It’s been a year since Kevin Ross announced his departure from Motown Records, where he released his debut album The Awakening. Since then, the singer-songwriter has launched his own label Art Society Music Group, as well as secured a partnership with EMPIRE.
Now, the DMV native has released his new EP titled Audacity, Vol. 1. The project was originally a full-length album. However, Ross decided to split it into two parts.
“I think the beauty of what other R&B artists like H.E.R. and Lucky Daye have shown us in the past year or two is that portion control is very important,” Ross tells Rated R&B. “It seems like people are consuming music in smaller dosages. People get to decide what their favorite song is without being overwhelmed.”
In Rated R&B’s interview with Kevin Ross, he shares the inspiration behind each track on Audacity, Vol. 1.
I think it really gets people locked in to what’s in store on the EP.
“Let It Out”
I listen to what the audience and the fans have to say and they really enjoyed “Don’t Go” from my last project. They enjoyed how classic it felt. I was like, “I don’t want to do that again. I want to dive a little deeper” because I felt like I really touched the surface. I wanted a cool way to articulate my sensual and sexual nature without being so obvious and so predictable. It’s a record that explores my sexuality in a way that I feel is unique to me.
That’s the most overt one I have on the project. I’m an artist and a writer as well. I felt like when people would listen to some songs I was writing, it was so far away from the artist that I was that they couldn’t differentiate. “I don’t believe he would write these kinds of records for a Trey Songz or a Tank.” So, I wanted to find a happy medium to bridge the gaps.
“On Ya” is the bridge where I felt comfortable saying the words as Kevin Ross. I have an alias that I go by in writing to kind of separate myself and that alias is called Ego. No pun intended but it allows for me to tap into a place and a source that is separate from my normal nature. I wanted to do a collaboration with my writer alter ego and Kevin Ross and “On Ya” is the byproduct.
I think with every project that I do or am going to do, I love to explore the vastness of the genre. When I speak on vastness, I speak on popular music and what we call pop and rhythmic. That song really speaks to the vastness of what I can do, the potential of what my brand can be as it pertains to pop and bringing R&B culture into a more popular audience.
I think loyalty is a big thing for everybody right now. I say it in the interlude, “When shit don’t work, where does your loyalty lie?” For me, if I love you, you’re always mine and you will always have my loyalty. You may not always have my time, you may not have my heart but you will always have my respect. I don’t believe in switching sides. People can take that however they want but I did a lot of observing and I really feel like a lot of people feel the same way, whether they are too afraid to say it or not.
“Thing Called Love”
I wanted to tip my hat off to the old school genre, the predecessors and ‘70s soul. I wanted to do it right so I really took my time with crafting that record. I think that it proves to be something that was really amazing because when it came out, people really gravitated towards it. It’s only been three months since it came out and we’re already at three million streams overall without any video. I think that it’s just the beginning with that record and time will tell where that record will go and how it will speak to our generation. I’m blessed to be a vessel for it.
It’s a very vulnerable track. I feel like honesty has its thresholds. Honesty has its limitations. People want loyalty, they want honesty but they don’t understand that some people just can’t handle the extremes of it. I wanted to talk about that and of course, I say, “I lie because I love you and you lie because you love me.” Truth is, this shit can get ugly if we are being honest with one another. I think that’s the beauty of the record, it’s the transparency and it’s a good conversational piece.