Check out this dopeass Cover by Kevin Michael (26) covering SWV classic “Use Your Heart,” from 1996′s The New Beginning. Kevin Michael is not really a newbie on the internet, though he was already signed to Downtown Records in 2007, the same year he released his self-titled album but after 2 singles they parted ways. Born to mixed-race parents in Chester, PA, a suburb to the south of Philadelphia, self-taught singer Kevin Michael grew up around music, and was even in contract negotiations when he was 11, though he didn’t end up signing anything until many years later.
Instead, he focused on making studio demos and songwriting, and only began label shopping more seriously when he was in his late teens. Eventually, he was noticed by Virgin, but Michael’s eclectic style a mix of Philly neo-soul, contemporary R&B, and pop proved to be difficult to market, and when the label’s senior VP of A&R, Josh Deutsche, left to start the Atlantic imprint Downtown Recordings, he took Kevin with him. In the spring of 2007 the young singer’s debut EP, YaDig, an iTunes-only release, came out in anticipation of his October self-titled full-length. Kevin is currently working on his second studio album but look out for more new material from Kevin next year and don’t forget to subscribe on Youtube and to follow Kevin on Twitter because that kid is mad talented.
Kevin Michael – Use Your Heart (SWV Cover) (11′)
I’ve also managed to talk to Kevin Michael where he revealed that he’s been a Neptunes Fan since his teenage years and why he choose to cover SWV classic “Use Your Heart,” “A lot of people haven’t heard of me yet, which is sort of the point of doing covers & remakes like this. I had an album released internationally back in ‘07 with Atlantic Records. Unfortunately, after 2 singles we parted ways. I chose to remake the SWV track because it was one of my favorite songs from childhood. I actually sang this at one of my big auditions when I was 10 or 11. I had no idea it was The Neptunes back then, I just knew I loved it. Right around my freshman year of high school Kelis came out with her debut album Kaleidoscope (1999). I was old enough then to start reading album credits and realize who the guys were making this great music.
I’ve followed The Neptunes from the beginning of their careers. I’m talking about Issy & Nemo following LOL. I was a Neptunes HEAD! I can remember the day “Big White Spaceship” dropped in it’s entirety. I nearly shit my pants! Man, thinking about The Neptunes makes me think of my teenage years. I was actually suppose to work with Chad about two years ago. We have a mutual friend in Catherine Brewton, the head of urban at BMI. Somehow though, it fell through. Pharrell I’ve met a bunch of times, but he wouldn’t remember it. I actually sang for him once. He told me I had a nice voice, then walked away. Haha. Ironic huh? None of that takes away my appreciation for what The Neptunes have done for music, and my personal music history. They gave me memories I could never forget.”
Kevin Michael – Purple Rain (Prince Cover)