the Family Soul is a vocal duo from Philadelphia consisting of husband
and wife Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon. Both began as solo performers.
Dantzler was born in Philadelphia and got his start in the music
business writing songs for Pebbles and Bell Biv DeVoe. Graydon,
from Washington, D.C., had a solo deal at the age of 15. The two
united and began writing songs, but then married and started a family,
necessitating the steady income of work outside the music business.
After a time as an appliance salesman, however, Dantzler went back
to trying to make it on the local scene. He and Graydon began performing
at the Black Lily club, where they caught the attention of Jill
Scott, who took them to her label, Hidden Beach Recordings. They
were signed and spent the next two years working on their debut
album, Surrender to Love, which was released in February 2003.
you surrender to love, what happens next?
to that question Kindred The Family Soul gets down to the heart
of the matter with their sophomore release In This Life Together
in 2005, on the Hidden Beach Recordings label.
is more to a relationship than just the hook- up and the break-up,”
says Aja Graydon whose vocal interplay with husband Fatin Dantzler
is a key component of Kindred’s unique sound. “Most
R&B songs are either about ‘I just met you and I’m
falling in love or I’m done with you and what the hell happened
nothing in between,” chimes in Dantzler. “No room to
talk about things outside of lustful love, the temptations and the
profundity of love. There’s also the beauty of relationships
and what they can bring about and what emerges from them.”
up their critically-acclaimed 2003 Hidden Beach Recordings debut
Surrender to Love, Graydon and Dantzler were inspired by the collaborative
relationship and marriage of another powerful couple, actors/activists
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Before Davis’ death earlier this
year, the celebrated pair successfully balanced work and love for
more than 50 years. Their marriage and working relationship was
chronicled in their dual autobiography, In This Life Together, which
also serves as the title of Kindred’s latest release.
enamored of the relationship Davis and Dee created together, and
everything they were able to accomplish,” says Dantzler. “Seeing
these shining examples is the only way to let people truly know
you can get to a place like that. We wanted to shed light on the
black family and relationships in general.”
“There’s no music that represents that kind of strong,
committed couple relationship. It’s not about having a handbook
or being experts; but more so about a free exchange of ideas –
being open, talking and relating to one another honestly. This was
our goal with this new album – to explore the relationship
between couples who are truly friends, and share this with our fans.”
the sentiments touched on by its predecessor, In This Live Together
is a more intimate and candid look at what happens when life intrudes
on love. Grown and sexy is one thing; juggling work, our personal
lives, and additional obligations is quite another. Sharing the
wisdom gleaned from being married for seven years and with three
young children, Kindred is crafting its own contemporary, urban
love story for the 21st Century, one that many couples will relate
In 2008 they
released their third album The Arrival, solidifying their position
as the voice of a generation of music fans working to keep relationships,
family and romantic love alive.