Event Details

Ro James: REVOLT Presents

AC Entertainment Presents

Ro James: REVOLT Presents

Kevin Ross

Sat, March 11, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

1884 Lounge

Memphis, TN

$21.00 - $75.00

Sold Out

This event is 18 and over

Ro James
Ro James
ELDORADO album available everywhere!


All breakups change us, for better or for worse, but some can go deeper, revealing parts of ourselves that we never knew we had stewing inside us. Such was the case for singer Ro James.

At the age of XIX, Ro (born Ronnie James Tucker in Stuttgart, Germany) had no aspiration to be a singer. He knew he wanted to leave Indianapolis, Indiana and move back to New York City, where he spent most of his childhood living with his grandmother. But teaching or social work was the original plan to get him back there - not singing.

The thing is, Ro knew he had the genes.

His father, a military man who was also a non-denominational preacher, could sing. “He would always make me sing,” recalls James. He also knew he had the sensibilities of a musician, picking up the drums at the age of 9 for a short time. But motivation to use his natural instrument was lacking. “It was more so a thing where I felt like I was being forced to do it,” says James. “So I didn’t want to do it.”

But eventually rebellion would be defeated by heartbreak.

“She was my first love,” says James of the girl who would eventually break his heart. “She cheated, I cheated, it was that kind of thing.” The cycle of crazy eventually culminated in a tumultuous fight set off by accident through one of James’ friends. “It was New Year’s and me and my boys were at a gas station hanging out,” says Ro. “In Indy, the thing to do was chill at a gas station and talk to girls.” As Ro tried to coordinate a time to meet up with his girlfriend, his boys were around the corner at the nearby White Castle. Eventually he found them, but was still unable to get a hold of her. One of his friends points out a girl whose number he just got. It’s Ro’s girlfriend.

“That was the last straw,” says Ro. He went home that night and recorded a song dedicated to her called “Portrait.” He then shared the song with friends who encouraged him to post it on his MySpace page.

With such an overwhelming positive response to his music, and nothing left for him in Indiana, Ro made the all-important move back to New York City.

Adjusting back to big city life wasn’t a difficult thing for Ro. Though he spent most of his years in NYC he spent many others living in various places like most military brats. With stays in places such as Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Texas, Ro became a social chameleon. “I’ve been exposed to everything,” says Ro. “The travel gave me great perspective on dealing with different types of people and different cultures. These influences can heard in my music.”

Ro’s funky, individual style radiated wherever he ended up, so when he got back to New York City, where individualism for many is more of a lofty goal than an actual character trait, Ro found himself fitting back into the NYC party scene very easily. Within a year after moving in with his grandmother in Queens, the young singer was out doing shows around NYC. “I can’t say the beginning was a struggle,” says Ro. “It became a struggle when I knew the music I wanted to do didn’t sound like popular music.”

The music Ro wanted to do is the music you can hear on his EP series Coke, Jack & Cadillac’s. On it, you can hear the unique sound created by his concoction of influences, which range from Lenny Kravitz to D’Angelo to Johnny Cash to Prince and the gospel music he grew up singing in his dad’s churches. But just as important as Ro’s sound is his story, which can be traced in the series title.

The first installment, COKE, contains the patriotic love song “Pledge Allegiance” which shows the elasticity in Ro’s voice, as he easily moves between a confident falsetto and an aggressive tenor to declare his devotion to the woman he loves.

On, JACK, there’s the gut-wrenching ballad “Indiana Jones,” a song about his aforementioned first love in Indiana. Don’t be fooled by the sultry slithery guitar strums and synths. Ro pours his heart out here, confessing his frustrations with a love he just can’t get right.

CADILLACS has songs like the soulful, gospeldelic cut, “XIX.” Here Ro is reminiscing on the shenanigans he’d get into while driving the El Dorado Cadillac his father gave him. His voice is confident, but a vulnerability skims the surface as he exposes his naivete during his younger years.

With the Coke Jack, & Cadillacs collection, Ro’s sound is sure to become the next industry standard. Already it’s caught the attention of influential publications like VIBE and the tastemaker blog, Complex. He has also received cosigns from those in his peer group, known as ‘The Jackets’, which is comprised of Luke James, Miguel, Leah Labelle and Bridget Kelly among others. But one listen and the various comparisons Ro has been receiving amongst his cult-like following will make sense. As he likes to say, all he has to do is get people’s attention and keeping it will be easy.

