K5 was formed in 1995, after KJ was looking for a new name to fit his newest creation, "Passion." He took the K from KJ and 5 from his previous group Project 5
, who had a couple of club hits with "The New Style", "The Rhythm Is Hot", and "Blazing Pianos." "K5" is also the classification for the 'brightest stars' in astronomy. KJ wrote and recorded "Passion" with sweet sounding vocalist Tammy Wright
. It was first put out on Orlando's Kram Records and Productions
. It sold about 8,000 copies on vinyl, it garnered a lot of mix-show play and some mainstream radio play. It received such a response, that a bidding war for the single and subsequent album then followed. After offers from several labels, K5 was signed to Robbins Entertainment
for the U.S. and ISBA Music Entertainment Inc.
for Canada, and Formaldehyd
Records and Universal Records (Germany)
. The single for "Passion" went on to sell more than 200,000 copies worldwide. It also made it on to Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 at # 98 and #24 on Maxi-single sales Top 50. "Passion" & "Red Alert" also appeared in the Miramax Film "Chasing Amy". After recording "Passion", Tammy left the group to pursue solo efforts. KJ then brought in new vocalist, Tessa Calina
, who sang many of the songs on K5's debut album, "K5." The second single, "Lift You Up" received lots of mix-show and club play throughout the country. K5 was named Dixie Dance Kings "Dance Artist Of The Year" for 1996/97, beating out other nominees including Spice Girls
, Gina G.
, Backstreet Boys
, and Puff Daddy
. At the beginning of 1998, Tessa left the group to pursue a solo career as well. KJ then began to remix tracks from other artists like LFO
's "If I Can't Have You" (that reached #12 on Billboard's Maxi-Single sales chart), and a remix of the theme song from the 'Star Wars' movie episode one "The Phantom Menace".