If I could be like Mike..

When an artist has a great impact on pop culture they tend to start a cycle that spawns several other acts that are similar to themselves. Up and coming performers see the trends that are created, and conform for the almighty dollar. Eventually the market becomes stale, and is in need of the next innovator to inspire another trend in the music business.

Chester, Philadelphia native, Kevin Michael, is one of the latest artists whose heart pumps new blood through the veins of the music industry. The self-taught singer was in contract negotiations when he was 11, but mainly focused on making demos and songwriting. After a stint on Virgin Records Michael found his home on Downtown Recordings, which is an imprint of Alantic Records.

Michael’s self-titled album combines a plethora of experiences and themes into music which enable him to be aesthetically gratifying across multiple levels. Michael comes from an interracial home and uses his experience to fuel his theme of unity. His single “Stone Cold Killer” pays homage to Michael Jackson who was a big influence on his style.

Michael is like a culturally sensitive Kris Brown. He carries some of the same subject matter when it comes to the opposite sex, but instills a maturity that transcends the stereotypical love song. Songs like “Love Letter” and “Liquid Lava Love” featuring Claudette Ortiz will spawn musical inspiration to musicians, and perhaps a few new babies in the world.

The beauty is that his album is not 14 tracks of the same beat, keys or theme. Michael has range musically, vocally and thematically. By having different artists of high notoriety in his circles of collaboration, Michael touches bases on several genres. Reggae lovers will “dig” the melodic bounce of “Difference” which features Wycleff Jean. On “We All Want The Same Thing” featuring Lupe Fiasco, Michael looks to draw the crowds from the urban and skater realms together.

“All my gangster friends/and all my skater friends/We all want the same thing/DJ’s in the clubs/Jesus freaks and thugs/ we all want the same thing.”

Like any vibrant album Kevin Michael has a party song that rivals all of the club pop tarts that plague the airwaves. His single “Weekend Jumpoff” will inspire even the most staunch of workaholics to take the day off. There will be no overtime after Michael gets through with you.

Michael is a refreshing beverage to the unsaturated music market. Drink up. One Love.

Michael is on tour with Maroon 5 until the end of this month and will be playing in Houston at the Toyota Center at 8 p.m.

For more information on Kevin Michael visit http://www.myspace.com/kevinmichaelmusic

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