Friday, October 19, 2012
Singer Robert King, Jr.
His silky smooth delivery and flawless vocals harken you back to a time when singers could actually SING, and not just gyrate on stage and call it talent.
Robert King, Jr. is the kind of singer that you can imagine on stage with groups like the Temptations, or the Chi-lites, or contemporary artists like Musiq Soulchild (one of his inspirations) or Anthony Hamilton. That strong Neo Soul vibe with more emphasis on talent then a look.
From his strong gospel roots (as part of a gospel group as a young boy and growing up in the church) to his strong soul flavor of today, King as always been about the music first and foremost.
When did you first fall in love with music?
I was a kid. Younger than five. My mother taught me, my brother and my sister to sing, and we became a group called the King’s Kids. Most of our lives we were known as the King’s Kids. As we got older, we changed our name to Kingdom-Bound Singers. That is where my major roots in music came from. Gospel Music.
What do you want people to hear in your music?
That I just want to have fun, you know? Laid back and relaxed. Not too much of that extra stuff, I just like to have fun.
Who are your musical influences?
Musiq Soulchild, definitely. I like Earth, Wind and Fire a lot. My dad used to play it a lot when I was younger. I never knew who it was, but as I got older, I learned to love it.
Describe your music?
My music reflects me. I am all different types; I am all over the place. Sometimes I can be mellow, sometimes I can be erratic. It’s a reflection of me.
What are you working on right now?
I have a project coming out with Lil Joe called “One Night Engagement.” It is a more pop type feel than other stuff I have done.
You are making a mix-tape of your all-time favorite songs. What the first song on it and why?
I really don’t have favorites. I just love everything. And everything I do. Some people don’t like that, but I like it all.
Best performance you ever gave?
I think 2010. I had my all team with me, and we had a lot of fun. What made it the best is we had so much fun. The video footage showed us jumping around, having a good time. That is the most energetic I have ever seen my team. Most of us are real laid-back, and we were all over the place. It’s was at a place called Dark Horse at the time. Now it is called Wings.
Worst performance you ever gave?
We did a show at Club 180 (in Oshkosh) and we weren’t very prepared. It didn’t go over too well. (laughs).
What are some of the good things about the music scene in this area?
In this area, you find all different types of music; all different types of artists. And some of the artists are some pretty cool cats.
What are some of the things that could be improved?
Everybody could work together more. I think personally we are all on the same level. No one is on BET with a deal or anything like that. So we should all embrace each other as such. And if someone gets a deal, then that is great for them. At this point in time, though, we should keep this thing going together as it is, which is fun and making music. Take the drama out of it.
One song that describes your life?
A Change Gone Come by Same Cooke. In my life I have had a lot of things that are not that good. But I keep pushing and pushing because I know a change is going to come.
One artist, alive or dead, you would want to do a song with?
Musiq Soulchild. I like his style. He is so mellow and I like the way he rides the notes and rides the beat.
What was your first concert?
How did you make the jump from your gospel background to what you do now?
Just different stages in my life. When I was in church, I was IN it. When I lived in Milwaukee, I was in the choir called Wisconsin State Choir and we TRAVELED. Everywhere. Some of the best experiences in my life were with that choir. When I came this way, I kind of fell out of the church life. I was dealing with myself.
From when you first started until now, what kind of change have you seen in your music?
Growth as far as the business side goes. I started when I was young. I had all the vocal training, but I didn’t have the business side.
Do you think the negativity that some venues have towards hip hop and R&B has affected your growth as an artist?
Yeah it does, but in the same vein, I am not trying to be in that scene anymore. I am trying to become more of that coffee shop artist. Smooth music; I don’t want to go to places where the speakers are too loud, with the bass banging all the time. Sometimes you just need a guitar and a vocalist. A more intimate setting. I like a smaller place. It enables you to connect with the crowd better.
When you look back on all this, what do you want people to say about you?
That I worked hard and tried to put out quality music. As far as a person, I want to be remembered as the person that was easy to get along with.