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Kindred The Family Soul
 Discussion with Kindred the Family Soul (Artist Of The Month)

After having reasonably good success with the first record ‘Surrender to Love’, Kindred the Family Soul are back with a delightful new record called ‘In This Life Together’. Now I only felt that it was wise to catch up with the dynamic duo and see how things were going.

Welcome to Just Soul. How are things going?
Aja replies in a satisfied tone ‘Well’, Fatin has a more lengthy response ‘Things are fine. We are well. The album is it and we are touring to support it… pushing forward’.
So it sounds like Kindred are coping positively and excited about the second release on Hidden Beach Records.
Like many people I am highly impressed by ‘In This Life Together’, it has a really polished sound to it, and they represent modern Soul music honestly and properly. I complimented them by saying that they are the new Tammy Terrell and Marvin Gaye, but they felt that they need to grow and achieve a lot more to accept my statement.

Artist Of The Month
  Kindred The Family Soul  

Here I asked them also about what the future holds for Kindred, ‘God knows best what the future holds we are just living it, trying to let god guide us in the right direction but I think we’ve got a lot we need to accomplish to deserve some of the comparisons to such artists as Marvin and Tammy’.
Now, Kindred maybe not legendary like those singers, but they have a special gift, which I embrace rather than ignore. It’s music that teaches you how to feel good and learn a few things about love or relationships. Aja’s response to their future was ‘Future plans are just to grow and mature as a couple and a group’. This is fair enough because most modern day Soul artists like to develop and get better at their craft.
Talking about growing up made me interested in knowing who they call influential, ‘Gladys Knight, Lalah Hathaway and Caron Wheeler. Collectively folks like the O’Jays and EW&F’, says Aja. ‘The influences are so many and still growing. We love good music and great performers’, Fatin speaks. Sometimes change can be an excellent thing, so I wondered if either would break from Kindred the Family Soul and go solo but Aja clearly said ‘Nope, no solo aspirations’.

India Arie is a featured guest on ‘Struggle No More’; it is a beautiful track with soulful melodies and inspiring lyrics. This is what Kindred had to say about India Arie and the track ‘She’s a good friend. She has a way of drawing emotion from me that no other artist can. I’m honored to have her as a part of the project. She is an authentic person and a talent’, replies Aja. ‘India is a good friend before the music so it was like a breeze. It was kind of emotional hearing it for the first time. She sang her part in the booth and it was as if she was trying to convey the message to us that we wanted to convey to our mothers’, says Fatin in a more sentimental way.
This dynamic duo offer inspiration to many families out there, black or white, race is no issue when it comes to love.
I asked them about what is it like juggling a music career and family at the same time, Fatin says ‘Its like having a job, being married and having kids. Stressful, rewarding, beautifully tiring, enriching and time consuming’. ‘It can be tough finding the time for all things and all people. Our obligations far out weigh even what you can imagine. But we try to step it up with love and patience. We try to accomplish what we can and try not to be so prideful. That we don’t ask for help when we need it’, Aja says being the emotional female figure of the family.
Hidden Beach Records is a pretty special label, with names like Lina and Jill Scott whom are all well respected artists and performers.
Kindred themselves have had there fair time on stage as well so I asked where do they enjoy performing most. Aja, ‘Chicago, London, Philly, D.C, places were our fans really get a chance to see and hear us’. ‘Chicago, London, Atlanta, D.C, N.Y, and of course Philly’ says Fatin in a proud tone of voice.

I wanted to talk more about the tracks from ‘In This Life Together’ and how they felt about them, my favorite being ‘Where Would I Be (the Questions)’.
‘I think these songs represent more intimate details about us as individuals and as a couple’, Aja being the only response to this question. After listening to this record I felt a great sense of maturity compared to ‘Surrender to Love’, it seems like there was a change of focus for this record and Fatin replies ‘Just to try and make good albums, all in all and to do our best with what we have to work with always’.
There’s always going to be some disagreements in a discussion but I wasn’t prepared for Fatins response when I asked a simple question of ‘How do you feel about the current state of today’s black music, ‘This question feels like a set up because it shows how disgruntled so-called Neo Soul artists (which I guess I am) are with their status in the music industry. But basically times and the music changes with are so you got flow or go, however there’s a lot of good music being made that doesn’t get played’. Fair point, the majority of radio play is usually rubbish artists like Ashanti, Ciara, Mario Winans, or Justin Timberlake.
Aja has a different view ‘I think black music is so much more diverse than what the masses are exposed to. Still I love my folks and all they do even when I get a little tiresome of seeing the same stuff al the time. Oh yeah and Mariah Carey and Missy Elliot are geniuses, its time someone said it’. I was quite shocked for Aja to mention Mariah because to me she isn’t exactly genius. Her old music is better than her current stuff and the comment about Missy Elliot could possibly be true because she is a positive role model in hip-hop.

