On the evening of Thursday, November 12th, EmEz discussed with Southeast D.C’s R&B Artist Kevin Ross to find out what made him start singing and his future music career. EmEz quickly asked what got Kevin involved in music, to which he responded, “My pops and his whole side of the family always did music, so music has always been around.” He was a 90’s baby raised in a household that frequently played music from the ’60s & ’70s, so he decided to combine music from that time and the ’90s to create his sound.
Kevin began his music career at the age of 19/20yrs old as a songwriter before focusing on premiering his vocals to the world. He stated, “there are millions of people that can sing, but there aren’t many people that can write,” so he chose to write first for Jamie Foxx. He has also written for Trey Songz, Tank, Ty Dollar $ign, Lil’ Wayne, Nicki Minaj, SWV, and Johnny Gill, to name a few.
The first song Kevin heard on the radio that he had written was one he wrote for Trey Songz entitled, “What’s Best For You,” and then he listened to the other hit song he wrote,“Touchin, Lovin” by Nicki Minaj & Trey Songz numerous times which gave him a moment of surreality. While being in amazement of hearing the songs he wrote on the radio, Kevin kept himself busy by touring with Maxwell and opening up shows for Ne-Yo. To then hear the hit song he wrote for Trey Songz play in between sets; it was indeed a moment in time that he will never forget, which reminds him of the footing he has placed in the music industry.
When asked how his transition from being a songwriter to “being at the forefront” as an actual singer, Kevin responded by saying, “it’s great!” He mentioned that he has “always been an artist but leaned into the one thing I was not the best at, which was writing,” because it forced him to be a good writer before becoming a good singer, essentially challenging him. His mission was to become a well-rounded musician that can sing, write, and produce his songs, which allows him not to have any handicaps or crutches in the industry. “I want the world to see me as an artist and to hear what I had to say, and to see how I differentiate my writing from my artistry,” this was something that came easy to him since his personality peeked through each song he sang. Everyone that he worked with was able to view him as “an observer, the person who took on everyone else’s personality in order to compute and write.” However, when it came to the songs he wrote and sang himself, he was and still focuses on tapping into the necessary emotions that help convey the message he is putting out with his voice. Kevin says it is easier for him to check himself than check the artists he has written for. Therefore this made his transition from just a songwriter and producer to a confident singer.
EmEz shifted the conversation to discuss the new single Kevin wrote, produced, and was featured on entitled, “Real Black” featuring Trevor Jackson from “Grown-ish” & Jacob Lattimore from “The Chi.” Kevin states, “Real Black” is a single that is for “our generation and is very cool because we are three black men that can get on a record and do our thing with synergy that you can’t buy or fake.” The song was inspired by what happened to George Floyd and was meant to shed a positive light on who we are as black and brown people. The song proceeds go towards fighting racial injustice, a mission that Kevin is passionate about and wants to make sure that he pays it forward with the gifts he has been blessed to have.
So what else is Kevin up to musically and outside of music? He shared that he is completing the last portion of his “Audacity” project called “Audacity Complete” which is launching on December 8th, 2020; “Audacity Vol. 1” launched in January 2020 & “Audacity Vol. 2” launched in August 2020. “Audacity Complete” is a combination of “Audacity Volume 1& 2” with new songs in addition to live renditions of certain songs added to “complete the package” for this project; since Kevin prides himself in being a performer, the live versions of the songs are what excites him. This project is an end of a phase for him and says that it includes everybody.
During the quarantine, Kevin’s creative process did not change too much since creatives are typically sheltered in the studio majority of the time. Therefore the transition proved itself to be one of ease for him and his artistry. The biggest takeaway from the quarantine for Kevin is that “it allowed us to remain connected with people that we have not been connected to,” which made it easier for Kevin to chat with his family and friends more frequently through the Houseparty app. Although he wanted the quarantine to be over, it added to the creative process.
Kevin was also able to add more content towards his FB Live Show on Monday nights at 8 pm, entitled “The Mashup Show” where he interviews and sings with artists. “The Mashup Show” is a platform Kevin created because he decided to take a seat at the table for himself, an audacious move that proves his consistency in having “Audacity” as he approaches his future projects that he is relentless in pursuing. We are excited to hear and see more of Mr. Kevin Ross.
Catch the full interview below on EmEz’s Youtube Channel “The Sitdown with EmEz.”
(Photos Courtesy of Instagram)