Speak Up and Speak Out: Kevin Ross Talks Using His Platform for Change in the Black Community
Often in the music industry, we see many artists who go viral on social media and all of a sudden, they’re a famous rapper or singer. Trust me, nothing is wrong with that but what about the truly authentic artists? What about those using their voice for change in the community? That’s exactly who Kevin Ross is! Kevin is a powerful community forward artist who not only talks the talk about speaking up and speaking out for the black community, he walks it as well. With his latest single Real Black circulating, it's relevant more than ever in a country that needs change. Kevin talks about his impact and how he wants to be known and remembered.
What inspired you to go into the music industry?
I grew up around music. I feel like it's my purpose. Truly god put songs in my heart and allowed me to have a way with words and melody. He gave me a seed and I started to water and nurture it. Now it's my career and I'm blessed.
You want to be an artist that impacts others through your music. How do you use your voice to make change in the black community?
I have a song out now with Trevor Jackson and Jacob Lattimore called Real Black and it's from Empire Presents: Voices For Change, Vol 1 project. That is what the song is all about. All proceeds go to ACLU and for racial diversity. It fights for racial equality. I've always been an advocate for artists and the culture. I'm always trying to sow back into my community whether it's my high school or my college. I always try to make sure that everyone knows how necessary they are and how necessary their voice is. Making sure people vote and are heard. No one is speaking up for us and we have this freedom. We must use it to our advantage. We know what it's like to not be free, to be discriminated against, and to have law enforcement that is not made or built for us. We must change things before things end up back where they used to be which was a catastrophic time for black Americans.
Tell me more about your single with Jacob Lattimore and Trevor Jackson Real Black.
I wanted a certain level of authenticity. The first thing that came to my mind was Real Black. Just an authentic way of showing people who are immersed in the culture. Especially during this time. Some people want to profit and monetize off our cutler, but don’t want to go through everything that we go through in our culture. I specifically made it a point to call it real black because there are a lot of people who want to be black, act black, make black music, or have black features but they aren’t down for the cause. They are not on the front lines when we need them and are hurting as a community. They make money off us but don’t stand beside us. From there the song flowed giving honor to those who paved the way for us. During this time, a lot of protests and marches were going on amid the George Floyd killing. I love powerful movement songs like Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and James Brown’s I'm Black and I'm Proud, but our people were hurting, and we needed a new song that represented this day and time. It's also an encouragement to other artists to not only think about the cool factor in the industry but to speak your truth.
How do you want to be remembered as an artist? What can we expect from you in the near future?
I just want people to know me as an artist that put out great music and was an artist advocate and helped build careers. I want to be around and my name to be in the discussion when it comes to great music. I want to be remembered as an all-around creative who wasn’t afraid to get out there and do it. Also, my album audacity complete will be out before the year is over.
Follow Kevin Ross on Instagram.