At Hollywood's Hotel Café, a venue where up-and-coming singers put on small shows for their fans, an artist with a powerful voice is on stage.
With his red glasses, pale skin and long, curly blond hair, he doesn't have the stereotypical look of an R&B soul singer. But his voice and energy reminds listeners of music legends like Stevie Wonder and Prince.
Meet Allen Stone, a 24-year-old who grew up singing in his father's church in Chewelah, Washington. His childhood music playlist included African American gospel singers like Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond. He used gospel and R&B music to teach himself how to sing.
“I really learned how to feel songs, and really feel what I was singing," Stone told CNN. “Not just the technicality of singing, but the passion.”
In addition to Wonder, Billboard says Stone has drawn comparisons to star crooners such as Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke. Yet Stone said his new self-titled album goes a little bit deeper than the standard mix of relationship-centric tunes.
“I just don’t want to talk about love songs and sex that is typically R&B music," Stone said. "I want to talk about something that at least stirs some conversation."
One such song is the single “Unaware,” the video for which has been making the rounds on YouTube. On the surface, "Unaware" appears to be a love song - Stone himself says that he "thought it would be really cool to sing it like a D'Angelo song" - but a closer listen reveals lyrics about economic issues in America: “Everyday the deficit grows, you spend more than you own.”
Check out the video for "Unaware" below. Stone's self-titled album releases today.
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Sounds real original. Trend setting. Thank Heavens one can still buy music of the 50s, 60s, 70s, even 80s.
He's one of my all-time favorite singers. First introduced to him a couple of years ago and been hooked ever since. The dude can sing! Love the music, too!
"But his voice and energy reminds listeners of music legends like Stevie Wonder and Prince."... How bout reminding us of Allen Stone so we might have a real musical artist on our hands for once in a hundred fck'n years, it's starting to look like!
Judah Friedlander wants his schtick back.
You're barking up the wrong tree, little doggy.
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