The key to being successful in any career one chooses to pursue is hard work and dedication. The music industry is no different. Especially, for those artists working in the underground or independent markets. They have to do everything mainstream artists do with little to no resources or help. This is no small undertaking. No one knows this better than Milwaukee based R&B singer Kal’L. In 2012, he was the epitome of a serious artist on his grind. So much so that his efforts earned him an exclusive year in review post. Continue reading to see what he accomplished all on his own in the areas of: press, events, and music.
Press: Kal’L started earning press for the year in March. He was featured in Skope Magazine, not once but twice. The first time was an introductory style interview to let the world know a little bit more about the singer. The second was a feature piece on his new music every two weeks campaign. From there his music started picking up and gaining him articles and reviews on several different well known sites such as: Review Fix, This Is Real Music, Totally Fuzzy Blog, You Know I Got Soul, The Milwaukee Examiner, The Illixer, and countless others. His shining press moment for the year though, was his feature article in prestigious Latino publication, El Conquistador Newspaper. He received a whole section to himself complete with a photo. That’s a pretty good way to end the Summer. By the end of 2012, he had been covered by over 20 different media outlets.
Performances / Events: When Kal’L wasn’t taking over the media publications and blogs, he was rocking stages around the state of Wisconsin. Known for opening his shows with covers of beloved mainstream R&B records, his passionate female friendly sets always went over well with the crowd. His first performance of the year took place in January at Nostalgia 1 (Milwaukee, WI) for their exclusive event series, Poetry Unplugged. A few months later he graced the biggest R&B event in the city of Milwaukee, “R&B Live” at Suite Club And Lounge. He also hit up cities like Oshkosh, WI where he did his thing at The Spot Lounge and Greenfield, WI where he got to perform at the 2nd Annual Summer Jam amidst a predominantly Hip-Hop line up. That is pretty impressive.
Kal'L not only took part in other people’s events, he put together three of his own and helped to facilitate a fourth. He organized two unique ventures entitled “Souly R&B.” The ventures provided local R&B acts an avenue in which to showcase their talents. He took care of all aspects of the shows, from booking the locations to arranging the line ups. He even played the role of host for the first one and performed at both. The third venture he put together was a mixtape release event. He once again took care of the business end of things, hosted, and performed. He even got a charity involved. He did everything on his own with minimal outside assistance. Everyone knows that event planning is no picnic. So again one has to admire Kal’s diligence. And the fourth event he helped establish, was an anniversary event for local media site, The Illixer. He provided insight, helped with organization, promo, set-up, hosted, and performed. He ended 2012 with over 15 events under his belt.
Music / Videos: While press and events are important to help an artist stay relevant, their music is of course the heart of their career. So Kal’L made sure to provide his supporters with plenty of it. He started dropping tracks in January with his single “Senses.” From there he established his now infamous campaign, where he released a new single every two weeks. The project ran until the end of December and resulted in a total of 19 tracks. All 19 tracks will be available via his upcoming mixtape, The Campaign. It drops January 17 and will be his first major venture for the new year. But Kal’L didn’t stop there. He created a Collaboration Week in August where he released a new song every day for a week.
He got such a good response from this that he then turned around and orchestrated an entire Collaboration Month in November. He released a new track with a different artist every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And he didn’t just do R&B music. He explored the genres of Hip-Hop and Pop as well. He went on to compile all of the songs from both Collaboration projects on a mixtape called The Example, which was released on December 15th. There were 17 songs total. He is the first artist to ever put together such a collaborative effort. Making his Collaboration Month a staple in Milwaukee music history. In between that time, he also hit fans with a 5 song EP in October called Love & Loss, which contained songs like his hit single, “Count On Me.” That places him at a whopping 41 songs for the year of 2012. It should be noted that he writes ALL of his own material and he lent his pen skills to other artists as well. Crazy, right?
If that wasn’t enough, Kal’L somehow managed to provide visuals as well. For a period of time he did fan requested cover videos every two weeks. Which involved him doing a brief acapella performance of a variety of mainstream tunes. He also played a little keyboard and hooked up some nice duets. To top that off, he appeared in his first two official music videos. One was for a collaborative song he did with local rappers Qewl Miles and Jazzie Blanco titled, “Pull Over.” And the other was his video debut for his single, “Count On Me.” So he appeared in a total of 12 videos by the close of 2012. That’s a nice healthy number.
One has no choice but to have major respect for an artist who manages to accomplish all of these things in just one year. Especially when given the fact that he is also a father, husband, script writer, author, etc. It takes a wealth of time, money, and sacrifice. But given the extent of Kal's talents, it is definitely all worth it. It will pay off very soon and he is deserving of every bit of his pending success. The Examiner is a proud supporter of the superman of R&B and is looking forward to all that he has in store in this new year!