The turning point came for K'Jon while writing music in a Los Angeles hotel room. After years of putting out independent releases while working a day job to support his family in Detroit, he had to figure out his future in the music industry.
"I was missing my family something terrible," says K'Jon. "I was sitting in that room, wondering if writing songs was worth being away from my daughter. I was really going through it."
Singing from the age of eight, K'Jon had been dabbling in the business for years. What started out as a hobby was beginning to morph into a career. In 2004, he had the honor of having his song, "Miami," featured on the soundtrack for 2Fast 2Furious. He opened for everyone from Ludacris and Ne-Yo to Raheem DeVaughn. He released a few independent albums that became popular in his hometown. Things were coming together.
"But it was happening slowly," K'Jon explains. "I'd accomplished quite a bit. But it still felt like my moment hadn't come. I saw a lot of folks around me really take off. I was trying to figure out when it would be my time."
K'Jon began pouring out his feelings into a song. Working so hard in the music business felt like being in a raft in the middle of the ocean. Would his ship finally come in? That idea became the song "On The Ocean." And as soon as he finished writing and then recording a demo version of the song, he knew he had something special.
"I knew I could sell that song to an established artist," says K'Jon. "But a friend told me that if I sold that song--I'd regret it for the rest of my career."
"On The Ocean" is now on its way to becoming a classic. And the warm reception he received from the song convinced K'Jon that his destiny was to entertain as a singer-songwriter.
After a decade of working hard, his ship has come in. And it's his time.
Detroit's K'Jon introduces his full-length major label debut, I GET AROUND, a superb collection with nods to both his contemporaries, including Kem and Robin Thicke, and his predecessors, like fellow Detroiter Marvin Gaye.
K'Jon knows how to set a scene. His album unfolds like a film, following the trials and tribulations of a young man who is determined to live and love fully and completely.
"After The Club" is a perfect example of his philosophy. Picture the hazy after-hours during last-call at a club for the grown-and-sexy. As phone numbers are exchanged and plans are made to hit up the next spot, K'Jon's "After The Club" is the perfect theme music--subtle and sexy.
While K'Jon's music is well suited to Detroit's ballroom culture, the appeal is much wider. Whether you're holding up the wall in a Brooklyn club, roller-blading in Santa Monica or two-stepping in Chicago, K'Jon's music fits.
"That was my goal with this album," explains K'Jon. "I wanted to make an album you could listen to from beginning to end--no matter how old you are or where you're from."
What separates K'Jon from his contemporaries, besides his lilting vocals, are the production values on I Get Around. You can hear acoustic guitar on the sweeping "Feels Like Love," and the grandeur of a theatrical ballad on "I'll Never Forget."
The music, handled in-house by K'Jon's production team, is real soul music--the kind that speaks to an earlier time in our music history. From lively instrumentation to lush vocal arrangements, K'Jon does the Motor City proud with his approach to classic rhythm and blues.
On the intensive ballads, K'Jon's vocals are seamlessly blended together to achieve a choir-like harmony sound. And while he's a natural balladeer, K'Jon also knows how to make a crowd move on his midtempo tracks.
Album highlights include "Fa Sho," a dedication to finding the perfect woman and "Fly Away," a unique concept in which K'Jon imagines himself rising about haters like a superhero.
"That's one of my favorite tracks," says K'Jon. "There's a line on that song, I got superpowers/I won't be devoured that really explains how I feel right now. Things are coming together for me and I'm getting the opportunity to share my music with the world. It's a very exciting time."
When asked about his personal favorites on his upcoming release, K'Jon can't choose one.
"That's too hard!" he says with a laugh. "But I can say that a track like "This Time" could become a bigger hit than "On The Ocean." It's very special to me. And it's one of those songs that people have been responding to."
K'Jon's dedication to his craft is helping him to amass a legion of fans of all ages.
"A woman left a comment on a website," says K'Jon. "She said she was 58 and she loved my music. And then of course, I perform in the clubs and there are teenagers and young adults singing along. In this industry, they want you to pick a demographic. But sometimes, your audience chooses you. And that's a great feeling."
K'Jon, who counts Anthony Hamilton, Jazmine Sullivan and John Mayer among his own favorites, is poised to take his rightful places in the canon of legendary R&B singers and songwriters.
And while it has been a long journey, it's been worth the wait.
"I'm humbled by the support I've received. I'm honored to be able to do what I love. And I'm grateful for all the blessings I've received thus far," says K'Jon. "I can't wait to see what happens next."
The major label debut from the Detroit native K'Jon. Featuring the hit song "On The Ocean".