This week, we're going on the R&B tip with Kalo King's 2nd Place:
The talented singer/songwriter shared the motivation behind his single and how a great mentor can change a weakness into a strength.
Musik ID TV: We're so happy to feature "2nd Place" this week. Share your process of creating the track from concept to completed single.
KALO KING: 2nd Place was super easy to write. As soon as I received the track from my producer Tim I wrote the hook immediately. I then took it to my writing partner Bobbie & she’s the melody queen so she gave me about 10 different ones to pick & choose from. So what you hear is an amalgam of those different takes.
The story was so much of my life. I always felt peripheral or on the fringes while growing up. I don’t crush easily in real life but when I do it’s real but I never felt that the crush would be reciprocated so I lived in my head about whomever. That’s what the song is about but in the story I’m actually confessing, which I’ve never done in real life lol.
MIDTV: How did you get started in the music industry?
KK: I’m a 3rd generation musician. My grandmother was a pianist/singer who played with The Count Basie Orchestra and had her own trios. We had a piano in the house and she played often. She would make me sing “Yes Jesus Loves Me” all the time. Then her kids, 4 girls and 1 boy, were a funk band in the 70’s & 80’s and my mom was the drummer. Mom gave me her practice set as soon as my feet could touch the bass drum pedal. Eventually singing took over & when I moved to LA I started hitting the open mic circuit & built enough relationships to start getting calls for auditions & gigs. And now, here I am.
MIDTV: It's awesome that you have a close partnership with Lalah Hathaway. How did you two meet?
KK: Initially I met Lalah in Japan while on a gig doing a Motown review. She had a show at the Blue Note Osaka & me & my other bandmates bought tickets. She came out after the show & I told her that night I would share the stage with her, like so many of us singers do. Fast forward to 2012 & my friend Jason Morales, the other background singer for Lalah, called me to audition for her the week I had just came home from singing on cruises & was over that life. I got the gig & 6 years later she still feels I’m worthy to be on stage with her.
MIDTV: What advice has she given you that you found useful to your career?
KK: She is a huge advocate for developing what is natural & obvious. I had a million insecurities when I started working with her. She magically started turning what is considered my weakness in an industry full of gospel singing tenors into a feature, which is the fact that I’m a baritone/bass by nature. She showcases that part of my voice in the show in a way no one ever has before, even though most of the show I’m actually singing the tops on the backgrounds. So she tells me to use that part of my voice, so I named my upcoming project Baritone.
MIDTV: What was your biggest misconception about the music industry?
KK: I believed that our industry was about the creativity, was open minded & endless with welcoming the unusual & emotional. I had a rude awakening. I discovered the complete opposite in more instances than I’d care to discuss.
MIDTV: What do you hope listeners will take away after listening to your music?
KK: I hope they take away some inspiration & feel good after my song(s) end(s). That’s my goal. I just want listeners to feel something & a lot of it. I want them to feel sexy, one of a kind, that love is real & important, like they wanna call they momma, like they can conquer the world.
MIDTV: Any new and exciting current/upcoming projects you'd like to share and where can we find your work?
KK: Yes. I’m co-writing the songs to a play written by my friend Desmond who just came off of his 2 year tour in Hamilton. It’s something I never thought I’d be doing because I didn’t think I had the skill set for it. He convinced me otherwise & I have the time of my life creating with him. I hope to continue to expand into other creative endeavors that I didn’t expect to tackle.
I’m having an album release on May 24th at the SOL Venue so anyone in LA who’d like to come hear the project, see me perform, have food & dessert to celebrate my birthday, and dance all night with Lalah Hathaway aka DJ D.O.S. at the turntables should come! My full album will be released that Friday the 25th on all digital platforms.
Get updates on Kalo King's music, concerts and more at 1kaloking.com
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