Having already discussed performing and those they liked London I was keen to find out why they liked London. ‘London is funky, fashionable, and eclectic. I love the diversity of African, West Indian, Irish and Indian cultures. All influences so deeply embedded in such a European culture and all of them enjoying your music together. Wicked’, Aja says with a little British slang at the end. Fatin replies with a more serious approach ‘I love London because the music-lover doesn’t discriminate there’.
Every where are the same, people will not change, from America to UK, there will be people who take music for granted and have a narrow mind, to judge an entire nation is quite an extravagant opinion.
The discussion with Kindred was coming to a close, but there was one more simple and personal question I wanted to ask, ‘What was the last thing that made you smile and cry’, the mother of the family replies ‘My children made me smile last and last time I cried it was because Fatin didn’t like a meal that I prepared’.
Over all the Kindred the Family Soul sound like a unique people as a couple and initially, this left me with no other option than to keep supporting and buying their records.


Matthew Daniel [Just Soul]

In This Life Together
  Surrender To Love  
  Recommended if you like:
- Van Hunt
- Jill Scott
- Donny Hathaway
Surrender To Love
Kindred The Family Soul 'Surrender To Love' [Hidden Beach]

Surrender to love is the debut release from Hidden Beaches’ first couple act. Since then they have blossomed and become a firm favourite for many new soul music-lovers. Each track defines a certain emotion and gives you a particular message, all based on true experiences and real forms of expression in a positive way. Kindred manage to use words and music in a very articulate way, driving the commercial songs played often on radio away and replacing the air waves with music to bless the listener with love and joy. Yes, kindred are really a beautiful pair, and they show now signs of slowing down. From songs like ‘Stars’ to ‘Far Away’ represent quality soul music and I’m pretty sure no one would disagree. It was officially out on March, 25th 2003, and it got some seriously impressive exposure. Buyers who purchased ‘Surrender to Love’ would probably like Rahsaan Patterson, Van Hunt, Amel Larrieux, Rhian Benson and label mate Jill Scott. They are a couple (now family) with a lot of soul. ‘We’ has a guest appearance from Ursula Rucker and ‘I Am’ features up and coming soul singer Jasmine Sullivan. The reprise called ‘Family Song’ is a beautiful choir like song, were they show unity and love in its most honest nature. ‘Party’s over’, and ‘Spread the Word’ are both up beat numbers, ‘Party’s over’ features Flo Brown and Malik B. The title song ‘Surrender to Love’ is a Funky meaningful track, which is one of my favourites. ‘Meant to be’ has a serious groove, another classic Kindred track. ‘Contentment’ is a beautiful, simple, sultry track, providing intense modern soul at its best. The album is an experimental first appearance, and I am proud of Kindred to keep it real. There are no errors on this nineteen track disc, apart from a few personal likes and dislikes, but over all a highly professional record. They can be compared to Ashford & Simpson, and an inspiration of Fertile Ground, Julie Dexter, Lauryn Hill, Steely Dan and Donny Hathaway. All these artists have different style but a lot of soul just like the soulful family of Kindred the Family Soul, highly recommended.

Matthew Daniel [Just Soul]

In This Life Together
  In This Life Together  
  Recommended if you like:
- 2GA1
- Slick & Rose
- Floetry
In This Life Together
Kindred The Family Soul 'In This Life Together' [Hidden Beach]

What can I say; they are the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell of modern Soul music. They make everything about life feel al-right again. They show love in its purest form through real lyrics about relationships trials and tribulations. Their musicality has improved since their debut, and I prefer this album from their previous release. They are still on Hidden Beach records, one of America's finest independent labels since the days of Motown. With label mates Lina, Jill Scott, Mike Phillips and Jeff Bradshaw with other new comers, Kindred have an amazing blend of Soul that is heartfelt and full of Rhythmic beats. 'Sneak A Freak' is a great dance number with infectious bass line, horn section and percussion. They never fail to impress, literally. With compelling lyrical contents and interesting musical arrangements, 'In This Life Together' is my album of the month for Just Soul. It's different from their first album and there's more love in the album, their vocals seem less forced, and the whole vibe of the album is energetic. My favourite track from the duo's album is 'Where Would I be (the Question)', just under five minutes of sheer perfection. The meaning behind the lyrics are strong, as the connection of the two make it a powerful and beautiful rendition, just like M.Gaye and T.Terrell. 'Let It All Go' is another firm number, its raw production and guitar riffs make it stand out. The album is a huge musical step forward; something different in this record is to be offered. I don't know if it's to do with the pair having their own children, who knows. 'In This Life Together' is the title of the album, but is also a song from the release. The string arrangements and melodic singing is another smash for me from the duo. Kindred family of Soul, are definitely a soulful bunch, with lots of Soulful music and more to offer to the world, where love sometimes lacks. In the media, on T.V, outside your window, trials and tribulations are happening that are changing the future of the next generations ahead, however the world would be much worse if Kindred's spirit wasn't here.

Matthew Daniel [Just Soul]

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