By Ericka Alston Buck
Special to the AFRO
In the world of rhythm and blues, few groups have made as enduring an impact as Xscape.
Known for their powerful vocals and unforgettable songs, like “Just Kickin it” and “Who Can I Run To?,” the group has been a cornerstone of the genre. One of the original members, Tamika Scott, graciously sat down with us for a heart-to-heart discussion about her remarkable journey in the music industry and the significant changes she’s witnessed over the years.
We started by delving into her impressive 30-year career in the music industry, a journey filled with highs, lows and unforgettable moments. Scott and group members never imagined that fans would still be standing in lines to buy tickets to see them in 2023–she remembers Xscape being just young people who loved what they were doing and living for the moment.
Scott speaks passionately about her love for performing, but also acknowledged the challenges that come with it– particularly in today’s age of social media and “cancel culture.”
One such memorable incident was a fall she experienced during a performance on the “Great Escape Tour.” To her surprise, footage of her tumble was circulating on TMZ before the show had even concluded. She reflected on how different this experience was from performing three decades ago, when the world was not watching your every move through the lens of a smartphone. She also noted that everyone spoke of the fall, but not how she managed to hold her note while falling and land pretty!
“Back then, there was more room for error without the whole world knowing,” she said.
We moved on to discuss Scott’s portrayal in the reality show “Queens Of R&B: Xscape And SWV.” She shared her disappointment in how the show failed to capture her in a positive light or highlight her favorite roles as a devoted wife and mother. Scott opened up about the depression that followed at the end of the show, feeling that only the dysfunction of her family had been put on display. It was a difficult period for her, but her strength and resilience shone through as she pushed forward.
Outside of her music career, Scott is an entrepreneur and is passionate about cooking, boasting her own organic spice line and cookbook titled “Table Set Cooking With Tamika Scott: A Taste Of The South In Your Mouth.” Her love for culinary arts and family shone through as she spoke about her multifaceted life. We even discussed her Thanksgiving menu that was already in place and trust me, you want a plate!
One of the proudest moments in Scott’s life is watching her daughter, Young Nyah, follow in her footsteps. The song “Mama” celebrates this special bond and journey, filled with emotion and shared experiences.
“It’s amazing to see her grow as an artist and person, it’s always hard for me to hold back tears when I hear her sing,” Scott beamed.
Beyond being a mother, Scott has embraced the role of “glamma” and shared the special love she has with her granddaughter. It’s clear that family remains a cornerstone in her life, and her eyes sparkle with love and pride when she speaks about them.
Scott’s solo career has also been a source of inspiration, and her latest collaboration with Method Man on the hot new single “Tonight” is testament to her enduring talent. “Tonight” carries a powerful message about self-celebration and leaving no space for depression or sadness. It’s a mantra that Scott wholeheartedly endorses and shares through this single.
Our conversation wrapped up with the headliner discussing the “R&B Music Experience,” which landed in Baltimore on Oct. 28th at the CFG Bank Arena. The tour features an incredible lineup including Bell Biv Devoe, October London, 112, Silk and Next.
Scott assured fans that the night would be an unforgettable experience, with everyone singing along to every song. Her parting advice? Leave the stilettos at home and wear your dancing shoes!
In the end, my interview with Tamika Scott felt like catching up with an old friend. Her openness, warmth, and passion for music and life were relatable. If you’re an Xscape fan, check out the tour schedule to see this remarkable artist. Be sure to wear your comfy shoes – you won’t want to miss a moment of Xscape’s nostalgic and electrifying performance.