*Soul music lovers in the nation’s capital know the name Kenny Wesley as a passionate purveyor of ballads who has opened shows for the likes of Stephanie Mills, Carl Thomas and Anthony David. But he’s taking a turn for the funkier on his official launch single “The Window,” a collaboration with L.A.-based Noah Lifschey, widely respected within the industry as a prolific producer of sizzling music for TV shows such as “America’s Best Dance Crew” and the MTV Movie and Music Awards programs.
“The Window” weds a thumpin’ groove to a self-affirming message that Wesley rocks with a righteous and uplifting vengeance. The song represents a sonic revolution as part throwback and homage, part contemporary slam jam.
“R&B is so overproduced and pre-manufactured now,” Wesley states. “It’s missing the grit that it used to have. Noah and I are trying to bring it back yet keep it relevant.” Lifschey affirms, “I’ve always wanted to take music with the `70s funk feel of Graham Central Station, Sly & The Family Stone and Stevie Wonder but rock it with a modern feel of bigger drums and slamming vibe to keep it from just sounding retro and old.”
As the lead-off single of a yet-to-be-titled contemporary soul concept album, “The Window” has an intriguing point of origin. “It began as a 40-second piece of music – a partial verse and a chorus – I wrote for a contestant on ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’” multi-instrumentalist Lifschey confesses.
“The song got a lot of great write-in feedback from viewers wanting to know what it was and where they could get it. Because I’d already been working with Kenny since June, I completed the music with live guitars, keys and custom programmed drums, then invited him to help me finish the lyrics. I’m a big fan of Seal who’s known for his lyrics being a bit vague. Generally speaking, ‘The Window’ is about being in the moment instead of allowing yourself to get caught up in a train wreck of thoughts that stifle you.” Wesley, who contributed to the lyrics and arrangement of the melody, adds, “It’s about taking an introspective look at one’s self and being honest and unpretentious with the people around you – something there isn’t enough of in the music business today.”
For a guy whose early vocal influences were Burt Bacharach-produced Dionne Warwick and the late, great Luther Vandross, Kenny Wesley is embracing the edgier sound quite nicely.
“I guess I’m going all the way back to my original vocal roots,” Wesley concludes with a chuckle. “My mom always said I came out the womb screaming!”
“The Window” is available on – itunes – CD Baby – Amazon.com and many other retail outlets.
Listen to Kenny Wesley’s “The Window”: