Checking in with Kevin Garrett on His False Hope Tour

Shervin Lanez
Kevin Garrett

The Brooklyn-based singer came home to the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Feb. 28.

Billboard sat down with singer/songwriter/producer Kevin Garrett just before his performance in Williamsburg on Feb. 28. Garrett doesn’t necessarily fit into one genre, as his influences range from Emily King to Sam Cooke, but he tends to lean toward R&B. He’s a proud independent artist currently headlining his first U.S. tour, named after his newest EP, False Hope. Up-and-coming alternative band ARIZONA is opening for him throughout the entirety of the tour. 

Garrett has opened for a variety of artists, including Alessia Cara and X Ambasadors, and is set to open for Mumford & Sons later this year. He also co-wrote and co-produced “Pray You Catch Me,” from Beyonce’s Grammy-nominated album Lemonade.

Garrett debuted at No. 11 on the Next Big Sound Artist chart (dated Mar. 11, 2017), which measures the fastest accelerating artists of the past week, across all major social music sites. Read our interview with the ascendant artist below.

Your first headlining tour! Tell us about it.
A year ago, I was [at Music Hall of Williamsburg] as the first opener for X Ambassadors. And now, I sold it out [as the headliner]. It’s been crazy. This is the first headlining tour for me. I’m still very independent. My fan base has grown off of my songs alone, and I’m super grateful for that.

What should people expect from the show?
This isn’t a big production -- it’s about the songs and the songwriting. People in the crowd have been singing louder than me, and that’s been really cool. We’ve had a lot of fun so far, and I’m very excited for the shows to come.

Are you releasing more music any time soon?
I hope so! I just dropped my EP called False Hope, and I want to do more. It’s all about timing for me, and being strategic with my DIY-approach to things. Hopefully this year I can be a little more proactive with releasing my music. I mean, it took me damn near long enough to put out this EP, so we’ll see how it goes. I feel good about this music and I feel good about what I’m working on, so hopefully [new music] will be coming sooner rather than later.

How has it been touring with ARIZONA?
They’re great! It’s their first tour ever, and with them coming through Atlantic Records, it’s interesting seeing what that’s like from an outside perspective, since I’m still independent. Not having a label, I have to navigate things differently, but it’s been refreshing to see how [Atlantic] is handling ARIZONA. Obviously, their live show is great, and I’m really grateful that they wanted to come on for this tour.