Music is everywhere and is everything. It is also alive! Music has been the one constant social and emotional thing that drops us to our knees, put us on our feet, have us cry out in pain and even shout to the top of our lungs with joy. It has brought us together in victories and defeats, consoled us in dying times and joined us together in holy matrimonies. ”Remember a song and you will remember a place and time in your life”. That is a quote from music’s soul stirrer, R&B singer/songwriter K’Jon. He will forever be linked to many people for his hit song, “On The Ocean”, which gave him a #1 song on the radio for six weeks straight. Amazingly, his last album ”I Get Around” also debuted at #1 on the Hip Hop/R&B album charts and later made Billboards Top 50 R&B/Hip Hop Album of 2009! The album was so well received by audiences nationwide that K’Jon was nominated for the Best New Artist category at the 2010 NAACP Image Awards. “On the Ocean” was the spark that ignited his career to new heights. According to Billboards year end issue, the single was the #2 Hot Adult R&B song of 2009 and also made the largest jump to the #1 spot on the Neilsen ratings, beating out platinum selling artist Alicia Key’s 2001 debut single “Fallin”. In addition, K’Jon set the record for the longest run on Billboards Hot R&B/Hip Hop Song with “On the Ocean”, surpassing platinum selling artists Usher’s single “You Make Me Wanna” and Mary J Blige’s single “Be Without You”, which logged at 75 weeks! Very impressive for a first time major release and Detroit’s son is set to sail again after his “ship came in” with so much success. ”This Time” around, however, K’Jon will do it with his own label (Up&Up Records) and indie power house Shanachie. The forthcoming album entitled ”Moving On” is much anticipated after a seemingly “out of nowhere” success story by K’Jon. But it didn’t happen overnight for the CEO & producer who is also responsible for writing all of the songs he’s ever published. With two independent album releases (This Is Me 2006 and the #1 independent album The Ballroom Xplosion 2007), three mix tapes (Yes Sir 2005, The Making of A Hoodlum 2008 and The Detroit Connect 2010) all released under his Up&Up Records label, a feature on the 2Fast & 2Furious Movie/Soundtrack (Miami 2004) and a national release (I Get Around 2009), the stage is set to see if K’Jon can woo his fans again! Ironically he proposed this question on his first single off the new album, “Will You Be There?” ”Will You Be There?”, produced by K’Jon and newcomer Letorion Paul is a song that is packed with emotions! You are moved, some with tears as this piano laid track filled with a throbbing base line and accompanied by flute and guitar, stirs the soul! What is the meaning behind the song? K’Jon replies, “It’s been difficult for many people the last few years…, tough times with people going thru many changes. I’m not excluded from these things. As a matter of fact, It’s been extremely hard for me even though “On The Ocean” had done well. I was very disappointed my last time out! I felt a lot of people knew the song but didn’t know me. There wasn’t an effort to associate or connect me with the “Ocean” song at maximum visibility. Although I wrote it, performed it and co-produced it, some in my camp felt I didn’t deserve it. So I wasn’t able to capitalize financially like expected. I also wanted people to know the range of my creativity, because I am Hip Hop, I am R&B and I am soul. I vowed that if I got into this (music) game again, I would do my best and I would expect the people around me to do their best as well! All I can say is that you need a committed strong team to win or should I say win big…, and so I’m moving on”. And hopefully K’Jon is moving on to bigger and better things.So let’s break down some of the album, which is due out early spring of 2012! We start off with “Super Man” which immediately comes on with super hero theme like music…, produced by Kidd (Rick Ross, Jim Jones and B.G.). As if suggesting he could do anything with a strong united front behind him, K’Jon boasts, ”nothing can stop me, baby when you got me, it feels like I can touch the sky”. Later in the song he honors his city by calling to mind that automobiles and music had a strong start in Detroit and shouldn’t be frown upon because…”that’s how the world revolves…, the music and the cars”. I think you will find this song to be very catchy and definitely clever.K’Jon then rejoins the battlefield with his Detroit comrade Seven The General on the song “On Everything” Pt. 2. You may recall Seven The General, one of the newest members on Up&Up Records, featured on the original “On Everything” from the “I Get Around” album. In regards to Seven, K’Jon says, “We may not get a lot of radio locally, but the streets love us to death. I’m from the east, he’s from the west and he is one of the best talents period; we will continue to make records for a long time”. “On Everything” talks about the struggle to provide, accountability and commitment.
