23 year old singer/songwriter and Watts, California native Kenyon Dixon has already had quite an accomplished career in music and it’s just in its beginning stages. Along with his background singing work with a number of artists such as Tyrese, Usher, The-Dream and Faith Evans, Dixon has also received a Grammy nomination for his songwriting contributions on Tyrese’s latest album “Open Invitation”.
It’s Dixon’s work away from the background however that drew him to me as a fan of his work and supporter. Getting familiar with his work during an earlier interview with singer/producer Alex Isley, I learned of Dixon through work done in collaboration by the two artists. His debut EP 2011’s “It Ain’t Easy” featured one of my favorite singles of that year in “Circles”, a song which I told him personally that can get a listener completely in their emotions if they’re not prepared. In 2012 Dixon released another EP titled “Hollywood & High_Land”, which was largely produced by Isley and showcased more growth by him as an artist. Both projects showed not only his powerful voice but his ability to make commercially targeted music as well without jeopardizing his style and overall craft.
2013 is kicking off to a great start by Dixon as he is currently recording a new project slated for release this year. In addition to his own singles “Let’s Stay Together” and “All The Way” featuring Alex Isley making the rounds through many speakers, Dixon also has a couple singles penned by him in circulation by the trio of Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank bka TGT (“Sex Never Felt Better”) and veteran vocalist Ann Nesby (“Through With You”). I was fortunate enough to catch up with Dixon during a break from a recent performance to inquire more about his work as a recording artist, what he feels he brings to the genre of R&B and his future endeavors.
Destiny: Interview With Kenyon Dixon
Who and/or what inspired you to get into music?
I come from a very musical family/background. Both my mother and father were vocalists and my father was a guitarist as well (Quartet). Most of my brothers and sisters sing as well. So growing up in church paired with that AND dancing, I basically didn’t have a choice lol. Everywhere I went I was surrounded by music and the arts. I actually had no interest in singing AT ALL even though I always could; but the older I got, it grew on me
What is your favorite era of music?
My favorite era of music would have to be the 90s. It’s very nostalgic as far as my childhood but it just feels good. It’s just all vibe to me. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can’t deny that feeling when a 90s record comes on!
What was your big break as a professional recording artist?
My big break as a professional recording artist… I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’ve had my big break just yet only because personally, there’s a lot more i wish to acquire but I definitely know I’ve been blessed with some great opportunities.
Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with and opened for?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Faith Evans, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Tyrese, Kimbra, Tank, Ginuwine, Nicki Minaj and some others. From writing records for some of them to being on stage. Its definitely been a pleasure. I haven’t had the horror experiences yet people speak about with artists in general lol. I’ve been blessed to work with some cool, humble, chill people.
How do you feel about today’s R&B music climate?
R&B Music today, in my opinion, just progresses with society. As bad and lacking in quality as it can (and is) be considered, it’s what people like. It just sucks for everyone who never lost sight of that initial quality and still wants that classic feeling but I think the fact that independent music is becoming a lot more popular could potentially fill that void and create a medium for all listeners or allow it to resurface all around.
What do you feel you bring to the R&B genre?
I think every Artist’s initial response to this is ‘I bring what’s missing’ lol but in a sense its true because of everybody’s unique ability. As far as myself, I think I bring vibe.. just a dope vibe all around..music and style that’s respected by the underground/more musically mature listeners but still translates commercially without completely compromising. I’m young and I like to have fun. ‘Turn Up’ as we say lol so I’ll never want to completely abandon that in what I do because it’s a part of me.. But my taste in music relating to my artistry isn’t solely that. So I had to learn how to balance translating that and still having respectable quality music which I’ve seen is a struggle for a lot of Artists. So when you actually execute it correctly and break into mainstream, you’re bringing something VERY unique ESPECIALLY when it’s original and true to you which I feel it is in my case.
What was your inspiration behind one of my favorite songs by you, “Circles”.
Circles…Circles lol that record! Ironically, that record isn’t anything I’ve experienced personally but it was an emotion I tapped into because of the feeling that the music evoked. I’m a very emotional writer when it comes to music (especially my own) and i try to stay obedient to what I feel. So although I hadn’t experienced that situation first hand, I absolutely feel like I had the second I begin to create the record and I think that translated to my listeners which is why it’s one of their favorite records from me so far. It’s a feeling or a vibe more than a song.
What projects can we expect from you this year?
I’m currently working on my third project which I plan to release within the next month or so. I’m kind of in between titles right now so I don’t want to give a title and then release it and it’s something COMPLETELY different lol. I feel good about the project though. I speak a lot about vibe and feeling and I think it’s nothing short of that. It feels really good. Kind of reminiscent of my last project “Hollywood & High_Land” but I wasn’t afraid to try more commercial production and create that balance aforementioned so it does have its own unique sound. I’ve also been doing a lot of writing for some other artists. To name a few, TGT and Ann Nesby whose current singles I wrote both have albums set to released later this year so it’ll be a pretty musically eventful rest of the year. Who knows I’m a working on a few things!
Stay Connected with Kenyon Dixon: