Get to know these popular black couples who have doubled down as musicians

Elikem M. Aflakpui September 07, 2019
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Kindred the Family Soul
Couple Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon make up Kindred the Family Soul, also known as Kindred. The group identifies itself as an American neo soul duo.

Dantzler began his musical career in the early 1990s as a performer with a group called “Side by Side.” He also became a producer and songwriter, contributing to the 1993 album by R&B pop stars “Bell Biv DeVoe.” Dantzler left “Side by Side” to pursue songwriting and producing opportunities and later became affiliated with burgeoning Philadelphia hip-hop group “The Roots.”

In 1997, Dantzler met his future wife and musical collaborator Aja Graydon and two years later, they went on to form an R&B and Soul music duo called “Kindred the Family Soul.” Prior to their marriage, at the age of fifteen, Graydon secured a recording contract with Delicious Vinyl. After the dissolution of her deal with the Los Angeles-based independent label, she joined her husband. They got married two years after they met.

Signed to Hidden Beach Recordings, Kindred emerged from the Philadelphia neo soul movement that also includes Jill Scott, who introduced them to her label president Steve McKeever of Hidden Beach Recordings while the couple was performing at the Black Lily Showcase in Philly weekly back in 2000. Kindred would go on to sign their first recording contract with the label. Two years later, the duo released their second studio album, In This Life Together, which climbed to number fifteen on the Billboard R&B chart.

Kindred the Family Soul has garnered critical acclaim with their work. In 2003, the duo garnered a Soul Train nomination. Three years later, the group was nominated for a BET Award. They have worked with Grammy Award-winning recording artists like Jill Scott, The Roots, and Snoop Dogg.

Dantzler and Graydon reside in Philadelphia and have six children.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 7, 2019


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