As music continues to evolve and develop, we often times forget about those behind the scenes. However, there are creative individuals such as Pharrell who strive to debunk this notion as well as Steven Russell Harts. One-fifth of ’80s R&B group, Troop, Harts never really left the music industry, even though long-time fans might think otherwise.
The 40-year-old has developed into a seasoned songwriter and producer, penning hits for Chris Brown, Charlie Wilson and others. Hungry for the spotlight once again, Harts released his first solo album, So Random and is currently working alongside his Troop brothers for a reunion project. JET had the opportunity to catch up with Steven Russell Harts to chat about his songwriting talents, So Random and the Troop reunion.
JET: How did Troop come about?
Steven Russell Harts: Troop started in high school in Pasadena, California in 1984. I was 13 going on 14. I was known throughout Pasadena for my Michael Jackson performances. I had about 14 songs. I would perform “Thriller” and “Billie Jean” around Air Force bases. Some of the guys in Troop went on a television show called Putting on the Hits. A producer called the show and wondered if the guys could really sing. Once they got a letter from the show, my buddy Rodney B called me and said, “A producer called the show and was wondering if we could sing. Do you want to be in the group?” I told him, “Heck yeah!” [laughs] I was in the 9th grade when Troop started. We got signed when I was in the 10th grade but our first single, “Mamacita” didn’t come out until 1988.