R&B is more than just love ballads for the bedroom. It can also be for the dance floor. Unfortunately, not too many artists attempt to strike a balance and find a way to relate to both moods, romantic and festive. But if R&B singer/songwriter Kevin Cossom has his way, his music will be something for both places, equally enjoyed by all who listen to it anytime, anywhere.
After years working behind the scenes as a songwriter for some of the biggest names in the business — Mary J. Blige, Keri Hilson and R Kelly have all sung songs Cossom has written — the 26-year-old singer/songwriter from Orlando, Florida is ready to step out from the shadows of others and make his own mark under the bright lights. Cossom recently released his mixtape By Any Means. This 12 song mixtape features Ace Hood, J. Cole and Rick Ross. The mixtape has been getting rave review including one from Fader Magazine, which gave it an astounding A+. Kevin is currently in studio prepping for the release of his debut album later this year.
What makes Kevin Cossom a unique singer in today's music climate is how he has embraced his musical influences to continue a specific brand of R&B people can dance and party to. Of course Cossom was influenced by the likes of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, but he's also quick to point out artists like Diddy and R. Kelly have been just as influential. "I was always a fan of hip-hop and R&B coming together," says Kevin. "Growing up with Diddy ruling the radio, that was his thing, and I wanted to have my hand in that."
As an only child of a single mother, Cossom's relationship with the secular forms of R&B and hip-hop were limited. Cossom grew up singing in the church choir and gospel songs were where he honed his talent. At the age of 14, he briefly joined up with a couple of friends to form a short-lived singing group, but things all changed at the age of 17. That's when Kevin decided to break out on his own and within the limited confines of Orlando, the young singer started to build a reputation as a formidable songwriter and singer with the help of his manager and music business mentor, Rashad Tyler.
With Tyler's help, Cossom soon found himself in the Connecticut mansion of none other than 50 Cent. More than a long way from home, it was through the music industry's various connections, Cossom and 50 Cent met. The superstar rapper saw in Cossom a potential star, and asked him to record a hook for a song G-Unit member Lloyd Banks was working on. The end result was "Karma", one of Banks' biggest hits on his Hunger For More album, and though Cossom was replaced by the singer Avant, the experience was all Cossom needed to kick start his career. "We ended up not doing a deal with ," says Cossom. "But it was my first taste of the business and recognizing that this is a business too."
Cossom took away the lessons from his experience with 50 Cent and used it to fuel his focus on getting into the business himself. Coincidentally, for having traveled up north to pursue an opportunity, Cossom's next opportunity to shine was right in his hometown of Orlando, Florida.
Through a mutual DJ friend in Orlando, Cossom met with hip-hop producers, The Runners, who were also from the same area as Cossom. "We kind of recognized that we were on the same level, from the same area trying to get on," Cossom says. A year within the relationship, The Runners asked Cossom to lend his talents to a song they were producing for Young Jeezy's album, The Inspiration. The song, "Go Getta" was another hit Cossom penned the hook for and it was the catalyst for him landing a publishing deal at Warner Chapel.
Cossom's skills as a songwriter were in high demand, and one look at his extended discography will support it. His unique alto is strong enough to hang with rappers, but his songwriting sensibilities allow him to create melodies and lyrics women can just as easily sing to. The marriage of both is what made the Grammy Award winning producer Danja pay attention to Cossom.
Cossom's publisher sent him to work with Danja on a project for a girl group he was producing for, and almost instantly, the two realized they found something special. "We came up with some awesome tracks," says Kevin. "So we had to do a deal." Soon Kevin signed a deal with Danja's N.A.R.S. and together, the two of them created what was the beginnings of dynamic combination.
The end result is something of an anomaly in today's overplayed Lothario-lover-boy act a lot of R&B singers are utilizing. R&B isn't just for romance; it's also for the flashing lights at the best parties. True, Cossom, like most 26-year-olds has been through some ups and downs with the opposite sex, but instead of creating an album about the hardships of love, he's created an album about the joys of meeting new people.
Ask him about the things he enjoys doing the most, and naturally, it's being at an incredible party with beautiful women and his closest friends. "I'm an only child," Kevin says. "So for me, I love being around people." To show his appreciation for the company of others, Kevin Cossom has created a soundtrack everyone will want to hear at their next party, and more importantly, a record even he would like to party to. It's one thing for an artist to create an album they enjoy, it's another thing when an artist like Kevin creates a soundtrack for their own celebration. Kevin Cossom, is about enjoying life, even when it throws us curveballs; an album filled with great melodies, catchy hooks, svelte lyricism, and of course, mind-blowing production. Cossom has an R&B album for people who appreciate all types of music, and the good times that go with it.