ARTIST TO WATCH: KEYONE STARR

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Some artists’ have vocals. Some artists’ have soul. Singer Keyone Starr has that and then some. Raised in Mississippi, the small town girl’s melodic and sultry voice glazed with control and sensual vibrato has been the driving force for this powerhouse in the making. Starr’s arsenal includes her musical adoption by super producer Mark Ronson and their latest collaboration “I Can’t Lose” has over 3 million streams worldwide. Never imagining such success could come about so quickly, the singer is a rare commodity within the music industry. Keyone Starr  is choosing a more eclectic approach to her music to create a multiplicity of avenues.

How did your musical journey begin?

When I was a little girl growing up in church. I also participated in several school and national honor choirs.

 When did you discover you wanted to pursue a career in the music industry?

Being in the music industry was always a dream of mine. I remember sneaking to watch music
videos on MTV. I started taking my passion seriously around 2010 after the birth of my
daughter.

 Mark Ronson is considered one of the greatest producers of this generation. What was
going through your mind when he approached you in 2014?

Funny thing is, I didn’t know who he was when he approached me. I genuinely saw him as a fly guy that I was told was a producer from California and wanted to hear some singers. So what was going through my head? I’d say nothing except what song am I going to sing.

 What was your first time like recording with Ronson?

My first time recording with Mark and Jeff was a longggggggg cold night. We were recording in the historical Royal Studios in Memphis until almost 4 a.m. I had to be at work the next morning really early so no exaggeration when I say it was a long night.

What power players in this industry have most influenced your sound?

I think I’m a weird but effective compilation of several different sounds. I’m a die hard fan of a groove, so Chaka Khan, The Funkadelics, Prince and Aretha Franklin are some of my favs.
But I also vibe off the sensual souls of Lauryn Hill, Sade, Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse and many more.

What was your reaction when you realized your song “I Can’t Lose” had over 3 million
streams on Vevo?

 I was instantly overwhelmed with gratefulness! It’s insane and sometimes it seems unreal. Don’t pinch me!

As an African American woman, how would you say your music impacts girls who look
like you?

 I think the woman and little girls’ can look at me and my music and know that all things are possible. They should never allow people or society to dictate who and what they are! BE FREE! BE YOURSELF! Everything else just seems to fall into place after that.

What do you think is the hardest thing about being an African American Woman in this
industry?

Well for me it was the stereotype of automatically being considered an R&B singer. I love and respect the genre, but it wasn’t necessarily my rooted interest.

 What do you feel is the greatest contributor to your success thus far?

Persistence, God…a praying family.

It’s important that we remember the people who helped mold who we are. How do
you plan to give back to your home state, Mississippi once you get further into your
career?

By starting my own music label so I’l be able to help develop younger artist in order to give them an opportunity to be in the spotlight. I would hope that would help many Mississippi artists that are serious about their craft know that they have a chance.

What’s next for Keyone Starr?

Currently I’m waiting on the Grammy Awards’ announcement, but in the mean time I’m recording my EP and I have some tour dates TBA during the spring or summer.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Keyonestarr
Instagram: @Keyonestarr

Author: Danie.M ~ Contributing editor