I had the great opportunity to interview R&B artist Kobe Singleton and get some insight on his latest release “When I Lie”. We also discussed what inspires him as an artist. Kobe, a Mississippi native, has performed with and opened for some of the biggest names in contemporary R&B.
Read the interview below to learn more…
Q: What inspired you to pursue music?
KS: I’m a child prodigy. Music is literally a part of my DNA. I’ve been singing since I was three years old. I started recording at the age of four.
I sang in a few gospel groups. The first one was a trio. After that, I was in an a cappella group called Perfect Harmony.
Q: When you decided to start a career as a solo artist, did you have to make a decision on the route you wanted to take musically?
KS: Well, my dad was like, “You in the club on Saturday, but in the pulpit on Sunday. You can’t be doing both.” So I decided to mix the best of both worlds; slightly spiritual with a secular swing. Promoting positivity.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
KS: When it’s all said and done, I’m a classic R&B artist. I have a fusion of some soul, country, and jazz.
Q: Who are some of your influences?
KS: Some of my stronger influences are instrumentalists like John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Then, you have Al Jarreau, Take 6. And naturally, I have the gospel influences like Rev. James Cleveland and Commissioned.
Q: What do you think about R&B and Hip-Hop collaborating together?
KS: I think they are great. Sometimes, I don’t think I like the artists collaborating, but one of the things I want to do is get solid artists from different genres together. Artists with soul… Kenny Rogers and Johnny Cash had soul.
No matter what genre you are in, you have to have soul for me to gravitate towards your music.
Q: If you had to pick a favorite song or songs what would you choose?
KS: One of the greatest songs I love is “Heart’s Desire” by Don Blackmon. It’s a great fusion that has Bebop and R&B.
I like “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin because it’s got all the great musical elements. It’s almost like a nursery rhyme.
Another one is “People Make The World Go Round”. It’s a song that’s an all-around solid song.
Also “PYT” by Michael Jackson. I love that baseline. Temperton does some great bass grooves.
Q: Do you use a live band? If so, how important is a good live performance?
KS: Yes. I prefer to perform with a band. The sad part is as an independent artist, a lot of venues don’t pay me the money to pay a live band. So when I do have a band, I don’t really make any money.
For me, it’s important for artists to have a good live show. It shows the strengths and weaknesses of an artist.
Q: Speaking of live performances, what instruments do you play?
KS: Drums are my first instrument. I’m picking up on piano 5 or 6 hours a day.
Q: What’s the best show you’ve ever seen?
KS: I’ll be honest, I’m very picky. So if I had to list from top to bottom, one show would be the Carl Thomas and Jon B show. Carl is incredible.
Q: What’s your opinion on streaming?
KS: I think that streaming is a great asset for artists. It allows so many people to have free reign of what they want to listen to. It also allows people to listen to all genres.
The bad side is the streaming focuses on mainstream artists. So it’s harder for smaller artists. But overall, I like it.
Q: Tell us about your latest release.
KS: My latest single, “When I Lie”, is an uptempo cut with a fun twist on fidelity and lies in a relationship. The song is a comedic view of a partner’s tendency, after being told the truth, to prefer to be told a lie, which they find more believable. So honesty is pointless.
Although the topic is serious, the song’s delivery is lighthearted with a Blues/R&B vibe. I was inspired to write “When I Lie” by Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightnin'”.
Q: What can we be looking forward to in the future from you?
KS: I’m currently getting together a writing team to submit music to artists. I’m also starting on my acting career and working as a vocal coach with some artists in LA.
I have a lot of great shows coming up. I’ll be bumping around between LA, Dallas, and Mississippi soon.
Keep up with the latest from Kobe Singleton by following him on social media at: