There’s something so mesmerizing about a celebrity who doesn’t act like one. In a world and industry that is all about illusion, shine and how popular you are, it was a pleasure to interact with R&B sensation, Kenny Lattimore, in Baltimore earlier this week.
The award winning singer was in town to promote his new album and headline the Fall Wine Fest in nearby Owings Mills, MD. Why Maryland? Some would be shocked to learn that the crooner is from the area originally. He claims the “D” in the DMV (DC-MD-VA) as his hometown and matriculated here in Maryland, for college. In fact, he was a Maryland Distinguished Scholar for classical music.
My words will never be able to express the aura the man brought into the room. When he came in the door, he was largely unnoticed. He walked in amid an interview with one of the show’s opening acts. Alone, no security, no crowd, he strode into the hotel lobby unassumingly. Patiently waiting while the opening act sang a melody, getting the crowd amped for the big show the following day, when there was a break, he slunk behind cameras to not be a distraction and stood to the side awaiting his turn on the stage.
Taking him in, it was hard not to notice his youthful appearance. When you consider the fact that Lattimore has been an entertainer almost my whole life, 30 years to be exact, it’s as if he hasn’t aged at all. Time has been good to him.
As Kenny talked about his new album, Vulnerable, and the Fall Wine Fest, the atmosphere was calm and relaxed. It felt as if we were all crowded around a good friend, taking in his knowledge. He laughed and joked with the hosts of the show as well as the crowd of fans and media correspondents on hand. His laugh and smile were infectious, causing the crowd to spontaneously burst into laughter at times as well. Video
When asked why he was taking the time to cme back home for the Fall Wine Fest, Lattimore went on to talk about how he really cares about the resources that The Women’s Challenge, the organization that sponsored the event, provides to the community. Lattimore then went on to tell us about his non-profit foundation, The Kenny Lattimore Foundation, which seeks to use the arts, education and mentoring to change the lives of our youth. https://www.kennylattimorefoundation.org/
With the new album focusing on his vulnerability, he even opened up in the interview about the woman he thinks about when he sings “Push” off the new album. He described pushing away a good woman decades ago as he took off to New York to work on his music career. The R&B singer then went on to talk about how women being healthy and whole, in part, is the job of the men in their lives as well. He acknowledged the disconnect that happens often in relationships when men are so focused on their goals that the women as an individual, becomes almost an extension of himself and his goals.
Lattimore told us how he went back and apologized to that woman and told us he felt like when he sings “Push” it’s almost a public apology to all the good women who never got one.
When I asked him about the state of today’s R&B music and if he thinks that the genre will ever return to the old school crooning, baby baby please, music we grew up on, Kenny told me he thinks it absolutely can make a comeback. In fact, he says it hasn’t stopped. Just like he has been steadily releasing music, so have a lot of other quality R&B musicians. The problem isn’t the lack of quality music, it’s lack of promotion for quality music.
He spoke about the need to get real R&B played by mainstream stations and networks for the generations, like myself and older, who are still looking for it.
When asked who he would like to work with in the future he didn’t hesitate to say Ledesi. Lattimore explained to us that he’d love to work with the young singer because she would help bridge a gap between his generation and the younger generation who may not know his music so well. I’m all for that, Kenny Lattimore and Ledesi on a track together? That’s baby making music.
Those who attended last night’s Fall Wine Fest had the opportunity to hear the crooner perform his new tracks off of the Vulnerable release and a few of his classics, live. What a treat.
Kenny Lattimore is now on tour performing and promoting the new album. Check out his tour schedule at http://kennylattimore.com/ and see when he’s in your area. Vulnerable is now available on ITunes and at all of your favorite music retailers. Buy it now.
Follow Kenny Lattimore on Twitter https://twitter.com/kennylattimore