Few artists get the chance to create cinematic visuals for their entire first EP, but then again many rising artists lack resources and a clear artistic vision. Kesington Kross, signed to Epic/LaFace Records – the first time in 25 years that music mogul L.A. Reid and revered R&B veteran Kenneth “Babyface” Edmond have jointly signed an artist, has his first few stars aligned, the latest shining with the visual release of “Gimme Your Love.” The futuristic-themed video is the first of more to come from his debut EP, Audio Justice.
Raised in Compton, California, Kesington credits his retro-soul-slash-futuristic-R&B sound to artists ranging from David Bowie to Missy Elliott. Most recently, the Epic artist has been compared to Frank Ocean for his unique contribution to R&B. Not a bad category to be placed in, right? Fresh off an East Coast tour with label mate Kat Dahlia, Kesington Kross spoke to us about bringing his concepts to life for the “Gimme Your Love” video, his musical influences and what he’s working on next.
Who directed the video for "Gimme Your Love"? Did you have a concept in mind or did you go with the videographer's direction? The directors' names are Gomillion & Leupold. They started in photography and have done cool spreads for fashion lines. I brought them the concept and they brought it to life.
The video is shot like a mini-movie. What was it like doing those scenes? It was great, we had a lot of fun. The set design was just...captivating. It's amazing to see things and concepts in my mind being brought to life. This music video for "Gimme Your Love" is actually the first in a four-part series. All five songs from my EP Audio Justice will be connected as a mini-movie.
How would you describe the plotline of the video? I'm in a futuristic city and I take out one of the "bad guys" who happens to be a love interest of the main villianess who runs the city that's full of outlaws who are rebelling and fighting for freedom. While that's going on, there's a young girl following me around and taking pix of me and my crew and she gets brought on the team eventually. The video ends at the cliff hanger where the villainess makes it clear that she is seeking revenge of the death of her love interest. The video is ultimately about me finding love and her losing love.
Who are some of your musical influences? The new song has so many different elements to it. Everyone from David Bowie to Rick James to Prince to Annie Lennox to Tupac to Missy Elliott.
What's next for Kes? A few show dates at SXSW and also getting some new visuals plus a full-length album. I appreciate everyone's support. This is my passion, I'm ready to present high-art.