In 2013 the producer Soundz teamed up with the singer Ciara to create material for her Top 5 album ‘Ciara.’
In 2015, as he celebrates the release of his debut release ‘Slow Ain’t Dead’ the maestro has revealed that the Urban Pop belle Tinashe had called on him to replicate his success with the ‘Goodies’ star.
“Ciara’s one of the dopest artists to ever do it, she’s easily up there with the best.”
Soundz – born Kenneth C. Coby– makes the declaration as he sits beside the R&B purveyor Jeremih on a tour bus. Their destination? San Diego, the latest stop on J. Cole‘s ‘Forrest Hills Drive Tour‘ on which the latter serves as an opening act.
His statement should come as no surprise to those who have followed his journey as his work for Ciara has seen him credited with the critical success of her self-titled album which spawned the numbers ‘Sophomore’ & ‘DUI‘, both produced by the ‘Love in this Club‘ hitmaker.
“The album was supposed to be an Pop project,” he reveals at the start of our conversation. “She was working with LMFAO’s producers and was going for a big Dance sound but ‘Body Party’s success pulled the album back around to R&B and so she trusted me to keep the album in that direction with the songs we did together. The timing was perfect for me because I was going through a stage in 2012 where I felt I had to make EDM songs to keep up with what was happening on the charts but the songs I did for Ci and a few others I did at that time reminded me that Urban is what I do best. I want to make songs that you can play in the club today and wherever you are in life ten years from now. I think people know that and I’m happy because now you have dope artists like Tinashe calling me to work on their projects. They know I can give them something different every time.”
Now, he finds himself offering something different with his debut release ‘Slow Ain’t Dead‘, a collection of original Sade & 90s R&B inspired songs penned by him…for him.
The six-track offering was released more than a decade after he was discovered by ‘Climax’ singer Usher but strikes Urban Contemporary ground with a boozy yet cinematic sound that packs the kind of personality that’s often missing from male artists in his field.
“People already know my music through other artists so I know they love the sound. Now I’m sharing the same sound with a different story…my story.”
His arrival on the scene sees him compete with a fresh batch of singer/songwriter/producers also hoping to step into the light and pull in listeners with their own material. However, Soundz hopes time spent on the road will see him exceed expectations placed on him by those who doubt his gift.
“When I started producing I surrounded myself with the best producers so I could learn from them and apply what I saw of them to myself. I learned and have produced songs for Usher, Beyonce, Ciara and Justin Bieber and earned multiple Grammy nominations along the way. Now I’m on a new journey and I’m learning from all of those artists and the people I’m on the road so I can figure out what will and won’t work for me. That’s why this album means so much to me. It’s the start of a new journey and I know I’m giving my artistry what I give to my production.”