He set the charts ablaze with his hit singles, "Let It Rock" and "I Made It," and now Cash Money singer/songwriter/producer, Kevin Rudolf is taking it back to his acoustic roots with his newest song, "Here's To Us."
The Folk-tinged tune is available on iTunes and features a lyric video which drops today (Oct. 23).
The track, produced by Kevin himself, combines a piano backdrop to complement the acoustic soul and pronounced clap that make it catch. Though this may seem like a complete 180 from Kevin's earlier stuff, the singer insists that it's just his natural progression.
The Miami-based singer spoke to Examiner.com about what inspired him to change signature sound that first help put him on the map:
"I started to write again on acoustic guitar, which is something I haven't done for a while. I've been in the hip hop world, and obviously being on Cash Money, I've been doing stuff for different artists like (Lil Wayne) and them. More recently I began to be more of a songwriter where I build a track first and I just found myself reaching for the acoustic guitar more on this, so it sort of lent itself to the songs feeling a little bit more organic and country, if you will, just because of the acoustic guitar influence. I'm also probably letting my guard down a little bit more than I did in the past. definitely focusing more on telling a story in the lyrics more than I ever have in the past."
Kevin noted that a change both within himself and within hip hop culture played a significant role in his decision to go a different direction:
"When I made "Let It Rock" I was coming out of 2006-2007 into making that record and I think hip hop was in a different place I think culturally things were different, there was still more of an anger and aggression and stuff that I still wanted to get out that was more associated with my youth, and my angst and wanting to make a mark and that's what "Let It Rock" was about wanting to show the world and cut through the fakeness that was out there, and really make a mark for myself and sometimes after you have some success you kind of relax it's like growing up from being an adolescent where you're like "F' you, this is my time" and then you relax a little bit and then you wanna show different sides of yourself so that's what I wanted to do at that time."
Kevin also talked about how Cash Money Records CEOs, Ronald "Slim" Williams and Brian "Baby" Williams felt about his departure from hip hop:
"One thing about Cash Money, "Baby" and "Slim" is they really just love good music, they've never put me in a box. They've never said I should be anything other than what I am. I think they trust that, "you're the artist so why are we gonna tell you what to do?" You wouldn't tell Picasso what to paint. The artist is the artist and if they've signed the artist then they've made the right decision so they're gonna let the artist do what they do. I'm always amazed when somebody gets signed and then they're being controlled and told what to do. It's almost like "well what'd you sign them for? Why'd you sign this person if you didn't trust that they have a vision? Why didn't you sign someone else who does have a vision."
The album will drop in early 2014. Kevin will be performing at "Live In The Vinyard" alongside artists like Jason Derulo and Gavin DeGraw Nov. 2-4.
Follow @itsKevinRudolf on Twitter for all the latest updates on new music and show dates.