"Just forget your problems and dance away the whole night, tonight we're gonna just enjoy life," crones Kevon Carter. The hit groovy soca single, Celebrate Life, featuring Shal Marshall, is the 2012 offering from Trinidad born, New York based, Kevon Carter.
I first met Kevon over 3 years ago through Facebook. A year later he came home to headline a fundraiser hosted by the Rotary Club of Maraval. During this visit I got the opportunity to meet him in person. It is so strange writing an article about someone who is also named Kevon, I feel like I'm referring to myself in the third person but I digress. Most of the material from this article was written from the interview I did with him during that visit. It is a great honour to finally write it three years later as proof that his determination has taken him to a high point in his career, which I am sure is only one of the many that will follow.
In person Kevon is the embodiment of his music. His gentle demeanour is infused with passionate. He is very serious but he also possesses quiet confidence and genuine humility. "From an early age my family exposed me to music, from parang to best village. It was easy for me to pursue a musical career," says Kevon. It seems that creativity runs in the Carter family as his brother Jason Carter (Jimmy Neutron) produces for him.
Hailing from Barataria, Kevon has spent the past 15 years in New York and began singing professionally over 7 years ago. Anyone who has ever heard him sing will attest that this is definitely his calling. The soothing lyrics of his hit single almost seem to swim in the soca melody. "I don't consider myself as solely a soca artist, it is limiting and I don't want to boxed into any one genre."
In the earlies Kevon mentioned that people told him what he was doing was not soca and it upset him. "I love my culture so I have always wanted to incorporate it into my sound. I do soca as I perceive it, influenced by my experiences. I've finally found myself as an artist. My music reflects where I come from and if I had to describe it, I would call it neo-soca."
Kevon's music is very soulful and when asked who influenced his music he provided a shopping list of soul powerhouses that included Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. "80's music is also a great influence, Debarge, R.E.O. Speed Wagon and Prince bring me back to my younger days. I love Prince because of his versatility as an artist.Locally I love David Rudder because of his voice."
A great voice is not Kevon's only gift. I attended a recent gig hosted by 3 Canal, where he performed and every one of my female friends in attendance wanted to be introduced to him. His looks have secured him modelling gigs in New York. "Modelling came simultaneously with my music". In 2006 Coskel University, a fashion label created by Caribbean American designer, Xolani and Japanese artist, Machi, was the first big booking for Kevon. "At that time Coskel University was creating a buzz in NY. They have helped me so much. My face has been seen in Japan! It helped pay the bills and people thought I would get into modelling full time but music is my love." Fast forward to the present and Kevon still does the the occasional modelling job but his focus is firmly set on his music career.
All throughout the interview Kevon's passion and determination to succeed are etched all over his face and in every gesture. "I have made a spiritual connection to my music. My music is important to me and sharing my craft with the world gives me extreme joy, fame is a bonus. This is my journey and I am enjoying the ride. When people hear my name I want them to identify it to my music. I'm gonna do my thing."
And he sure is doing his thing. It is now 3 years later and Kevon is living his dream. A hit single on heavy rotation, a spot in the 3 Canal Show 2012 and a bright future ahead of him are definitely reasons to celebrate life
LivingTT is pleased to announce that in recent weeks
Kevon has joined the top soca band Imij & Company.