Music icon Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds is that once-in-a-generation kind of performer; stylishly contemporary and unapologetically romantic, the singer-songwriter-musician has that rare capacity to deliver over-and-over again without fail. So when the long standing heart-throb promises Detroiters “a good time” and a “night of love and good feelings” at his post Valentine’s Day show at Detroit’s Motor City Soundboard, chances are you’ll get more than the price of a ticket.
“People think that when they come to the show, just because I am the love song guy, that it’s going to be all about slow songs and heartbreak, but it’s quite the opposite,” Edmond’s explained in an exclusive interview with the Michigan Chronicle prior to his Feb. 15 performance at the the intimate, but lively venue in Detroit. “I have an incredible band and great musicians, and people are surprised by how upbeat and uplifting the show is,” continues the contemporary crooner.
Fans can expect Babyface to rock to some of the classics from the new jack swing era of the 90s like “Whip Appeal,” “Every Time I Close My Eyes” and “For the Lover In You,” coupled with the mature and still sophisticated, hard-driving vibe from his Return of the Tender Lover.
“I listen to people about what they say and how they’re feeling … sometimes the feeling is so bad that it feels good, and sometimes it feels so good that it’s bad,’ explains Edmonds regarding his special brand of the grown and sexy sound. “As a kid I was always in love and girls were always breaking my heart, and they didn’t even know I liked them,” quips Edmonds. “But it was using that raw emotion and putting it to music that created the melodies.”
Since his rise to fame as a hit-maker for an amazing catalogue of A-list artists which include; Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Diana Ross, Sheena Easton, Toni Braxton, Eric Clapton, Mary J. Blige, Céline Dion, Mariah Carey and host of others, Edmonds’ own singing career has been equally dazzling.
“I am inspired artists that move me, from Stevie Wonder to James Taylor to Bruno Mars to Daniel Caesar, I get inspired by the artists I hear for my nest album,” says Edmonds intimating that there may be a new album in the works. “With Bruno he was inspired by the music we did in the 90s, and he owns that, and the best thing was not only that he called our names out but that he said it was a time he remembered when music was fun and about love.” Which is proof that good feeling music that lifted Mars to mega-stardom can be again attributed to the Indianapolis native Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. “It’s a reconnection to better times,” the ever-positive Edmunds insists.
Edmonds profound insights are not limited to the art or creating music. In a solemn introspective moment, he counseled citizens of the U.S. and the world to take a deep breath and a step back. “It’s crazy on both sides, and we can point fingers at each other all day long. But it’s hard to find the truth in any of this [mayhem],” he says solemnly. “The truth is that we should all want what’s good for the other person, and when we can get to that point then we can get away from reacting to someone else’s position and making them the worst person in the world,” he says adding, “The best place go now is to a Babyface concert or a Bruno Mars concert where everybody is singing the same song and we leave that [confusion] at the door.”
Edmond’s humble persona, is the thing that distinguishes him in an often less than honorable and sometimes brutal industry. But it’s his humility that endears him to generation after generation of music lovers. “I think God gives you humility and you can choose to hold on to it or you can disregard it, and maybe there were times I should have been more like Puffy …” Edmonds says earnestly. “But that being said. I’m happy with my choices. God gave me a forgiving heart and the bonus you get with me is that the music I make takes everybody to that good place down memory lane.” We agree, and that is a good thing.”
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds performs live at Motor City Soundboard on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.
For information and tickets visit: www.soundboarddetroit.com