Born and raised in Watts, Los Angeles. The 26 year old singer and songwriter Kenyon Dixon gave Inspire Mysmile a very fun and access all areas interview into the process of a songwriter. We got to know more about Kenyon.
Dixon’s talent lead him to a song writing publishing deal with singer, songwriter and actor Tyrese. This granted him Grammy nominations and has also paved a way for him as backing vocals for the likes of Nick Jonas, Kelly Rowland, Usher, Tyrese, John Legend, Faith Evans and more recently Kenyon exclusively told me that he is working with Brandy and Mary J Blige.
The 2 Grammy nominated projects he’s written on are TGT’s Three Kings and Tyrese’s Open Invitation. Latest commercial release in regards to songwriting is Tyrese’s Black Rose album; he wrote 4 records on there. Both of his solo projects Higher Ground and Twenty Four are available on iTunes. Kenyon is currently working on his next release entitled SUPAFLY. The EP set to be released early/mid December 2015.
Kenyon describes his music as “Rhythm and Vibes”
Growing up I was exposed to drugs and violence but I always saw something beyond that. I come from a musical background as my father plays the guitar and my mother would always be in church.
I started teaching and dancing professionally back in high school, but I didn’t start singing until I was 17. That’s when I got my first professional gig with DJ Quick at Hollywood and Highlands project.
Workshops- “Thee Master class”
Kenyon has recently successfully lead artistry based classes, which are based on his on his own experience. The classes prepare creative individuals for opportunities in the industry. They also learn how to obtain success.
The classes has been receiving some really good feedback and I have people in other countries and from different cities asking me to bring the workshops to them, so this is something that could be possible to do.
Being a songwriter how do you balance the success as well as the success of being a singer?
I ask this question because I notice that most songwriters that can sing tend to try out their career as singer but the song writing will always be their natural niche. Is this the case for you?
I process and learn so much, like most singer start as songwriters and tour as background singers with big artists. I am able to cultivate the both and I just followed my dream.
What songs are on your playlist, like what are you feeling at the moment and are there any artists from the UK who you listen to?
Laughs.. ‘Return of the Mack’ by Mark Morrison, I just love that tune and I listen to it all of the time.
I also like One Direction’s song ‘Drive me down’.
I still listen to Jessie J and there’s another artist I think is from the UK, his name is James Blake. Actually I am working with a UK artist who goes by the name of Kimbre , so look out for her.
oooh great I will check out Kimbre, thank you for expressing your UK music (laughs..)
What is your emotion, how are you feeling?
I feel progressive and mentally in a good place. I am just a student of life.
How would you describe your style?
I am a Jordons, retro guy. I love my Jordons (Laughs)
Who would you love to work with next?
I would love to work with Drake, I appreciate Drakes creativity. Also I would like to do a pre-production with Beyoncé, even though I did previously work with her on a project, doing a whole production would be great.
Going back to songwriting, what is your process of writing a song?
Well when writing with other artists its best to be familiar with their catalogue or have a good understanding of their sounds.
I don’t create something that’s already been done. I am also able to remove myself from what I like, because it isn’t about me and what I like may not work for the artists.
Best advice you have received from someone?
As a creative person we don’t take in the mental capacity of what goes in the music. The average listener will listen to the melody and the production; they hear things that creatives don’t hear. If it doesn’t sound correct the listeners will pick up on that.
What are your thoughts on R&B, Is R&B music dead?
It’s not dead; it’s just not in your face as much like it was back in the 90’s and so on. Pop music just means what’s popular at the time. This is why most artists are making popular music. Country music is the most prestigious genre out of all the genres. They don’t just welcome anyone into their scene.
Rnb music is open to everyone, now we have to get it back to how it was before.
Positives and negatives in the music industry?
Some of the stories that I have heard from others, I am glad that I have never experienced some of those dramas. The music industry can be inconsistent. On the plus side I think the travelling and getting paid is amazing. The only sad part about the touring and meeting all these new people is that when it’s all done we don’t stay connected.
How do you stand out?
By being true to me, everybody’s truth doesn’t translate to be lucrative. I believe I stand out in my own my way and my music translates this.
This may sound funny, what is your adrenaline rush?
(Laughs) I love Red Velvet cake and anything red velvet. Also helping people, I get a real gratification to generally make others feel good. I believe what you receive is greater than what you gave.
Plans for 2016?
Maximise on what I have and am currently working on and just focusing on my music as I want people to associate me with my music.
Thank you for your time Kenyon.
• Link to Kenyon’s website: KenyonDixon.com
• Link to Kenyon’s SoundCloud: Soundcloud.com/KenyonDixonMusic
• Link to Kenyon’s Audiomack: Audiomack.com/artist/kenyon-dixon
• Higher Ground on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/higher-ground/id956343166
• Twenty Four on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/twenty-four-ep/id1048997981
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Words by Vanessa Ryan