Kevin Hawkins Talks Exclusively With HHW

HHW Staff
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Where are you from? And does your location influence the music that you make?

I am from Lancaster Texas right outside of Dallas Texas. Yes, I will say being from Lancaster has heavily influenced the music I am currently doing today. I grew up around talented musicians and singers such as my directors Adrian Bonner, Garry Williams, Clarence Texada and many more. I also shared the classroom with great singers and musicians like Malcolm Goines, Haley Elmore, and Marcus Gordon just to name a few. All of these talented individuals are people I still look up to today. Their artistry and understanding of music was far beyond our high school years we shared together, it was on another level. You could see they cared deeply about their music, the quality of music they were putting out and the genius behind them individually. This is the influence I want to have on others when they hear my music for the first time.

What originally inspired you to start making music?

Growing up in the church seeing my mother singand my dad directing the choir and every once in a while “trying to sing leaning on the everlasting arms by Timothy Wright” was quiet the inspiration that drew me in at the age of two. However, it wasn’t until I came across performers such as Usher and Beyonce that I said to myself that is the career that I want to have. I want to be singing in front of others not just to be famous but, to cause change. Even though I wouldn’t understand how music could change your life until I experienced LIFE ITSELF!

What is one piece of advice you wish you had received before launching your music career?

Your imperfections make your music perfect otherwise you are a robot. Realizing this help me finally complete my album. I was always so worried about “take this breath out, I don’t like the way I sound here it’s to gritty” not realizing that sometimes I was taking the emotion and feeling out of the song. That’s something that held me back for years. 

Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations and why?

Every time I get asked this question the answer is always the same. Beyonce, Whitney Houston, John Legend, Prince and Stevie Wonder are my biggest musical inspirations. Those names speak for themselves. The approach these artists have taken towards every song they have sung and stage that have tore up is the essence of what I strive to be like. The hard work and the musicianship, the things that no one else thinks about. The question of how am I going to out do myself each and every time. These five people are the standard of artistry we all should strive for.

What are you currently working on and do you have a release date for it?

I am currently working on new music and yes there is a release date but I am not sharing that at the moment. I am also focused on my concert November 20th in Dallas Texas at the Montgomery Arts Theatre where I will be performing my current album Mixed Emotions and new music from my sophomore album. In the meantime catch me opening up for Erykah Badu at the Riverfront Jazz Festival September 3rd in Dallas Texas.

Where do you envision your career being in 5 years? 10?

In the next few years I definitely intend on being a household name but more than that I want to create more platforms for artist. I plan to open music venues, rehearsal halls, and even start my own promotion label and touring company. I look at people like Rihanna, Beyonce and Jay-z and music is just the start of being the mogul I want to become.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?

When I tell you I have dealt with so many NO’s because I am just too damn good that people get intimidated. You just have to laugh though at times to keep from doubting your own self. I remember Cavin Yarbrough (Yarbrough & Peoples) told me “Kevin people are not going to want you own their stage to open for them because you are too damn good. You are going to make them WORK to keep their fans engaged”. I later found out how true that was. Being looked over for shows I was promised and then having to tone down my set to not take away from the headliner, when I just wanted to showcase my artistry in the best way I knew how. Also, my music not being played in my hometown on the radio but it being played in cities I have yet to step a foot in. But, I guess it’s that old saying of where you are from is the last place to show you love.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments?

Putting out my album Mixed Emotions during the pandemic was a huge accomplishment for me it took me five years to complete my project. Opening up for Oprah Winfrey was a huge accomplishment for me as well. Getting to see first hand what a major production looks like behind the scenes is breathtaking and makes me push even harder. Last but not least me putting on my own shows. When someone doesn’t want to give you a seat at their table build your own table and do it ten times better than they ever could. True thing is I love being in competition with myself it pushes me far beyond my limits in my head. 

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