There’s a lot of talk about the lack of substance and positive values on the urban music scene today. Where are the positive images of men and women, particularly African-Americans? Where are the songs promoting romance and lasting love? There are such songs and images but somehow they get overshadowed by superficial sexuality and material celebration. No one has done more in the last decade to deliver great, down-to-earth songs about love, relationships and family and the struggles ordinary people face than Kindred The Family Soul, the Philadelphia-based hit-making husband-and-wife duo Fatin and Aja Dantzler. On such hits as “Far Away,” “Magic Happens,” “Stars” and “House Of Love,” Kindred The Family Soul delivers soulful, honest portraits of love and family. They not only sing about this life, they live it! They balance a committed marriage and six children with a successful career as musical artists. Their website has become a focus for many people who are dealing with the same struggles or who simply see in Kindred The Family Soul inspiration to do the same. On June 10, 2014, Shanachie Entertainment will release a new album A COUPLE FRIENDS, their latest installment in their ongoing love story.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to write and record an album when I haven’t been expecting a baby or just had one!” notes Aja Dantzler. As a result, the couple had the luxury of more time, space and energy to devote to the creative process and the results are very organic, free-flowing music. Working with such front-line producers as Vidal Davis and Andre Harris (Jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius), Anthony Bell (Jaheim, Estelle), James Poyser (John Legend, The Roots) and Steve McKie (Bilal, Jazmine Sullivan), Kindred wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album.
“The last CD was more concept-driven and full of features,” Fatin Dantzler explains, “but this CD reminds me more of our first CD. We recorded a few songs then stopped recording for almost a year then picked up where we left off and records just started to pour out like a well. I feel growth in the record for us. It’s still the same ‘us’ but more seasoned. We’ve been together a long time and we know each other extremely well.”
Indeed, where their critically-acclaimed last album, LOVE HAS NO RECESSION, was very oriented toward social commentary, A COUPLE FRIENDS focuses more on the original Kindred themes of love and the joys and challenges of a committed relationship. A special 22-minute short film featuring material from the album is in production and will be released soon. The new album is one more affirmation that Kindred The Family Soul has created a unique style and approach to music-making that is a welcome dose of substance and “real life” on an all-too-often vapid music scene.
“Touching people with genuine emotion and true-to-life lyrical content has always been our mission, ” Fatin says. “We want people to know that soul music has not left the building. We are here to stay and are carrying on the tradition!”