Kelvin Frazier, Ph.D. is a musician, chemist, professor, consultant and entrepreneur. With neo-soul, R&B and 90/80s hip-hop sub-genres making a major come back in modern urban music, it is no surprise that an artist such as Kelvin Frazier, will find his place in the industry. Frazier’s voice is undeniably lovely. It’s a dripping, sensual and sparkling taste of R&B’s heyday. Easy on the eyes, honey to the ears and blessed with a vocal range that can go from the dance floor to a devotional, Frazier is ready to become a genre mainstay in the near future.
His singing style is refreshing reminder of past R&B balladeers, as his voice moves effortlessly between a gritty baritone and a sweet tenor. This makes him stand out amongst his counterparts and allows the titanic production the potential to develop a track centered on his stellar vocals. An opportunity which Frazier does not let to go begging.
Traditional soul and modern elements of R&B wrapped in equal measures of sensuality, spiritual edges and being gifted – successfully conveying one aspect is challenging enough, but Kelvin Frazier has managed to implement them all here.
Education and inspiration can certainly help, but it takes genuine aptitude to build a buzz with a single and release a fresh, yet familiar track like “Marked and Scarred”. His ambitions aren’t to reinvent R&B, but to expand its range and relevance, a goal Frazier has certainly met.
In the last year, a few emerging artists have been reviving R&B music, a genre that has long suffered from low commercial support. Now Kelvin Frazier, a fresh voice born out of Savannah, GA, is looking to make his own mark on the art form. “Marked and Scarred”, a tear-stained heart-breaker, is a stunning yet understated debut entrant that doubles down on some of the best elements of R&B and gives them a fresh coat of paint.
As a whole “Marked and Scarred” feels like the work of a music lover who let loose to make the music of his own dreams. The foundation of the song is rooted in tried and true R&B, all infectious hooks and simple bass lines. Frazier stays squarely in his lane, filling the track with emotion and sounds that never wander too far from a strings, piano and drums framework.
It’s an impressive feat for an artist’s first offering. Whereas most recording newcomers are struggling to find their voice or molding themselves to match other popular artists, Kelvin Frazier displays the high level of musicianship and maturity of a seasoned artist. He pulls from a wide range of influences, from jazz to classic soul to gospel, for the recording.
His love song is demure compared to what is common in popular music; there’s no explicit language or boasting about his sexual prowess. Instead, Frazier strikes a longing chord, seemingly desperate and hurting for the person he cares for – “They say in time you’ll heal. I wonder if that’s the truth. I want you in my life, but I got to say goodbye. I’m marked and scarred, not able to see you.”
Instead of banking on trendy production or gimmicks, the real star of the album is Frazier’s voice. He uses his gift with measured precision, confident enough in his ability to find strength in restraint, and just a flash of bellowed angst. Kelvin Frazier, Ph.D. honors the forefathers of R&B not by emulating them, but by carrying on their legacy. It’s a charge Frazier clearly takes to heart, and “Marked and Scarred” is a prime example of the greatness that can be achieved as a result.