Hailed by the New York Times as a “modern soul man,” Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Kenny Lattimore is climbing the charts once again with another hit in the making: “Love Me Back.” The simple feel-good track is the lead single from Lattimore’s seventh solo album, Anatomy of a Love Song (April 14). The project is the first release from the singer’s eOne Music-distributed Sincere Soul Records.
Says Lattimore, whose signature “For You” became an instant top 10 hit, “This project brings together all the musical elements of songs I have loved throughout the years. From breakup and makeup songs, to the highs and lows—I wanted to make sure this album touched everyone on my journey back to love.”
Focused on Lattimore’s mesmerizing skill set—tender vocals and penetrating, honest lyrics—Anatomy of a Love Song reflects a 21st century perspective of love and relationships. To weave a seamless balance between modern and classic R&B, Lattimore recruited a production team comprised of established hitmakers (Carvin and Ivan Barias, J.R. Hudson, Rico Love, Vidal Davis) and the hot new production team The Sauce Boys. The set also features the songwriting contributions of such next-generation talents as Wreh Jolla, Jenna Hughes Taylor and Jamal McCoy as well as Lattimore himself.
The Sauce Boys’ refreshing “Love Me Back” opens the 14-track project. Its engaging mix of ballads and mid-tempos includes the beautiful Haggins & Barias-helmed ballad “Find a Way,” the powerful “Heart Stops” and the smoky, sensuous “Nothing Like You.” The latter song features the sparkling vocals of Grammy Award winner Lalah Hathaway. Rounding out the guest list is Kelly Price, Shanice and gospel rapper Da Truth.
To strengthen his connection with longtime and new fans, Lattimore staged informal focus groups, playing demos of songs under consideration before he started recording Anatomy of a Love Song. “I wanted to find out what’s translating,” recalls the singer of sessions held in Minneapolis, Atlanta and Los Angeles. “That interaction gave me a different creative outlook as I more fully embraced what’s always been my musical purpose: speaking to the hearts of women and the minds of men.”
Growing up in Washington, D.C., Lattimore was raised on gospel music and such R&B/pop icons as Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. His freshman year at Howard University gave way to Lattimore becoming the lead singer for R&B group Maniquin. Signed to Epic, the group released the single “I Wanna Ride,” produced by the Gap Band’s Charlie Wilson.
Lattimore relocated to New York City as a solo act and was signed to Columbia in 1995. Ushering in an R&B resurgence that counted D’Angelo and Maxwell in its ranks, Lattimore released his debut solo album a year later. The self-titled, gold-certified set spun off two top 20 hits: “Never Too Busy” and the romance classic “For You,” which peaked at No. 6 on the R&B charts.
In addition to the Grammy-nominated “For You,” Lattimore’s body of work includes his critically acclaimed sophomore album From the Soul of a Man and two top-10 charting duet albums with singer Chanté Moore: Things That Lovers Do and the gospel/R&B double-CD Uncovered/Covered. Lattimore’s last solo project was the 2008 covers album Timeless.
Along the way, the singer has garnered Soul Train and Stellar Awards nominations as well as the NAACP Image Award for Best New Artist. His nuanced vocals have graced projects by a diverse array of artists from Musiq Soulchild and Rachelle Ferrell to Nancy Wilson and Brian Culbertson. This prestigious list also includes Kanye West, who sampled Lattimore’s “Lately” for the track “I’m in It” from West’s No. 1 album Yeezus.
Returning to his recording roots with Anatomy of a Love Song, Lattimore hasn’t lost sight of what’s important musically. “My brand isn’t about chasing something or someone I’m not,” says the singer. “I just have to be authentically me.”