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Kenny Lattimore Takes Christmas Music to Next Level w/ Gospel Roots!

R & B Modern day soul man Kenny Lattimore and I had the opportunity to speak about his newly released project “ A Kenny Lattimore Christmas”.

This is an amazing music project and the story / meaning behind it is even more intriguing. Here are some experts from that conversation:
The Billion Brand asked:

What inspired you to release something, with such a different focus from your norm, such as a Christmas album?

Kenny Lattimore replies:

Well I have wanted to do one for a long time but I guess the timing didn’t seem right for the label. So what ended up happening, and I wish I had a very deep, amazing and spiritual answer, but I don’t, (laughing) Dave Koz (great friend of mine and an amazing saxophonist, world renown who does a Christmas tour every year ), and I were talking. I said to him “Dave I want to go on your Christmas tour.” I was just talking acting silly of course. He said “Yeah sure!” and asked was I sure I really wanted to go because it really intense to go out every day in the month of December up to Christmas and I said, “yeah.” He said “oh ok, so you got your Christmas album ready?” and  I said “Huh?” He said, “Yeah, Christmas album, you got your Christmas album ready?”  and I quickly had to say “no.” He replied, “You have to have a Christmas album.” And so I made some calls to some folks and Motown gospel came to the table full fledged ready to do it. What was also so great about it was it gave me an opportunity to dive back into gospel music with a greater focus because I didn’t have anybody questioning what I was trying to do.

kenny latimore, "a kenny latimore christmas" album cover

As I begin to share with Kenny my favorites on the CD he begins to give me some insight on thought process behind creating some of the songs.

 The Billion Brand  shared:

The cover of the song,  “Oh Holy Night,” was amazing and really showed a versatile amount of style and more so was very captivating and controlled.

Kenny Lattimore replied:

O holy night:  That was the first time I said let’s do like an aria because I know the Dave Koz audience would like it but at the same time people don’t hear me sing like this unless you come to the show and there are only so many people that get to see you perform live. So it was great to put everything into one package like that.

Reason to celebrate “ Hallelujah, Hallelujah” is me all day on a Sunday morning. Matter of fact I think we are doing that song on the Dave Koz tour; they chose that song. I was like “Really? are you serious?” because I just knew he was going to choose, “Oh Holy Night” or “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” because that seemed safe or usual. But when he chose the praise and worship of, “Reason to Celebrate” I said to myself, OK, we are going to GO IN and this will be fun!

The Billion Brand asked:

Do you think this CD will help you cross over into the religious market on gospel stations?

Kenny Lattimore replies:

I hope it does because it allows me to be who I really am and it’s almost like what Patti LaBelle did many years ago, she has inspirational songs like, “you are my friend,” and most of her song are inspirational, so that really catapulted her career. There’s something about the gospel music industry that tends to be very critical of secular artists who attempt to do gospel, but I just wanted everybody to see me authentically for who I was and not for an image or something they have heard about because that’s just the way people are in general. We follow things that we hear and then we repeat those things whether its right, wrong or indifferent and perpetuate lies and different things we don’t even think about. So this album to me was a way to put truth out about how I am. If the world can hear it authentically, the gospel industry will know and hopefully it will open some doors for me. I have been singing in some new churches and I have received calls for different things like T.D. Jakes 40th anniversary because they know who I am in his ministry as well as many others ministries. Even despite me being into R&B  they say “Yeah, let him come in,”  because they know I’m going to sing out of the purity of love and the gifting God has given me so there is no real conflict. My hope is that, for those other people, this Christmas/ gospel album will bring down those wall and hear authenticity and desire to worship.

The Billion Brand asked:

What is your favorite song on the album and why?

Kenny Lattimore replies:

My favorite song on it has to be, “I Cry Holy,” right now at this moment and I have actually been singing this song in some of the churches and when I think about it I just wanted to do a song that made me feel like I was literally at the birthplace of Christ. I was like, wow God we are sitting here hoping and wondering how God is going to bring this savior and then wait, he’s here.  Oh my God HOLY! HOLY!  All I can do is worship and at the same time you are not exactly what I thought you were going to be. So everything about that moment I really wanted that song to express. “I wonder if you would be conquering king and save us from our enemies? …how you left from your throne because of your great mercy for me!”  When God gave me that part, which is a line that anybody can say in a gospel song, he gave me the line and the melody as I was walking around my house. As soon as I said it I went into worship just thinking of what that really meant.  How despite  who I know I am and all of the things that make me, that the world doesn’t know who I am, regardless of what they think is good bad or indifferent, the only thing I know is that it humbles me to think he left his throne for me! That just wears me out and that does it for me.

Second, the Song “We Want to see you”

Arron really helped me to go there on that song. He was like, “ok so they are giving us this space to have a gospel song they can market outside of Christmas so write what do you want it to be like?…”

We did a lot together like the hook and then I did the verses. Most of it we did together like a back and forth. We sat in his living room and he had some music he was playing and I started writing words to it and we just went over it and I think the song was written literally within hours.

Please make sure you all support this amazing project. You will literally connect with every song.

Written By: The Billion Brand


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