Everyone loves a freebie which is why when I heard Kevin Garrett was coming to London for a free show I had to be there! The Islington in Angel was hosting Kevin last September. A lot of people actually turned up and let's just say, it got rather cosy. But I digress. I dragged my friend along to the show with me and had a drink before the evening ahead. We sat outside, kidding ourselves that London was actually warm in mid-September.
Anywho, a young blond guy and two friends came to sit a few tables away from us. Said friends started filming and interviewing this guy; I pointed this out to my friend and we were a little intrigued but carried on our own conversation. Unbeknownst to us, this was the support act who would be taking to the stage a little later. His name was Hein Cooper. I always think it must be hard for a support act to take to the stage as ultimately, many people in the audience may not be there to see them or have even hard of them (case and point: above paragraph). Nevertheless, Hein let his voice do the talking as he delivered strong vocals and had me taking to Twitter to find out just who this guy was (after his set of course). Now to the main event: Kevin G. I do have to say, before the gig we walked past Kevin and I did the whole "Omg it's him!" thing without giving the game away too much. It's so weird to think that Kevin probably won't be able to walk about as freely as he was doing; his anonymity will soon be lost.
I first heard of Kevin through Pigeons and Planes which has supplied me with a lot of new music to listen to in the past few years. The first song I heard of his was Control which I loved instantly. I remember thinking: how could such a polished and professionally produced song come from such an unknown guy. I soon learned of his links to Roc Nation and it all clicked. Kevin wrote that song when he was just 17. Now, when I first started writing this piece, Kevin did not have a Wikipedia page; he now does. I did what everyone does when they're looking for information, I searched him up online but my beloved Google uncharacteristically gave me no leads. I felt like Kanye in that infamous Sway interview. It's amazing what a credit as a co-writer and producer on the opening track of Beyoncé's latest album (Lemonade) can do for your web-cred as he now has the formerly elusive Wiki page; according to that, he's 25 (for anyone interested).
Kevin's performance was breathtaking. This guy's vocals were so on point, I could liken it to the tip of a needle for real. He played songs from his EP Mellow Drama including my favourites Control & Colouring. Although, throughout the night I do remember saying to my friend (at the start of any song I knew) that "I love this song." Kevin also played other songs which I assume will be on his album when it is finally released. Impressively, he played a song that he said he penned that day; props to him for remembering the words. In all, Kevin crushed his falsetto; I was blown away at just how much his voice sounded like the recordings. To me, as an artist, if you sound like your studio recording when you sing live, you are the real deal. What I liked about Kevin was that he seems like such a humble guy who is making music for the love of it. It's truly great to see and I'm really happy I got to see him so early on in his career.
As with all enjoyable experiences, it ended all too soon. But I got to meet and have a little chat with Kevin after and needless to say, he was lovely. I complimented the show and sang my praises about the EP and I was really taken aback by his genuine disbelief at my kind words towards him. We even joked about the release of his album with me saying "I'm patiently waiting for your album to come out" and him responding with "me too". We ended our conversation with Kevin saying how he would love to do a proper tour with a live band and hoped to see me there. He's playing a sold out show in London on 23rd May at St Pancras Old Church but check out Dice FM for a possible way in.
Have a listen to a flawless vocal by Kevin Garrett below and you'll see just why I was so happy to see him; check out Kevin's Social Media below too as he'd definitely one to watch.