Kevin Lâ€™s Music Of Love
â€œIt got bad. And at some point I told God I wanted to live,â€? Kevin L. adds
Kevin L’s message is simple and straightforward: “Peace and love are the New Hotness.”
That has been this BK Music recording artist’s goal for the past few years, and from the mellow ballads to the up-tempo gospel bangers, this message resonates throughout his debut album, Souled Out, and his every day endeavors. But the Ohio-born native was not always at peace with his soul.
“A lot of alcohol, drugs and things like that plagued my family, including myself,” Kevin tells The Black Star News. “It got bad. And at some point I told God I wanted to live,” he adds, by “letting people know about his power, love and who we are to him.”
The stepson of the legendary Ray Charles, Kevin was exposed to the music industry at a young age, and although he grew up singing in church, Kevin was disinterested in pursuing a serious musical career.
Instead, he wanted to play in the National Football League (NFL). His pro-football dreams were shattered when he sustained a career-ending knee injury. Soon after, his mother died and Kevin plummeted to one of the lowest points in his life.
“I felt like my family was defeated,” he recalls. “ My mom was dead, my sister was on drugs, and my life wasn’t together. It was so crazy and ridiculous how many bad things were happening to me.”
It was in this dismal period of his life that God spoke to Kevin, he says. He realized that his issues were bigger than losing out on an NFL career, or losing one of the most influential people in his life. Kevin says it was through his trials that he became aware of the spiritual attacks he was encountering, and it was in those difficult times that his purpose was revealed.
“I’d written a lot of songs, but this song seemed to just write itself,” Kevin says, referring to ‘You’ve Got Somebody.’ “I asked God, ‘what is that?’ He said ‘I gave you this song to lift up your family.’”
Puzzled and confused by what God had told him, Kevin inquired about the family God was referring too. “I asked God ‘what family,’” Kevin adds. “He said ‘everybody I bring to you.’ And they just kept coming man,” he says, with a laugh.
Kevin says “You’ve Got Somebody” is his favorite track on the album, and he describes Souled Out as an album with a message and a purpose. The album is more than just music to be heard, he tells The Black Star. It’s music that is a call to those who realize that this is the season God talked about when He said He was going to pour out His spirit so abundantly upon the earth.
It is no wonder Kevin describes the album as a “miracle,” because that’s what it took to make “something come from nothing.” He adds: “I should be dead, not making music.”
His gratitude for God’s mercy led Kevin to team up with Rev. Al Sharpton for what they call the H13 Youth Project. Named after Hebrews chapter 13 in the Bible, which talks about brotherly love and entertaining strangers, the goal behind H13 is to make a positive difference in communities throughout America, by promoting peace and empowering youth with tools of trade. Kevin says the outreach program is a mission to grab America’s attention to make society aware of the importance of equipping all generations for the future, by spreading a positive message of hope.
“People always say that we’ve got to preach to the next generation and try to save them, and I like that,” he says. “ But I think that we have a capable, fully-functioning society that exists now that needs new opportunities presented to them. We cannot throw them to the wild and consider them a lost generation,” he adds, about today’s youth. “We need to stimulate, educate, and provide new opportunities that have not been there for them.”
Kevin L emphasizes that a positive outlook on life is extremely important in a society that constantly glorifies a negative lifestyle.
“I think it probably one of the key things that we can do right now is to make it cool, hip and okay to be positive. So you haven’t shot nobody,” he says jokingly. “It’s okay, you’re still cool in my book.”
Kevin’s optimistic outlook on life, his positive attitude, and his drive to inspire others stem from him knowing how it feels to truly experience God’s mercy and love.
“I love God because when I’d drink myself half to death and woe in my misery, God came to me and said ‘I’ll lift you up,’” he recalls. “And if He decided to lift me up, no man has the right to put me down. I owe no man nothing but my love, and my love comes from God.”
Rev. Al Sharpton and Kevin L are taking the H 13 Youth Project and their positive vibes nationwide, and will be visiting Newark, N.J., parts of Philadelphia, Miami, Fla. among other places. Kevin says the goal is to “hit up communities where it’s hot.” Translation: Communities filled with drug abuse, crime and violence, and people with tear-filled hearts. “Those are the communities that need the most help,” he says.
Kevin L is excited about getting as many people on board as possible, because if the communities can “move as a wave, and not a sprinkle, then things can change.” He says, “This is not about denominations,” referring to religions. “This is a call to order, to remember that with all that God’s called us to do, he told us first to love one another.”
Souled Out can be purchased on iTunes and on Kevin’s Web site at www.kevinl.com, where there is also more information on the H13 Youth Project. However, Kevin’s vision reaches far beyond a CD and an outreach program.
“This isn’t about Kevin L. This isn’t about the H13 Project,” he says. “This is about us as a people loving one another.”
If you don’t know by now what the L in Kevin L means, it could only stand for one thing: love.
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