Chicago deep-house trio Ten City — Byron Burke, Herb Lawson and Byron Stingily — made an indelible mark on house music in the late ’80s and early ’90s with an onslaught of soulful R&B-laden singles such as “Devotion,” “That’s the Way Love Is” and “Goin’ Up in Smoke.”
After releasing four albums — 1989’s Foundation, 1990’s State of Mind, 1992’s No House Big Enough and 1994’s That Was Then, This is Now — Stingily, a prolific songwriter with a trademark falsetto, left the group. Over the trajectory of his solo career, he’s released a wealth of music for Nervous Records, including two full-length albums.
Now Stingily has partnered with Chi-town DJ/producer Marshall Jefferson, to restart Ten City with the upcoming single “Be Free.”
While not an official member of the group during its heydey, Jefferson, who was recently hospitalized with pneumonia, was involved as a producer with the triumvirate.
Stingily, who has collaborated with Danny Tenaglia, Murk and Frankie Knuckles and sang backing vocals on tracks for Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Whitney Houston, says the song “encompasses the spirit of dance and house music! Many times people focus on our differences but ‘Be Free’ speaks to how we are more alike than different. It is a song about respecting and appreciating our differences!”
Ten City’s “Be Free” will be released via Ultra Music on January 29.