Written by Ollie Francis
When experiencing high and low altitudes as an artist, there will be a selected few to solidify their mark within the entertainment industry, especially in the genres of Soca and Dancehall. Inductively, there has been a handful of artists that made an international crossover as well as being considered as a trailblazer when media streaming through the internet was becoming more prominent for the everyday browser. Kevin Lyttle is a clear representation of defying the cultural odds while proving to be legendary in his own accord.
In 2004, the world was introduced to international Soca/Dancehall legend, Kevin Lyttle. The fast-paced, tropical-bass accompanied by the alto-soprano vocals of Lyttle orchestrated an international hit; “Turn Me On,” that is considered to be a Soca/Dancehall, and Pop classic to date. “Turn Me On,” charted in the top 5 the Billboard charts and within the top 10 categories in other countries such as; the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany to name a few. Today, the record itself has over 100 million streams (YouTube, Vevo, etc) and millions of streams through music platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.
Lyttle’s self-titled debut album released under Atlantic garnered reputable and impressive feedback for a new artist. Currently, the album is RIAA-certified Gold.
In recent years, “Turn Me On” has been sampled on numerous occasions, ranging from the likes of Cheat Codes (Let Me Hold You) back in 2016 and Chris Brown (Questions) in 2017. Unlike other artists who may not have the intent of securing their artistry, Kevin Lyttle practiced financial literacy earlier on in his career – copyrighting and owning all rights to his entire catalog.
“When I first came into the industry, one of the things that I made sure to secure was the publishing rights to all of my music. Therefore if anyone were to sample any music from me, I can benefit from that.”
In today’s society with manipulation of samples, and instant financial reward from streaming platforms despite clearance, the intellect that the St. Vincent native acquire solidified longevity within his career path.
So what has Kevin Lyttle been up to these days?
It has been a considerable amount of time since we have heard from the vivacious artist from the small island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Between touring around the world where his fan base is more prominent, and performing at different Caribbean festivals (Vincy Mas, Trinidad Carnival, and Bacchanal to name a few prominent Carnival events) throughout the West Indies – Kevin had remained consistent on producing Carnival themed Soca music which is prevalent to his West Indian roots.
After disbanding from Atlantic Records shortly after his first album, Lyttle and his wife Jacqueline formed an indie based-label called Tarakon Records back in 2007. It was then where he would release several singles and albums to date.
In 2019, Kevin Lyttle is making a re-introduction to the mainstream aspect of the entertainment industry, recently releasing his sultry-new hit titled, “Close to You,” which was co-written and produced by Stadic.
“Close to You,” exudes an immaculate fusion of Soca, Reggae/Dancehall, and Afro-Pop which Lyttle orchestrates with his vocal agility to have the listener feel a sense of gratification from the mellow, yet tropical sounds.
When inquiring about the inspiration of the record, Lyttle stated how it was presented to him.
“I have been working with a producer named Stadic and he had sent me this record with me in mind. He actually wrote and produced the song, however, I wrote the second verse.”
The distinction of the record is easily considered as sophisticated, yet sensuous as it correlates to the cinematography which radiates the allure of melanin magic, a live band, and choreography to compliment the sounds. “Close to You,” is a record to dance and serenade to, while acquiring the radio-friendly quality.
While Kevin Lyttle is preparing for Carnival season this summer, he has full intent on reintroducing himself on a mainstream platform. “Close to You,” is currently available on all major digital platforms and he is currently recording several Soca/Dancehall singles for the upcoming season.
Fun Fact: “Turn Me On,” was inspired from the 112 LP cut, “All My Love,” from their Room 112 album. In recent years, both Lyttle and 112 did a few tour appearances together and formed an acquaintanceship with one another. Lyttle stated that he would be delighted on working on a record with the quartet (well, now duo) if everything was aligned properly.