Another new song entitled ”No Pressure” is a club banger which features Up&Up Records artist Bloc Boi Doggie which is sure to get your body instantly moving. The combination of K’Jon with his smooth vocals along with the street sounds of Doggie and Zo saying, “Let’s Go!!!” is sure to be a fan favorite.
But if I was at a birthday party, “Bad Gurl” would take the cake. As soon as the song starts, you kind of feel like this is going in the right direction. Next thing you know, you find yourself doing your favorite two step. ”Bad Gurl” is the unofficial urban single from K’Jon and it will be sure to get major club play in the coming months. With a smooth lightly coated vocoder sound, K’Jon says with a hint of swagger, “I need a bad gurl on the flo, are you a bad gurl? let me know”! K’Jon is even creating a NEW “Bad Gurl” line dance that will be showcased in the upcoming “Bad Gurl” video. Now that’s hott!
Ladies are sure to get caught up in another track from the album with the sexy “Ex Amnesia”, produced by Grammy award winning Adonis (Chris Brown, Keysia Cole, Rihanna & Avant) featuring Bloc Boi Jonsey as K’Jon claims that he could make his new gurl “forget about her ex man”. Jonsey also appears later on the track “Everything Good” along with Duece The Producer and Bloc Boi Doggie. And then there is “My Lil Sista” which will be sure to get all the ladies to say “Awe, how sweet”, in dedication to his younger sister.
From that point on, the album approaches a more mature sound with “Wonderland”, a duet featuring another Up&Up Records artist, the songstress Misty Merritt. I put this one up there with all the great duets in the past 50 years or so. Produced by Urban Rock Starz out of Detroit/Atlanta, “Wonderland” has an acoustic/Latin guitar ridden sound and with the breath taking vocal performance by Misty, this song will have many asking, “Who is that”?
Then there is the album’s titled track “Moving On”, produced by DeNotes, “The Reason”, produced by The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and “I’m Good Boo”, produced by K’Jon and J’Oneal. All three songs will have Chicago steppers and affiliates around the country steppin the night away. “I’m forever grateful to the steppers and ballroom communities who have constantly supported me throughout my career and so, I will always make steppin songs to keep a portion of my fans satisfied and happy”, says K’Jon.
Notably strong songs, “Take This Dollar” produced by Grammy award winning Nephew (Akon, Michael Jackson & Neyo) and the dedication song to his mother, “Super Momma” round out the album which makes me feel like K’Jon has somehow saved the best for last. These two songs will be around for a long time.
Aside from his music, K’Jon is in the midst of shooting a movie featuring local talent set in the Motor City circa 1930. The plot for “Dancing Shoes” revolves around the good-natured dance rivalry between Detroit ball-roomers and Chicago steppers. K’Jon has also stayed busy endorsing, producing and writing for aspiring artists under his umbrella as some of them make their debut on the “Moving On” album. “When it comes to Detroit talent, I am a big supporter as indicated on my last 5 projects…, I represent Detroit to the fullest”, K’Jon proudly admits.
K’Jon is a true testament to the phrase “Never give up on your dreams!” He is humbled by his success and regularly participates in community activities such as the B.M.E. (Black Male Engagement) which identify, connect, celebrate and empower men and boys as well as support their continued efforts to strengthen their communities. K’Jon is also in the works of building his own foundation in the near future. He loves kids and plans to have an after school program which will aid youths academically, morally and physically.
We are wishing K’Jon all the best in his endeavors and while listening to the “Moving On” album in it’s entirety, I know he will do just fine! In closing, I will borrow what K’s partner Chuck said on the album intro, “Life is all about adjustments, so I’ll guess we’ll just be…, moving on”! Yes! Moving on can be a good thing sometimes.