Aurra

Aurra was an American 1980s soul group, which, at the time of its biggest success on Salsoul Records, featured Curt Jones (guitar/vocals) and Starleana Young (vocals) and included Steve Washington (bass/guitar/drums), Philip Field (keyboards/synthesizers/vocals) and Tom Lockett (saxophone/percussion).

Aurra
Also known asDéjà
OriginDayton, Ohio, United States
GenresFunk, dance, soul, post-disco
Years active1979–1986 (Aurra)
1987–1989 (Déja)
LabelsSalsoul
Next Plateau
10 Records (UK)
Virgin (US)
Family Groove Records
Past membersAurra:
Starleana Young
Curt Jones
Steve "The Fearless Leader" Washington
Thomas Lockett, Jr.
Charles "Cedell" Carter
Wayne "Buddy" Hankerson
Raymond "Rajac" Jackson
Philip Field
A.C. Drummer
Sheila Washington
Mark Stevens
Déjà:
Starleana Young
Curt Jones
Mysti Day

Career

Aurra started off in 1979 as an offshoot of the funk band Slave. Aurra was created by Steve "The Fearless Leader" Washington; which featured Curt Jones, Starleana Young, Charles Carter, and Buddy Hankerson on the first LP.[1] Aurra initially signed with Dream Records, and then Salsoul Records, Thomas Lockett and composer/keyboardist Philip Field became members. During the early 1980s, the group found success with hits such as "Are You Single" at number 16 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, "Checkin' You Out" and "Make Up Your Mind", which was its biggest US hit under this moniker - reaching number six on the R&B chart and number 71 on the pop chart.[2] Legal issues with Steve Washington over the name Aurra made the duo change its name to Déjà,[3] after which the group had a big hit with "You and Me Tonight", which reached number two R&B and number 54 pop in the US.[4] A deal with Virgin affiliate 10 Records in the UK resulted in the song reaching number 12 on the UK Singles Chart, their best showing on that chart.[5]

In 1987, they released their Virgin Records debut as Déjà, Serious, which was produced by The Time member Monte Moir. The group later cracked the upper reaches of the US Billboard R&B chart with the Teddy Riley-produced hit "Made To Be Together" in 1989.[4] Starleana Young left the group to go solo, and was replaced by Mysti Day.

In 2013, Family Groove Records recovered the lost tapes for the unreleased '5th' Aurra album Satisfaction, originally recorded in 1984. The direction of the album was supervised by Steve Washington, Amuka Kelly (also known as Sheila Horne Washington) and Daniel Borine.

In 2019, Aurra's second album as Déjà, the long out of print Made To Be Together was released to digital and streaming platforms.[6][7][8]

Discography

as Aurra

Albums

  • 1980: Aurra (Dream Records)
  • 1981: Send Your Love (Salsoul Records)
  • 1982: A Little Love (Salsoul Records)
  • 1983: Live and Let Live (Salsoul Records)
  • 1985: Like I Like It (10 Records) / Bedtime Story (Next Plateau Records Inc.)
  • 2013: Satisfaction (Family Groove Records)

Singles

  • 1980: "In the Mood (to Groove)"
  • 1981: "Are You Single"
  • 1982: "Make Up Your Mind"
  • 1982: "Checking You Out"
  • 2013: "Back 2 U" (featuring Curt Jones)

as Déjà

Albums

  • 1987: Serious (Virgin / 10 Records)
  • 1989: Made to Be Together (Virgin / 10 Records)

Singles

  • "Serious" (1987), 10 Records
  • "You and Me Tonight" (1987), Virgin
  • "That's Where You'll Find Me" (1987), 10 Records
  • "Going Crazy" (1988), Virgin
  • "Made to Be Together" (1988), Virgin
  • "Heart Beat" (1988), Virgin

Solo albums

Curt Jones

  • 2006: 360 Degrees (Red Virgo)
  • 2010: Solo (Red Virgo)
  • 2015: Curt Jones III (Red Virgo)

Starleana Young

  • 1991: Starleana (Virgin)

See also

References

  1. "Aurra discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  2. "Aurra - awards". AllMusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  3. Kellman, Andy. "Aurra - music biography, credits, and discography". AllMusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  4. "Déjà - awards". AllMusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  5. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 33. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. "Made To Be Together". spotify.com. Spotify AB. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  7. "Made To Be Together by Deja". pandora.com. Pandora Media LLC. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  8. "Made To Be Together by Deja". amazon.com. Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
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