That's right! I called it from her first audition. The winner of the twelfth season of American Idol is Candice Glover! For the first time in a very long time, the winner is actually the best singer on the show.
I'm so happy for Candice. She's been one of the best contestants to ever appear on the show, and after auditioning for the show three times, she finally proved that she deserves the title!
For the first time in Idol history Candice's debut album Music Speaks is available for pre-order on iTunes. Her single, I Am beautiful, is available for download now on iTunes!
Congratulations to Candice Glover! I can't wait to hear her original music. I think we'll be hearing from Candice for a very long time!
Hey Kev! Thanks for speaking with me today. First, can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself?
"For Sure, my name is Kev and I was born and raised in Queens, NY. I was raised by both my parents, my father was from Nigeria and my moms from Brooklyn. Both my parents really emphasized the importance of getting an education, therefore I may have not always been the best student but I always had a knack for learning all types of things, even outside of the school curriculum. Lastly, I graduated from Delaware State University with a Bachelors in Finance and Banking."
When did you first really get into music? Who/what inspired you to take it to the next level and pursue music as a career?
"I've been writing and creating music since the age of 7-8 years old. I never had a reason to pursue music or even put my music out for people just to hear. But shortly after graduating college, my father was suddenly diagnosed with Kidney cancer. He passed away a few months later and it really took a toll on me physically and mentally. I fell into some type of depression and used music to lift me out of it. I began writing songs about my situation and experiences I had endured throughout the time my dad was sick. My first song entitled "Just Smile" was dedicated to my father and was my first record that I publicly released. The reaction from friends and family confirmed that I was making the type of music people wanted to hear, music from the heart. So with that said, all my music is inspired by my father but not about him directly. I just try to express myself as openly and relatable as possible."
How would you describe your sound and look to a listener who may be discovering you for the first time?
"My sound consist of an east coast, 90's sound mixed with African/tribal production. My look and fashion is a hybrid of urban streetwear, high end designer wear and traditional African cloth. I pretty much put on for my Nigerian roots thru my music and what I wear. But not many people can do it the way I do."
Tell us a little bit about your single "Up & Up." What was your inspiration behind the song? How has the feedback been?
"My new single/video "Up&Up" which you can watch on our website (RoyalKulture.com), was created out of frustration for what I was hearing in the radio at the time. It just seemed that music without substance was at an all time high and the shit had to stop. So I took it upon myself to create and aggressive tune with a bold message yet still keeping it catchy enough to be played on the radio. The feedback has been crazy, more than I expected. The first month the video has been out it hit a couple major blogs such as Vlad Tv and Kevin Nottingham. So I'm excited to see where my single goes next."
What are some projects you are currently working on that you can tell us about? When can we expect some more music from Kev?
"The project I'm currently working on is my debut mixtape called "Smile" dropping on Sept 16th , the one year anniversary of my fathers passing. Smile encompasses music that interprets the many emotions a smile hides. The project was spawned out of my need to express my thoughts and emotions during a particular period in my life. Most people had no idea what I was going thru during that time because I smiled thru my pain. And the mixtape symbolizes how people use a smile to cover other emotions. I have two visuals slated to release prior to the summer to keep the fans connected to my story."
You are a member of the collective Royal Kulture. Can you tell us a little bit about what exactly Royal Kulture is?
"Royal Kulture is a music label that houses more than just musical talent. Our label consist of two artist (Kev & Shamilka), a video director, blogger, stylist and designer. We all stand for embracing our roots and we all believe that everyone regardless of where they are from are all connected by emotions. So essentially we are all the same, we are 1 Kulture."
What do you think separates you from other artists in the industry?
"What separates me from other artist is my sound and my look. On my mixtape I will be introducing listeners more to the sounds of Africa and how it can be modernized and turned into a wavy ass hip hop instrumental. When it comes to fashion, I have my own style. I combine my everyday looks with aspect of tribalism. So you might catch me wearing a gstar jacket with a Mudcloth shirt underneath. This type of swag don't come around often so when it does take notes tho."
If you could work with anyone, dead or alive, who would you pick and why?
"I would love to work with A Tribe Called Quest, the Fugees, De La Soul and Nas."
What's an interesting fact about you that many people may not know?
"An interesting fact about me that people may not know is that my favorite place to create music is the train."
That was the last question. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview. Do you have any last thoughts or comments?
"Thank you for such a great interview. I want to leave of by letting everyone know they can catch me on twitter and Instagram @thatafricankev . Visit us at our website too www.RoyalKulture.com . And remember we are all 1 Kulture!"
Kelly Rowland's latest single, Dirty Laundry, exposes everything from her feelings on Beyonce's success, to an abusive relationship with an ex-boyfriend. She calls Bey her "sister" throughout the song, but admits that seeing Beyonce so successful was "bittersweet."
"Bird in a cage you would never know what I was dealing with. Went our separate ways, but I was happy. She was killing it. Bittersweet, she was up, I was down."
She goes on to admit that she felt as though she lived in Bey's shadow. She also tells of an abusive relationship she was in, and how her ex tried to turn her against Beyonce.
Dirty Laundry is the second single off Kelly's upcoming album Talk a Good Game. I have to admit I like the song. It has a dark feel to it, but it's so raw. I applaud Kelly for being able to write such a real song. Check it out below!
The last original judge on American Idol, Randy Jackson, has announced that this season will in fact be his last. In his statement Jackson said that he was "very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry." Simon, Paula, and Randy did indeed change the industry forever, but now that he is leaving, I believe it is time to retire the show.
American Idol has launched the careers of countless superstars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jessica Sanchez, Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery, Jennifer Hudson, and many more. The show has left a mark on the industry, and has inspired tons of other reality talent shows. That being said, the show has run it's course. The judges panel has changed so much in the past years, but the chemistry that Simon, Paula and Randy had was never matched.
In my opinion, Randy was glue that kept the show together. I say they end on the highest note possible, and make way for other shows to have a chance to shine.