Kenny Lattimore On Potential 'Verzuz' Opponent: I've Heard People Say Eric Benet and I Should Do One
Kenny Lattimore is showing the world he is 'Here To Say' which is the title of his tenth album currently out now. The 10 track record features the singles 'Lose You' and 'Pressure' and according to the R&B veteran, this album is special and a "giving back" project as he wanted to give exposure to producer Drakkar Wesley, who has been a frequent collaborator on Lattimore's projects in the past.
Your Voice Media correspondent Ty Cole chatted with Lattimore in an in-depth, 30-minute exclusive interview about the album, the freedom to control the decisions on the album, marriage life, and even chimes in social media's ideal opponent for a Verzuz matchup.
Q: Because this is the tenth studio album, how special is it to you?
A: It's really special - in a way it's a giving back project. Drakkar Madison Wesley is my main producer - like my Quincy Jones or a Jam and Terry Lewis. This was a way to expose him. Originally, I wanted to do a Frank Sinatra-styled album or like Nat King Cole - I wasn't looking to do an album like this at the time. In a conversation with Madison, I realized I can use my platform to elevate him. If anything, this will set a tone and he can come out and I can help expose his artistry after this.
Q: Why did we name this album ‘Here to Stay?’
A: 'Here To Stay' represents commitment - the commitment to singing love songs and this message as this message never goes out of style - it continues to evolve as we evolve. A person may have been 10 years old when 'For You' came out and now they're 35 years old - they're in love now. Love becomes the center and focuses if it hasn't been in the past. It's like with your mom teaching you about R&B music which is about love and relationships. Some people get jaded due to the business not doing them right or discouraged. One thing I tell young artists is to continue to keep the passion they love.
Q: Would you ever do a Verzuz and is there anyone in mind you would celebrate with?
A: I've been hearing other people talking about me and Eric Benet due to us coming from the same era. I haven't really thought about it that much, although I have enjoyed it. I think Verzuz is for people who have a lot of commercial hits, billboard radio and while I've had classic hits, I wasn't celebrated with that machine behind - reasons why I'm considered underrated. Some of the songs I have that are classics were not promoted at the same level as other songs that could've been promoted to #1.
Q: What was the social media reaction people took away after watching your recent Tamron Hall interview and what do you hope people took away from it?
A: The Tamron Hall interview and speaking about sexual abuse were a surprise. People wondered if she went too deep and she didn't because the episode was about overcoming sexual abuse to be healthy in your new relationship. The takeaway I wanted people to hear was what my wife Judge Faith Jenkins said in the end, which was none of what happened to me in the past affected our relationship. You can overcome past traumas and hurt to not bring into a new relationship - you need to do the work.
You can watch the full interview below and make sure to stream Lattimore's tenth album 'Here To Stay' out now.