LeVelle is a Kansas City Native with an extensive resume working with Frankie Beverley & Maze, Anthony Hamilton, Charlie Wilson, Tank, and Robin Thicke, to name a few.
With the summer release of his new album, “Promise To Love,” LeVelle continues to bring his fans the soulful tunes they love. From the hit single, “Only If,” to his current mid-tempo release, “Work It Out,” and the sure-to-be fan favorite, “Always,” featuring After 7, there’s sure to be something for everyone in this hit-filled album.
With appearances on the album from hitmakers After 7, Anthony Hamilton, Raheem DeVaughn, and Zacardi Cortez, LeVelle is showing listeners why the industry greats admire him.
We had the blessed opportunity of sitting down with LeVelle to discuss his latest album, his reach musical history, and what influences his soulful sound.
You have such a rich musical background. You’ve done so much. So let’s start from the beginning. How did you get your start in music? Like, where does that come from?
Doing all I can here in my hometown, performing everywhere, you know, and working my way up to know who’s the who and who’re the guys making the yeses and the noes. Them coming out watching me for years and then actually seeing my work and giving me a shot at the main stage. So my first major show was with the Bar-Kays and Charlie Wilson. But I went from performing at the local jazz district at the Blue Room with 75 to 150 to 200 people a night. I went from that to like 9-10,000 seat array. So it was indeed a blessing, but that was a period and putting in work and learning what I could, you know, at an early age and just really putting in a lot of work here in my hometown.
You have worked with many great vocalists in R&B. Can you share how those experiences have impacted you as an artist?
It’s been a blessing, you know, because I can genuinely say to everybody that God has allowed to be in my path, or I’ve been able to be in their path, they’ve done nothing but give me a shout or Allow me to grace the stage while they’re performing you know, it has driven me to the point to where you know, There’s no turning back no matter what I go through. This is part of my journey to fight through adversity and to keep pushing, and it’s because of, you know, some of the best have allowed me to be on their platform to where, you know, it gives me a drive where, you know, I can’t quit. It keeps me going. And it’s just a dream and some things I want to achieve. So you see, I can’t stop until I get there. And then, when I get there, I got to keep going.
So tell us more about your musical background. Who are your musical influences, and how does that show up in how you make your music, in your musical style?
I mean, as a child, or as a young man coming up, I’ve always enjoyed the REAL music and the influence and the impact that they had, you know, such as the Gap Band and the Frankie Beverly’s and May’s and the OJ’s and people like Jerald Levert, Keith Sweat. Coming up listening to those guys, the Dave Hollisters, the Tanks, it was like, I loved them all so well, where I could take a piece of each of them and put it in my memory bank. You get LaVelle, but you get a bit of Al Green simultaneously. You may hear me do something and be like, wow. That was because that was a guy that I looked up to. I just put it in the bank. And so those guys significantly influenced me to do what I do now.
Tell us about your latest album, Promise to Love. Take us through that creative process; what did that look like for you?
With the freshman album it was, my journey continued. I was faced with many adversities, you know, a lot of no’s. And you know, it just put me in a place to no matter what I was faced with, I had to keep pushing. So when Promise to Love came around, it allowed me to get back to that happy spot, that part of me where I wanted to let people know it’s cool and it’s okay to love again. It is okay to be there for your brother and your sister and get to that point where you can show love and, most importantly, gain respect for yourself and who you are. So Promise to Love is that album that my vow to you is that I will love you no matter what. I’m going to be there. And LaVell is LaVelle.
Promise to Love is your latest project, correct?
Promise to Love is the latest. It came out on the 9th. And, um, My Journey Continues was my previous album that was just out, you know, that was the actual album with me and Anthony Hamilton. So on this one. Then I even went to get my brother, Zicardy Cortez. We got one on here as well. Yes, Gospel Music! Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I had to do it. So just a great body of work, and everything just came together the way it needed to.
How did the message change from your last album to this one?I know this one is like a promise to love no matter what, but how does your message change? What do you hope people take away from this album?
My main goal is to let people know no matter what, you know, always love yourself. When you do that, everything else will always fall into place. And, you know, just good karma, what you put in the atmosphere comes back to you. So, I want people to know that when you promise to love yourself, no one else can tear you down. What can we expect next from you? I know you just released this album, but what else do you have on the horizon? Right now, we’re setting up to get out to the communities, touring, shows, and bringing the face with the names in the song, so I want people to know who I am. So that’s the goal now, is to get out here and bring that notoriety and let people know, this is Lavelle, that’s the guy that sings Fell in Love, or this is the guy that sings that. So, once we do that, we’re moving into a good spot.
I am excited to include your album when we post this article, so people can understand your message and why you put this body of music out. How can we connect with you?
All digital platforms. All my social media is just LevelleBKC. That’s L-E-V-E-L-L-E-B-K-C. You got me right there. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, website is just LevelleB. Please hit that follow button and send me a message, and I reply to all my messages. I like to stay engaged and in touch with the family. I don’t call them fans; I call them family.
You can support and listen to LeVelle’s latest project whereever you get your music.
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