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Published March 2001 


Koffee Brown

After the Party

By Cheryl "Nneka" Hazell

Since they first caught our attention with the catchy hook "don't stop, keep, keep it on," on their hit single "After Party" fans have known that Koffee Brown is no one hit wonder. The dynamic and soulful duo of Fonz and Vee brings back to the forefront the long forgotten male-female vocal coupling with their debut album, Mars/Venus. Their passionate delivery on these tracks has already sparked much speculation of an affair of the heart between the two. Of course this is denied.

Discovered by producer/music impresario Kay Gee, who upon hearing Vee knew that "a star was on the rise," Koffee Brown takes us back to the 70's when male/female duos were chic and actually worked.

"It's definitely timely," says Vee who is joined by Fonz in this telephone interview from New York. "We don't have anyone else to battle with as far as another duet group. And we're talking the truth about relationships. We're coming totally different from the way other duets have come before. My female point of view is sayin' that I no longer need you to take care of me, tell me how to wear my clothes or makeup. Women now have their own bank accounts, their own cars, everything."

True love, creeping, cheating and reconciliation are the themes that unfold through "Chick On Da Side," "All I Need (Bonnie & Clyde)" and "Blackout." As for Fonz, he's speaking on behalf of the guys.

"I gotta hold it down for the fellas," says Fonz. "Things don't always work out in relationships and that's where I'm comin' from on the album." Hence the title.

The story of Koffee Brown began in two very different parts of America. Fonz, the keyboard-plunking-drum-beating male force of the duo also has his claim to fame in songwriting and producing.

Growing up among a musical family in small town of Howardsville, Missouri, Fonz was a diamond in the rough who knew that music was his lifeblood. After leaving home and heading out with minimal coin in his pocket, Fonz connected with R.L. of the group NEXT in Minnesota where they performed in local venues.

Vee was a Jersey girl, an urban songbird who has performed with Mary J. Blige, Faith, Case and NEXT and who's sultry singing was spotlighted on NEXT's "Too Close" and "Butta Love." This budding actress is convinced that an artist doesn't need to crank out an album twice a year in fear of being forgotten. "If it's a good album, people are going to be excited the next time you come out. They'll be waiting anxiously," she says confidently.

Fonz definitely seconds that. "Out here in New York a lot of people put an album out all the time. Sometimes when you want something good and really original you gotta kinda take your time with it and treat it like you was raisin' a child."

Both Fonz and Vee agree that these days artists are prepared to be more experimental. "We don't want to be classified with anyone else. We want audiences to say, 'Wow, these guys really have a sound of they own' " says Fonz.

That's rare in the recording industry but when it does come along, and it does every once in a while, everyone takes notice.

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