Synth Pop artist Kevin Whitaker began writing music for his current project, self-titled by name, two years ago. It was only one year ago in November of 2021 that the first single on his discography, “Part of Me,” was released. That’s remarkable context to be aware of as the Lebanon, PA artist embarks on releasing a new single, entitled “Crown,” slated for December 9th. Why? Inasmuch as that year since the first single, Whitaker has amassed 6k monthly listeners on Spotify and 15k views on the single’s lyric video on YouTube. His brand of raspy vocalized synth pop has been warmly received by his audience. With “Crown,” Whitaker continues to work with Bradley Denniston (producer) of Radium Records but is heading in what he is describing as a “new direction” with the single. That direction being, at least by my first impressions in contrast to the previous single (and remix), a heavier Rock influenced sound.
This latest release is a pre-cursor to an upcoming seven-song EP to be released and it will be interesting to see how much further Whitaker takes this direction. In line with the “many ways music speaks to us,” sentiment expressed in his short documentary on YouTube, Whitaker embraces the adventurous side of his artistic well-being. The documentary is a great way to better understand where his inspirations come from, and what his aspirations are for making music. A personal insight into who an artist is and where they are coming from always makes for a stronger connection with an audience. I definitely think the “mini-doc” serves that purpose well.
This new single is described by Whitaker as an “anthem for people.” What does that mean? Well he says it’s about fighting. Wait, what? Ah. The fight to keep going. Important clarification. For what it’s worth even if it wasn’t that particular distinction, I’ve been known a time or two to enjoyably listen to a song that may or may not (alleged) be inciteful anyway. Neither here nor there, I digress. The point is, the song is meant to inspire people to fight their way back from being at a low point or giving up. Totally in line with what is expressed in the documentary and what is at the heart of his musical inspiration. He wants to inspire others to overcome their internal struggles, as he feels he has done. “Crown” embodies that energy from the first note to the last, it is very much what I’d call a “gym” song or a “pump you up” type of song. It packs a snappy snare drum, thundering bass, and raspy, chest voice chants/shouts of “Put your crown back on and Fight!” There is definitely a bit of an industrial flavor mixed into the sound. Except while NIN is taking you on a “Downward Spiral,” Kevin Whitaker is pep talking you into fighting back with all you got.
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