“With my story and the places I’ve been, my work is completely different from everything else that’s out there,” says Ro. “We’re all inspired by the same things, things like love, but Coke, Jack, & Cadillac is going to be a different experience, an original experience.”
Kevin Ross
Kevin Ross
So don’t make me dream/If I got what I want in reality” “Dream”

For talented R&B singer/songwriter Kevin Ross, having his upcoming debut EP, Dialogue in the Grey, get released on Motown Records in partnership with the Bar Entertainment, is a thrill, not least because he grew up idolizing Stevie Wonder, but his real goal is to make a mark in 2014, not merely try to repeat past glories. His entire approach is to blend the old-school soul music of his parents’ generation with the post-hip-hop cutting edge of today, which becomes clear on songs like the finger-snapping street corner doo-wop of the introspective “Pick You Up” or the hybrid R&B/rap of his interpretation of Kanye West’s “Say You Will” (“Don’t Say You Will”), featuring T.I.

“I acknowledge the Motown history and sound, but it our responsibility as a generation to up the ante,” says the DC/Maryland-born artist, who studied voice at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music before landing in Atlanta, where he’s collaborated with such artists as Jamie Foxx, Usher, and Akon. “We’re trying to be just as innovative today as Motown was back then. We want to create a sound that will be remembered 50 years from now. We want to make this Motown very different, a whole new brand. We have a voice with things to say, too. We want to make our own noise.”

Recorded in Atlanta and Los Angeles, Dialogue in the Grey spotlights a soulful crooner and writer who combines a romantic lover’s touch with a more reflective, autobiographical side. “Pick You Up” is a pep talk to himself in the mirror to keep his eyes on the prize by overcoming all obstacles in his path, while “Dream” is a cinematic set-piece, spotlighting his soaring falsetto and piano skills to tell a story about a long-distance romance that finds him hoping his love is just as miserable without him as he is away from her. Among his collaborators on the album are Grammy winners Ne-Yo and producer/writer David Foster.

“I want the audience to get a feel for who I am,” says Ross about his debut effort. “The songs are truly about what I stand for and believe.”

Ross grew up in a household surrounding by music. His father’s side of the family all either sang or played an instrument. “My love for music was instilled at an early age,” he says, singing in school choirs as a kid.

He started writing, producing and mixing tracks on a 16-track MIDI work station and a Yamaha keyboard, harmonizing with his own overdubs. “It was something that came naturally,” Kevin explains. “I was intrigued by the fact that I could be self-contained. I didn’t need anybody else. And, in fact, the whole process hasn’t changed so much. I still record at home, except the set-up is a lot more elaborate now, and I get to work with the writers and producers at the Bar Music Group, who help me realize my ideas. I now understand it’s all about a team effort. I can’t do everything myself, and that’s one of the most important things I’ve learned in this process.”

“What I began to see was, it takes just as much energy to be a writer as it does an artist,” he reflects. “You need passion in either case, and to be able to give it the proper attention. Working with the people I did was great for picking up, not only what to do as an artist, but also what not to do. I needed that experience to get to the point where I could work on my own as a performer.”

So far, things have turned out nicely for Kevin Ross. He won two consecutive “Wild Out Wednesday” talent competitions at BET, which led to him being honored as a “Music Matters” artist and a performance on the 2013 BET Honors Award show, where he sang “Just Because.” AOL Music recently named him “Best New R&B Artist.”

With his new EP, Dialogue in the Grey, set to drop in 2014, Kevin Ross is already looking forward to getting out there on-stage to promote it. He is set to join Maxwell on tour this summer as the opening act. Maxwell had this to say about Ross, “I’ve heard many but none with this timeless way in music…your ear will never be the same.”

“I enjoy going out and touching the people,” says Ross. “I love entertaining and performing. There’s nothing to match standing in front of an audience and being fearless. We’re all here to have a good time. We all go through similar experiences. We all hurt, we all love, we all laugh, we all cry. We all have these kinds of emotions in our lifetime. I want people to listen to my music and make those human connections we all have with one another.”

For Kevin Ross, music is not just a livelihood, but a 24/7 obsession, and that meticulous attention to detail comes through loud and clear.

“The creative process never stops,” he says. “If you’re really passionate about it, it’s always on your mind. Even if the album is finished, I would still be writing new songs, both for myself and other artists. I’m already thinking about the next album, what it will sound like and topics I haven’t touched on yet. Looking ahead is more exciting for me. This is just the starting point. Even I have no idea what I’m capable of, what I’m going to do next. I still have plenty of things to learn and room to grow.”
Venue Information:
1884 Lounge
1555 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN, 38104