One on One with Kevin Lyttle
By Craig K. Skilling
“Turn me on” three simple yet provocative words and song lyrics that captured the heart of music lovers from across the globe ten years ago has hit the charts again! I had the pleasure of sitting down recently with the singer and song- writer of those lyrics along with his wife, the Barack and Michelle power couple of south Florida and the Caribbean, the engaging Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Lyttle.
Kevin, born Lescott Kevin Lyttle Coombs from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is most known for his talented high pitch sound that universally blessed us in 2004 with that hit single “Turn me On” off of Atlantic Records. We met up for good food, drinks and conversation where everything was on the table including Kevin’s latest business ventures, philanthropic efforts, married/ family life, the early days of his music industry career and of course his new music!
As Kevin and I began to catch up I was informed by Jackie that Kevin just returned from a long trip for a concert performance and philanthropic mission in the south pacific island of Papa New Guinea along with R&B singer, songwriter and actress Ms. Mya Harrison. The two plan to record a song together once their schedule permits in 2014. The reminder allowed for Kevin to open up on some of the amazing things that are currently happening in his life. “Man, it’s crazy “Turn me on” is back on the charts and is currently #7 on the local charts and #28 on the Amazon’s best-selling digital songs list,” says Kevin emphatically.
As I looked across the table I noticed a few of Kevin’s gadgets including two cell phones and a dual phone/wristwatch device. Kevin recently struck a deal with Samsung to be an official brand ambassador and as part of the deal receives the latest in their mobile technology. Speaking of mobile technology Kevin has just inked a deal with a company called ‘Pack’ to build his personalized and branded “Fan Experience” celebrity app available in the iTunes, Amazon and Google app store. Kevin is a brand and what I found out is that the lovely lady sitting next to him, his wife and business manager has been extremely instrumental in helping to build that brand.
“We actually met when we were both thirteen in third form” (the US equivalent of high school) says Dr. Jacqueline James-Lyttle who received her PhD in Engineering from the University of Miami. While both were thirteen Kevin said he was going to marry the Vincentian when he turned sixteen. It would take several years for their stars to align and for marriage to become a reality but Jackie mentions with a gleam and glow that Kevin would always inquire to see how she was doing and remained confident that he would marry his island beauty one day. Their bond seems to be unbreakable however Kevin would admit that that being an international touring artist and balancing being a husband and father would not be possible without the support of his multitalented wife and business manager.
Although Kevin is not a casual consumer of alcohol he did mention that when he occasionally has a drink you better believe it will be Monte Carlo Vodka in his cup. Kevin signed a deal with Monte Carlo Vodka to represent their brand throughout the world. If that were not enough he and his wife Jackie are partners in a phenomenal startup company called Kidsville, currently located in Southland Mall with new Florida locations being confirmed. Kidsville is the ultimate experience for kids and a place where parents can safely consider dropping their children off while working or shopping at the mall.
Just when I thought we were going to catch up on his music the entertainment mogul mentions another partnership with a company called Chill Shot. Chill Shot is the natural liquid version of what someone like Bob Marley would have truly appreci- ated. No it’s not a liquid version of marijuana but it is a legal FDA approved version and stimulating experience that will basically make an individual feel “chill” after taking the shot.
We shifted our conversation to Kevin’s independent label Tarakon Records, co-founded by his wife Jackie. Tarakon has been instrumental in discovering and signing new talent as well as releasing Kevin’s latest music including a song titled “Anywhere” featuring south Florida homegrown, worldwide, music heavy- weight FloRida. “Anywhere” is one of Kevin’s most recent singles and has been licensed by Hollywood for a film titled “What about Love’ featuring Sharon Stone and Andy Garcia. The film will be released on February 15th, 2015 and will incorporate scenes from the film in an official Kevin Lyttle music video.
Tarakon is a rising star in the independent music label space and has been able to secure several major deals for Kevin and their artists including a quickly approaching print, radio and television talk show campaign. As for new music I am told Kevin’s new LP will be titled the “Diplomat” partly titled after his world travels and his official appointment as ambassador of St. Vincent & The Grenadines. Kevin still tours throughout the world touching almost every continent. His upcoming single features another Caribbean star “Mr. Boombastic,” international recording artist Shaggy. Additional artists to be featured on the new LP include Yagay Mackie, King James out of Ruwanda, Medina in Sweden and many more to make up the international and diverse sound. I had the pleasure of listening to the various songs on his Samsung device and must say the diverse blend and world sound of dance, reggae, soca, pop and r & b is going to make the Diplomat a must get for sure!
When asked what drives him to continue the hectic daily grind, Kevin mentions his family including his talented little man KJ, his wife and the Janice Lyttle Foundation named after his mom who passed away a few years ago. The foundation is really true and dear to Kevin and he continues to support charities and endeavors related to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Kevin mentions that he would love to collaborate with additional main stream, influential, Caribbean and Caribbean-American artists like Rihanna, Sean Paul, Nicki Minaj and Busta Rhymes to mention a few.
Click here to view post on the Sept/Oct 2014 issue.