After smashing 2009 with the instant steppers’ classic “On the Ocean,” K’Jon is back with a new album Moving On in stores on April 20, 2012. “On the Ocean” is one of Billboard’s longest-running songs on the charts, clocking in 75 weeks. Can he duplicate that success? It doesn’t matter as long as the music gets out there for long-time fans, he tells Soultrain.com.
K’Jon: I was always in it in an early age, but I guess when I got serious it had to be when I was 14 or 15 years old when I started getting into hip-hop albums. I was always in love with music, but when I started getting into it myself I was recording hip-hop demos, which led me to recording R&B demos. I grew up around a lot of old school R&B—The Commodores, Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, Mighty Clouds of Joy, a lot of gospel, Marvin Gaye…I was riding around in the back seat not really knowing and absorbing all of this music. The Motown movement here in Detroit, who wouldn’t love the temptations and all these artists coming out of Detroit?
Soul Train: When did you first start looking for a record deal?
K’Jon: I wanna say that I actually put out a demo ten years ago. I did get called up sometime later. That had to be about 9 years ago. Those were some of my first works. I was a young man. I’m still a young man. I don’t really talk about the age thing. [Laughs]
Soul Train: Did you know “On the Ocean” was going to be as big as it was?
K’Jon: Honestly, I did not know it would be that huge. I know it was good, because I put it out on all three independent albums, and I had it on a major release. I knew the record was special because I kept putting it out there in front of people. But I couldn’t have forecasted that. It was quite a surprise for me.
Soul Train: Is there a challenge to make another hit as big as “On the Ocean?”
K’Jon: No, I don’t think it’s a challenge, not within myself. People will always be connected to “On the Ocean.” When I think of John Legend, he’s had so many songs but I think of “Ordinary People.” But it’s great when people can identify music with the artist years later.
Soul Train: What can listeners expect on the new album?
K’Jon: You’re going to see a well-rounded K’Jon. You’re going to see his experiences in life, where he is in his life and his journey. I’m hoping to increase the fan base. We definitely have songs in the vein of “On the Ocean” that will tug at your heart. You’re going to smile, you’re going to feel good, you’re going to be uplifted, you’re going to party, and you’re going to love your family. It’s just a well-rounded dedication.
Soul Train: Who did you collaborate with on this album?
K’Jon: The talent — the vocal talent – comes from some of the artists out of my label, Up and Up Records. With producers, the most notable producer I’ve worked with is Neff-U as well as Adonis, who’s a big-time producer out of Atlanta. Those were my highlights of collaborating on this project.
Soul Train: What’s next for K’Jon in the years to come?
K’Jon: I want to push this album until the wheels come off. I don’t want to have any regrets in the future. I’m the CEO of my company as well. It’s more than just being an artist. It’s going behind the scenes and pushing the music as well. I want to work this project and be the best that I can be. This can take me to different venues, like film, clothing, and just being a businessman. I think if I push the envelope harder, then these things will happen not only for me but for my family.
— Aaron Foley