Here we are, back again with SFPL’s Fly Person of the Week. This is a segment we created to highlight those FLY Individuals who are making a impact in their respective fields, so much so that they might motivate and inspire others to move forward with their respective visions. This weeks recipient is one of those dopest young Singer/Songwriter’s out right now, Kevin Cossom.
K.C., as he’s known by his peers, has written for some of the biggest names in Music and he’s definitely up next to reign supreme!!
Due to the winning recipe of a soul- stirring voice and boy-next-door charm, Kevin Cossom is poised to be R&B’s next breakout star. He is also the first artist signed to red-hot producer Danja’s ‘New Age Rocks Stars’ (N.A.R.S)/JIVE imprint, thanks to both his undeniable vocal skills and his phenomenal songwriting capabilities.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Orlando, Florida, Kevin Cossom found his love and talent for song in church. Kevin’s mother- founder of a performing arts academy- highly supportive of her son, encouraged him to perform his first solo at the tender age of three. As a six year old, he joined his first group, a gospel act his mother had assembled. The young singer/songwriter realized that he wanted to make music his life at 14 and once the high school-aged Kevin met Rashad Tyler, his manager, things began to click for the young upstart.
By 2004, he was featured on his first song, Lloyd Banks’ ‘Karma.’ Kevin then followed up with his first songwriting credit when he penned the R. Kelly hook on Young Jeezy’s ‘Go Getta’ with production team and fellow Orlando natives, The Runners. He has also been featured on a number of albums from Beanie Sigel, Rick Ross, Chamillionaire, Trey Songz and Rocko, among others. “….songwriting was a way in… I thought that other songwriters didn’t take me seriously because I was just placing hip-hop hooks,” says Kevin, who XXL magazine referred to as ‘Usher meets Justin Timberlake.’
They’re taking him seriously now. In fact, it was those guest appearances that scored Kevin an audience with Grammy award winning producer, Danja (Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake). “I went to work with Danja in Miami as a songwriter for a girl group he was working with,” says Kevin. “It was like instant chemistry. He asked me if I was just a writer and I told him no, it was just another passion and something I did to pay the bills. We talked some more, he heard me sing and the rest is history!”
With the support of Danja, Kevin is gearing up for the release of his as-yet-untitled debut album, which he describes as a reflection of who he is—urban, suburban and spiritual. “My music is really eclectic. Not backpack or playing on the conga eclectic, but I am inspired by anything that pushes the music to another level. I would definitely describe my sound as unpredictable, but at the same time safe enough to understand. It’s feel good and it’s fresh.” Kevin achieved his biggest accomplishment so far as a songwriter, “Knock You Down,” Keri Hilson’s record featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo, reached #1 on the R&B charts and #3 on Billboard’s Top 100. The song also garnered him a BMI Urban Songwriters Award. He was most recently featured on Rick Ross’ “Usual Suspects” with Nas, Ludacris’ “Cross My Mind” featuring Damian Marley and penned hooks for Ace Hood’s “Overtime” and Fat Joe’s “One” featuring Akon, Fabolous’ “My Time”, Rick Ross’ “Lay Back” and many more.
In an age of reality stars and hardcore rappers, it’s comforting to see that there are some artists performing simply for the love of the music. Beyond his moving voice or his soulful songwriting, Kevin’s love and passion are what will leave his fans wanting more.
1. How does it feel to look around and see your dreams come into fruition?
Well I’ve been working hard at my craft for some years now, since I was a little kid. And I honestly have to say it hasn’t really hit me yet, because there are still so many things I want to do. So I’m pretty focused, but when I do get a moment to reflect, It does feel great to be where I am in my career.
2. It seems as if every writer wants to eventually take a chance at “stardom.” Many still don’t get the same success of artists they’ve written for. What makes you different from the rest?
I think most song writers are artists and sometimes you use that to get your foot in the door. I work very hard, been doing music for over ten years… Not to say that others aren’t working hard, but just to say you get out what you put in…
3. When did your love for music start?
I started singing really early. I’ll say around 3yrs old. I think I was around 14 when I fell in love with music. I realized then, that I wanted to pursue it professionally.
4. Who were some of your musical inspirations growing up as a child? Who are some current artists you gain inspiration from?
My Mom had me in church quite often, so one of my first musical influences was John P. Kee, but outside of the church, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Some of the groups like Boyz II Men, 112…
5. Who are the Top 3 artists and/or writers you aspire to work with?
Pharell Williams, Kanye West, and Beyonce.
6. What brought upon the decision to sign with Jive?
Well my relationship with Danja first pointed me in that direction. They also have a great history with R&B and some of the biggest names in music are my label mates.
7. What influenced the decision to stick with your name, instead of creating an “alias” or “alter ego” for yourself?
I used to go by KC and most of my friends still call me that. As an artist I didn’t want it to get confused with other musicians ( KC from Jodeci, or KC and the Sunshine Band) but Kevin Cossom is already unique, so why change it? LOL
8. What does the term “Fly” mean to you?
Comfortable in your own skin, Confident.
9. Who do you consider to be the Top 3 fashionable people in Music?
Kanye West, Rihanna, and Chris Brown. Those 3 seem to always be on top of the latest fasions, and trends.
10. How would you describe your personal style?
It kind of varies, depending on my mood, but I would say “cool and clean” kind of describes my style best.
11. What are your Top Fashion Must Haves?
Fresh pair of Jordans, some clean accessories, designer jeans and a nice crisp tee shirt. I can make that look different in so many ways.
12. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Mostly being relevant in the music business as a writer and an artist.
13. So you write, sing, dance, and rap. Do you have any other hidden talents?
Well a lot of people don’t know, but I am a pretty decent cook….
14. What does a regular day for KC, now, consist of?
From the time I wake up, I’m gone. From gym, studio, show rehearsals, phone interviews, radio interviews, conference calls, club appearances, in no particular order either. And the list goes on…
15. A lot of people do this solely for the fame and fortune. Why are you here?
For the love of music, my passion for the craft! I feel like this is what I was born to do!!!
16. Lastly, is there anything you would like to leave our readers with?
Stay up to date with everything “Kevin Cossom.” I have a couple mixtapes out right now. “Hook vs Bridge” and “By Any Means,” and you can download both of them FREE at KevinCossom.com. I’m dropping two more mixtapes this summer. One of them a collaboration with Rapper Ace Hood, and the other, a follow up to Hook vs Bridge, which was a fan favorite. Also, follow me on twitter @kevincossom, and Facebook Kevin Cossom…