B.J. The Chicago Kid Talks "Good Luv'n"
Thu, 27 Dec 2012 10:28:10
For B.J. The Chicago Kid singing well and dressing well go hand-in-hand.
"I've got to look good while I'm singing," he explains. "I believe in a very clean, crisp look even if you're just wearing a t-shirt and jeans."
It's all part of B.J.'s approach to soul music and R&B. He nods to those legendary crooners we all know and love, while adding a healthy dose of his own modern panache. In other words, he's the whole package, boasting unbeatable style and an impressive voice. You can hear it on his debut single "Good Luv'n". The song echoes R&B champs of the past, while ushering the genre forward. 2013 might just belong to B.J.…
In this exclusive interview, B.J. The Chicago Kid talks to ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino about "Good Luv'n", some favorite movies, influences, and so much more.
What's the story behind "Good Luv'n"?
Honestly, I have to give credit where credit is due. My team came up with the musical composition. They locked into the vibe they normally do, and they said they had something to play me. I sat down, and I was like, "Whoa!" I felt like that bass line was so profound. I wanted to take it home, but the words came so easily I didn't even had to take it home. It's so relaxing. It's got an effortless cool.
Where did the lyrics come from?
I listen to a lot of old school music. It's breaking down why a guy loves girl. He's explaining it in the most uncommon way, but it's so simple in a sense. It's telling you the truth. You're paying homage to a timeless beauty, and you want a piece of it [Laughs].
Does this open up the door to your album? Is this a fitting introduction to you?
Yeah, it depends on what shoes you're looking at it from. Some people catch me first from a feature with one of their favorite rap artists. Some people catch me writing a song for their favorite R&B artist. Some people meet me in the studio. They don't even know who I am, and then they get a hold of the music. It depends on how you're put on to the music.
Is it important for you to paint pictures and tell stories within the songs?
Most definitely! Once you do a song, you're not in the car with the whoever's listening to it. You're not in the chair next to their cubicle to tell them everything's the song is saying or not. They have to get that idea of the song without you being there. There's no time to tell the stories. They either get it or they don't. If you paint that picture lyrically, they'll feel it. Guys like R. Kelly are incredible visual painters when it comes to music. I get that from them. You can see your own version of what the artist is saying. That's the journey.
What artists shaped you?
I listened to a lot of D'Angelo and a bit of Marvin Gaye. I understood that Marvin was a whole different type of soul. I got into that later when I had my own radio and could explore. Then, there were gospel singers. I go back to Boyz II Men and Jodeci. I feel like those vocalists were incredible artists to display those visuals. It's a blessing to be a fan and learn that way. I can come back to these records and be inspired.
What's your vision for the album as a whole?
On this one, I'm going to tell more of an in-depth story, yet you're not going to feel far away from the music. It's the best story I've told ever. It's pretty much about a kid who moves from Chicago to pursue his dreams in L.A. as well as all of the Hell but Heaven in between. There's so much. It's pretty much my story on steroids. You know how most R&B artists will make an album and it's about a woman the whole time? I'm taking it back to the music where I'm singing about life. It's how to get a woman and how to get her back if you lost her. It's about your dreams and how to tap into what you really want to do. You've got to question yourself to make yourself greater. You've got to give the best love you can. It's a little bit of everything. Some people go to jail in my album. A little mayhem comes. There's some seduction. There's definitely triumph though too. It's totally honest. It's a real project
Were you always surrounded by music growing up in Chicago?
I played drums before I even sang. My oldest brother played drums. I'm the youngest of three.
What are some of your favorite movies?
One of my favorites is Catch Me If You Can. It's so slept on. Of course, I love Belly. I love Taken. I just checked out Marley, and it was incredible. It gives you so much information you never knew about him to better understand what you already know.
What's next for you?
I'm running back and forth between the studio and my tailor because I have a couple of ideas for clothing lines. It's not necessarily making t-shirts or silk screens. This is actually getting everything sewn together and making clothing. Right now, I'm getting the prototypes and samples together. I worked in retail before I moved to California in one of Chicago's biggest stores. I sold everyone clothes, and I learned how to dress myself with a sense of fashion. That's never left me. I'm on one of the biggest stages possible. I've got to show the world what I've got.
Have you heard B.J. The Chicago Kid? Find him on Twitter, or his official site.