Brooklyn based R&B soul bassist/artist Kevin Jenkins, has taken the courageous (and well-received) jump into the front of the artistic soul glossed stage with the release of his solo debut album, Step Inside. For 38 years, Jenkins has been supporting and adding to the success of artists like Cyndi Lauper, Maxwell, Enrique Iglesias, Roberta Flack, Taylor Dayne, and most recently Shemekia Copeland-but now he has ditched the sideman cape and is “starting all over again!”
Step Inside was released on September 9, 2013 and marks the arrival of the talented, creative and unique singer/songwriter/bassist Kevin Jenkins. Step Inside features Jenkins as the leader-no longer hiding behind other artists’ talent. Produced entirely in his own terms, Step Inside allows Jenkins to write, sing and perform music he wants to hear. Jenkins is a malleable and transcendent soul-pop-R&B artist with pipes similar to Stevie Wonder, Sting and Bill Withers. Each track radiates a different vibe into the airwaves whether it be a funky-soul vibe as heard in “Change of Heart” (which transforms the listener back to the soulful 70’s) or the romantic candle-lit-stay-in-with-red-wine-all-night R&B track “Can’t Get Over You.”
Now, as a solo artist, Jenkins is allowing himself to enjoy the liberty of having a solo career; using his artistic rights to insert whatever themes and emotions he pleases into his songs. “Songs about karma and insecurity, about loss and social indignation, about love and hopefulness” are what you can expect to hear from the “very young artist” but seasoned musician. Making the transition to front man Jenkins reflects and explains that his role as a sideman “was to nurture a song and be present in the performance of that song.” As the headliner, Jenkins had to learn to create the song and performance, rather than just be involved. “Now I feel that if there is no emotional connection from artist to listener and back again, than an opportunity has been missed. It’s been a journey, one that I hope to be on for a long, long time.”
Jenkins calls on the listener to “come with me on a short trip through my head and hopefully my heart” while he “gets closer to the idea of emotional connection” for his next (hopefully, coming soon) album. His lyrics, voice and music are as eloquent and artistically unique as his interviews. Jenkins path in life “has not always been crystal clear” but his R&B soul obviously knows where it wants to be. No matter the mood, Step Inside can satisfy even the hungriest ear.