Huffpost Entertainment
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Marcel Hidalgo Headshot

Kevin Jenkins: From Sideman to Center Stage

Posted: Updated:
Print

Kevin Jenkins has titled his debut solo album Step Inside, but he has literally stepped away from the background as a sideman and onto the foreground as lead singer/bassist of his own band. He has moved into the spotlight with a lot of experience. During his four decades in the music industry, Kevin has been the backup for Cyndi Lauper, Enrique Iglesias, and Roberta Flack and has opened up for Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, The Police, Joe Cocker, and BB King.

Currently, Kevin views himself as both a seasoned musician and a nascent artist. But, he admits that this new phase in his career comes with a degree of fear. Then again, he believes that every musical situation has in it the elements of the unknown. Music never feels like work to him, but a calling. A calling he has felt from a very young age and what has kept him committed to it.

Yet, his path has not always been clear to him. Following his soul is what he has relied on since he first picked up a musical instrument. And as a result of his longevity, he has witnessed many changes in the music world. He, too, has changed along with it. But most of all, he feels that the rapport between the artist and the listener is why he continues.

A backup musician, no doubt, has the remuneration of success without the repercussions of failure. True, while bands are as good as all members, the person who takes the center stage carries the weight. Kevin moves to center stage with a degree of innocence simply because this is a first for him, but he can no longer ignore the stories his heart longs to tell. He feels a great deal of gratitude toward Tomás Doncker who mentored him through the project and signed him to his label.

Kevin hopes his listeners will experience not only a musical journey, but a step inside his soul. Both his soulful voice and arrangements of the tracks do reveal his musical expertise and the desire to plunge into new territory as conveyed in "Take This Ride". Kevin's preoccupation with Karma is delivered in his R&B track "What Comes Around". And his song "So High" takes one to the core of Kevin's music, poignantly putting into words the message that following one's heart is liberating.

You can stream and purchase Kevin Jenkin's album Step Inside on Bandcamp.