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Artist Spotlight: Verse Simmonds

Submitted by on September 10, 2009 – 5:37 pm2 Comments
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Last night Kiki attended Darkchild/Interscope artist Verse Simmonds’ album listening session in NYC.

Stories of a Bachelor is his debut studio album, and is set to release later this fall.

Verse has a unique sound, blending his Caribbean upbringing with R&B, hip-hop and pop.

He was born in Puerto Rico, raised in St. Thomas, and then eventually relocated to the U.S.

Verse started out in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he and Shama Joseph formed the production team the Jugganauts.

They went on to work on some major projects in L.A., and ended up in Atlanta producing for stars like Akon.

It was then that Verse began his solo singing career, recording songs and performing in Atlanta venues.

Big time producer Rodney Jerkins took notice of Verse’s talent after seeing one of his performances, and approached him about signing to Darkchild.

After this, a successful meeting with Interscope followed, which resulted in a record deal.

During last night’s listening, we got a look into Verse’s softer side with ballads like “Island Love”, a track where his Caribbean accent and flow brought Bob Marley to mind.

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Verse at his album listening last night

RedOne, the producer of Lady Gaga‘s blockbusters “Poker Face” and “Let’s Dance”, worked with Verse on his song “Boomerang”.

More of a Euro-pop track, it is reminiscent of an Akon club hit that will surely be a crowd pleaser.

We were all invited to go inside the studio at the end of the listening to watch the video for the banger that gained Verse much popularity on the internet, “Buy You A Round”, originally off his mixtape The Sextape Chronicles.

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I also got a chance to ask Verse a few quick style questions:

Kiki: Being raised in the Caribbean has obviously influenced your music style – how about your fashion style?

Verse: “Yes definitely. I’m not afraid to try different things. Being from the Caribbean, I wear a lot of bright colors that you may not see everyone wear here. It’s more of an island thing, representing the lifestyle there being more carefree”.

Kiki: How did the “Gumby” haircut come about?

“Well I had braids before, for like three years, so when I shaved my head I didn’t want to go with a regular Caesar haircut or whatever.

“So the first thing that came to my mind was that I never had this haircut when it was actually hot in the 80′s, and I knew it would be different with not many people having it!”
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Kiki: I saw a clip of you shopping for a night out on your official website where you stated that you “wake up and just throw on whatever you like”. Are there at least a couple of staple items in your wardrobe?

Ray Ban shades. They are the only staple, I’ve been wearing them for a long time before they became very popular. I have a whole bunch in all different styles and colors. Otherwise I’m flexible, I’ll rock whatever feels good…even if it’s not current season!”

Check out “Come To Me Baby”, one of the hot tracks from the album, along with the official music video for “Buy You A Round” below (note the nice Alador & Smith placement of the “Fix Your Face” cap!).

“Come To Me Baby”

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