a music vengeance, they are fierce and stronger than ever before. The talented R&B, Pop and Soul group from Flint Michigan had several singles in the mid to late 80’s featuring hits like “Oh Sheila”, ” Love You Down”, and “Digital Display ” as well as one Platinum and Gold Album. They disbanded in the early 90’s and are now ready to take the music world on again. They have a new single and are scheduled to tour in 2019 with another R&B Legend. BackBeat R&B had the pleasure and honor of obtaining an interview with these very busy and talented artists.
BB R&B: You were on hiatus for a while and now you’re back, how did “Ready For The World come together and who created the Group?
Willie: Ready For The World was born from competition. We all met one another while competing against each other in High School talent shows. Willie played the drums in a family band consisting of his brothers and John Eaton the Bass player whom he met in High School. Gordon Strozier, Gerald Valentine, and Melvin Riley had formed a group as well and Gregory Potts was performing as a solo artist. The group was created after one talent show, John Eaton who knew Melvin and Gordon suggested that a few from his group get together with those guys to see what we can come up with. We all wound up in the studio cutting tracks that Melvin and Gordon had written from when they were sixteen years old. So from the question of who created the group, although the foundation was set by Melvin and Gordon, John was actually the one who persuaded us all to get together. Tickets
BB R&B: Who is currently the lead vocalist and describe the other Artists positions within the Group?
Willie: Ray Lavender was chosen as the new lead singer to lead the new sound. Ray has worked with Tank, Akon and Teddy Riley. He had previously released a solo project back in 2006 under Akon’s label. He is poised to usher in a new era of music with the band.
BB R&B: Is there a reason you named your group “Ready For The World “?
Willie: In the beginning, we had toyed around with a few names such as ‘Private Boy’s School’, and ‘Point Blank’ just to name a few. Our two twin Attorney’s pulled the name Ready For The World from one of the songs we had recorded entitled Ceramic Girl. There was a phrase in the song, “So nonchalant laid back and Ready For The World”. So, we took their suggestion and named the group “Ready For The World”.
BB R&B: Who were your biggest musical influences growing up? I Would love to know this from each Band member?
Willie Triplett: Earth Wind & Fire, Cameo, Chicago
Gordon Strozier: Ohio Players, Parliament Funkadelic, Isley Brothers
Gerald Valentine: Cameo
Gregory Potts: Prince
BB R&B: How much do you feel the music you grew up on inspired you all to go in the direction that you’ve taken?
Willie: We grew up in an era when music consisted of a multitude of genres that were popular. The 70’s had Disco, Jazz, R&B, Funk, Rock, etc… There are a bit of all of those styles in the music direction we went toward. We experienced a broad range of influences and we are thankful for that.
BB R&B: “Oh Sheila” was a big hit and set in motion your Group to platinum with millions of albums sold, did you expect it to become as big as it did?
Willie: We have always felt from day one that we can compete with the best out in the marketplace. We felt like we belonged. When we wrote those songs, we were simply writing from the heart. Putting on tape what we felt musically through the influences we grew up on and although we felt we could compete, I don’t think any of us expected the level of success we’ve achieved. It took not only great music but also great people from behind the scenes to make those records peak. We are grateful for that!
BB R&B: Can you tell us the funniest thing or craziest thing that ever happened while on Tour?
Gerald: One of the craziest thing that happened for me was. While performing at Disney World one of our sincere fans jumped into the water and attempted to swim across not knowing the water had electrical currents going thru it. Thank God everything turned out good.
BB R&B: ” Ready For The World” has toured with greats like “Guy”, “Mint Condition”, “Jodeci”, “Boyz ll to Men”, and many other legendary musicians, what was it like touring with other prominent acts?
Gerald: It was a blessing an awesome experience to be able to tour with other prominent artists. I
picked up a lot from watching Luther Vandross from his sound check to his stage performance.
Every night was magical.
BB R&B: What do you prefer, live or studio recording?
Gerald: I like recording live and in the studio, it gives unlimited creativity and a variety of ideas.
BB R&B: What’s different in the music industry today compared to when you all first started?
Gerald: Today’s music industry Artists don’t get the experience of Artist Development. It was mandatory for us back in the day.
BB R&B: What would you do differently if you were just entering the music industry today?
Gerald: If I was entering today’s music industry I would most definitely make sure I kept in touch with
every celebrity I had the opportunity to meet. I would definitely produce everyone possible and also
become more business oriented.
BB R&B: So, what’s new for “Ready For The World? Any new Tours, Singles etc?
Gerald: What’s new for us is our new single entitled “So Much Life”. Look for our first Christmas
single as well as a 2019 new album and tour dates with Charlie Wilson. Ticketfly
BackBeat R&B would like to thank “Ready For The World” for this interview exclusive and we appreciate you all for sharing your talent with the world!