*Since 2003, Kindred the Family Soul has been burning up urban adult contemporary radio with their sweet yet powerful music.
The married duo’s first single, “All My People,” from their forthcoming 6th album, “Legacy of Love,” is currently rising up the charts.
Now get ready for Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler’s message of love, peace, and unity this July (2017) as part of the second annual Los Angeles Soul Music Festival, which also features Anthony Hamilton, Tyrese, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Musiq Soulchild and Blackstreet featuring Teddy Riley and Dave Hollister.
The EURWeb recently caught up with Graydon, who says she and her hubby are ready for a good time when they perform Saturday, July 15 on the main stage.
“We are married and we do sing love songs so people know that they’re going to get those,” said Graydon.” But, I don’t think people always expect how much fun we have. We like to have a good time and like to make the audience have a good time. We’re just gonna go up there and tear the walls down.”
She continues, “We try to throw in as many tunes as we can especially for those who have been down with the group for a long time and are familiar with the 6 albums worth of music we put out. People want to hear “Far Away,” “Stars,” and their favorite tunes. We’ll also share a little bit of the new music too.”
The husband and wife team have been in the music business since they were teenagers. Graydon nabbed her first record deal at only 14, while Dantzler was producing music for Bell Biv Devoe at just 17. The famed hip hop band The Roots introduced them to each other in 1997 and Dantzler went on to produce a solo album for Graydon. Just one year later, they were married and have been together ever since. So, what does it take to hold on to a showbiz marriage for almost 20 years?
“We have a great family that has been there for us and supported us over the years,” says Graydon. “God’s grace and mercy of course is first and foremost. We’ve had to be patient. We’ve had to be creative. We’ve had to go with the flow in some instances and carve out our own rules. It’s just been a journey altogether. I don’t think there’s any real secret to it. It’s just something that we want to be and we strive for everyday to make it happen.”
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Graydon surmised, “All married people look at each other with a side-eye. No matter what you do in life, you have to assess and the assessment always comes up with the same answer. Whenever we do an audit of our personal lives and professional lives, the evidence is there. We’ve built a lot together and it’s all worth preserving. That’s what keeps us going.”
When the two first started performing in clubs, they went simply by the name Kindred. However, due to legal issues, when it came down to recording the music, they had to rethink the name.
“We wanted to find a single name that encompassed what we were about,” said Grayson. “Words that meant family and togetherness and that kind of thing and we found the word kindred. We were Kindred for a long time just out performing in clubs but when it was time to do the business of the group, like put out records, we were not able to trademark the name just as Kindred. So, we added the Family Soul in order for people to have no problem distinguishing us from anything else with the name attached.”
With 6 albums under their belt since 2003, including a well-received national Walmart commercial highlighting the importance of family reunions, some fans still have problems keeping the name straight.
“It’s funny. As basic as the story is people never get it right,” she said. We get all versions except for what it actually is. We get Kindred Spirit, Kindred The Soul Family, Kindred The Family of Soul, Kindred and The Family Soul. We get Kendrick, not Kindred at all. We’ve had so many variations of the absolute wrong name it actually makes the real name pretty doggone exciting. I’ve actually made memes and stuff on my Instagram about it because I think it’s hilarious.”
In addition to their marriage, to solidify their union they have six children. The twosome encourages them to do their own thing even if it is not in music.
“(One of ) my son’s is headed to college and wants to be a teacher,” said Graydon. “One of my twin daughter’s is an excellent writer and the other is a dancer. “My oldest is also a good writer.”
She continued, “All of our children love music and it would be impossible not for them to form some sort of emotional attachment to it, but they all seem to be interested in a number of things. They have other interests but are proud of us. My happiness is really all tied into that they are healthy individuals, they love life, and that they are living up to their full potential as people. It has nothing to do with them doing music.”