With a smooth mix of R&B, Jazz, Funk and Soul, singer-songwriter Kenya Soulsinger uses her sensual alto and haunting falsetto to tell stories of life, love, joy and pain. Having opened for such artists as Mint Condition, Kem, Jeffrey Osborne, Howard Hewett, Kee Kee Wyatt, Lyfe Jennings, Silk, The Whispers, Karen White and Bobby Valentino.
Neo2soul met up with Kenya Soulsinger to discuss the new LP “The Love You To Life Album” as well many other areas of her career to date.
My name is Kenya Lynn Whitlow AKA Kenya Soulsinger. I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
When did you start making music?
I wrote my first song around age 12. I only allowed my brother and best friend to hear it. I’m certain that they grew weary of hearing those 3 chords over and over again lol
What made you get involved in the music industry and was there a person or artist that inspired you to start writing songs and hit the studio?
I was active in the Gospel Music Industry for several years before my group disbanded.
I sang almost exclusively Gospel music my entire life but R&B/Soul Music has always been the sound that I truly Love.
In 2010, wrote ‘Beautiful‘, a song about the pain that relationships sometimes bring and the eventual victory over that pain.
I thought it would really speak to and possibly bring healing to hurting women so I decided to record it and share it with anyone who would listen. I immediately got the bug! That song would become the first single from my debut album ‘Groovy Way‘ and my inspiration to continue writing and recording.
Kenya SoulSinger Addicted (Live Performance)
What music were you bumping when you were coming up?
Even as a young girl, I was drawn to “real” music and true vocalists’. A few that made a great impression on me musically were and still are The Whispers, The Commodores, Earth Wind and Fire, Prince, Franky Beverly and Maze, Michael Jackson, Phyllis Hyman, Parliment Funkadelic, Cameo, Anita Baker, Randy Crawford, The Dazz Band, The Emotions, The Isley Brothers. The list is as big as my Love for the sound but these are definitely some of my faves!
I have recorded and released 3 albums in 3 years…it wasn’t my plan, just turned out that way. Looking back on the hard work I think that’s pretty amazing!
Who have you worked with?
I have been privileged to work with some amazing gospel, R&B and Rap artists’. The world hasn’t been introduced to some of them but they are stars in my eyes!
There are far too many to name but notably, I have worked with two of the baddest producers in the game, Spyda The Wise Musician and CAP. Their musical touch has made all the difference in the quality sound I try to convey.
Kenya SoulSInger Live Footage 2013
Recently you released your highly anticipated LP “The Love You To Life Album” its sounding really tight. Can you tell us about that? Who dealt with the production and how long did it take to make?
Awww thank you soo much! ‘The Love You To Life Album‘ was produced by my Super Duper Producer Spyda The Wise Musician. I wrote and/or co-wrote 10 out of the 12 songs and covered two of my favourites, ‘Sister‘ and ‘Been So Long‘, originally recorded by my Auntie in my head, The incomparable Anita Baker.
I also felt a little more pressure. I wanted this album to be better than the last and I wanted my fans to love it just as much. I think they do and I looove them for their continued support!
Kenya SoulSinger- Anything (Official Video)
What do you think sets you apart from other female singers in the game right now?
My voice isn’t quite atypical. Most don’t hear me and say she sounds like this person or that person. I pride myself in the fact that my voice and style are truly unique, not forced and all my own…
My music has a heaping dose of Soul, a generous portion of R&B, a touch of Jazz, a dash of Funk and a pinch of Hip Hop…mix it all with some mellow chill and you have KSS music….solid and thoughtful as it arouses and relaxes simultaneously…
Kenya SoulSinger- Lovetopia (Official Video)
What do you enjoy the most about the whole process of recording and writing music? Is there something that you absolutely love and is there anything that maybe you don’t like doing as much?
I absolutely Love the creative process of writing and recording. Hearing my tunes come alive from a dream or concept is a magical experience that gets more and more exciting with every time it happens….right down to the mixing and mastering, I’m there and involved every step of the way. The process gives me LIFE! The only part I don’t like is completion…I’m immediately ready to get back in the lab to create more!
I released my debut album ‘Groovy Way‘ in Aug 2011, and then in 2012 released the ‘Unofficial Django‘ EP. ‘The Love You To Life Album‘ was released on my birthday this year. I’ve also collaborated with several super dope MC’s…
What artists are you listening to at the moment and why?
Right now I’m listening to artists like Robert Glasper, Amel Larrieux, Estelle, Goapele, Jill Scott, Conya Doss, Eric Roberson, Erykah Badu and Rahsaan Patterson to name a few. Why? Because they are all amazing artists who are keeping the Art in the music…they will forever be in my playlists.
Kenya SoulSinger- Sunny Day [Official Video]
So, after the LP what’s next for you?
What’s next? Well…definitely more hot hot music, more hot collabs. I’m working on a few projects with other artists now and am crazy excited to soon be working with another fabulous Indie Artist. I’m keeping it quiet for now but she and I are definitely gonna make some noise!
I definitely pour my resources into my sound and my brand. My ears and eyes are drawn to all things lovely. I Love creating images that coincide with the musical vibe.
Have you got any videos on You Tube and have any ever got played on TV Stations?
Yes, I have several videos on a YouTube including my first Official Music Video, ‘Anything‘, ‘Lovetopia‘ and my latest effort, ‘Sunny Day‘. More to come! I’ve not been played on any major TV stations as of yet but I’m just getting started! Wait and See
Kenya SoulSinger- Love You To Life [Official Video]
Can you tell us your websites, social networking etc….
My official web site is coming soon. Until them you can always friend, like, follow, or add me all over the place!
Thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about me and my music and for supporting Indie Artists! We are the new heartbeat of the music game! I love the movement and am honored to be a part.
Publicist and CEO
Purple Reign Public Relations