Kindred The Family Soul :A Family Affair

Kindred the Family Soul burst onto the scene in 2003 and brought romantic love right along with them. Their debut album Surrender to Love , had lovers loving as their hit singles “Far Away” and “Stars” put the rhythm back into R&B. Their follow up album In This Life Together, was a soulful psalms as […]

Kindred the Family Soul burst onto the scene in 2003 and brought romantic love right along with them. Their debut album Surrender to Love , had lovers loving as their hit singles “Far Away” and “Stars” put the rhythm back into R&B. Their follow up album In This Life Together, was a soulful psalms as the beauty of their love for each other showed the beauty in appreciating the love of your partner with hits like “Woman First,” “Where Would I Be,” and “Thru Love”. The love fest continued and the foundation was strong as ever with their 2008 release The Arrival. As their popularity grew so did their family and now the Kindred Family Soul, whose foundation is built on soulful harmony is Six deep, and they’re letting us in even deeper. Kindred, aka Fatin and Aja Dantzler, are still living and loving life as the proud parents of now six beautiful, smart, and charming youngsters, and they are showing the world how they balance family and music with their web series Six Is It, which can be seen at The web series ended yesteday, so check that out. Aja and Fatin took time out to share the love with Alternatives: Hey guys, how y’all doin? It sounds pretty quiet over there.

Aja: (laughs) Yea, it’s supposed to sound like mayhem huh? Well right now we’re hinding in the bunker.

AHHA: Six kids running around can get a little nerve wracking at times, I’m sure.

Aja: When they start to drive me a little nuts I give the kids a choice between regular mom and cukoo mom, which one do you want?

AHHA: I can only imagine. Watching the show however, and watching you guys perform on stage you two seem to wear it so well. After 12 years of marriage and six kids, how do you still look at each other with so much love in your eyes?

Aja: Well, (ha-ha) it’s funny. I guess if you marry someone that you really do have chemistry with, I guess you can go through a lot of things. Trust me, it’s not always how it looks on TV, we are normal married people. We argue, and have our moments when he gets on my nerves. We fart around each other and the whole nine.

AHHA: That’s when you know it’s real.

Aja: The thing that always keeps us back in that space is we just kinda match. We never really loose that thing we have. We can go through a lot of things, but we’re still genuinly attracted to one another and ya know, I feel like people downplay physical attraction.It’s important to have it, it buffers a lot of stuff (laughs).

AHHA: So, Six Is It, is Six really it?

Aja: Six is really it! I think we’ve done our part in populating the world, so we’re gonna turn our little card in.

AHHA: Now on your show, you share the fact that you’ve had home births with some of your children, and as a matter of fact your final webisode revolves around the birth of your youngest son, congratulations. I did however, find it a little disheartening to hear one of the determining factors for you doing the home birth was due to lack of insurance, is that the case or had you always wanted to do home births?

Aja: Well actually, to make it totally accurate, the first time we had a home birth was my second pregnancy, so i’ve had home birth’s twice. Before, in the beginning i think it was both things equally. It was the fact that we were much newer in the music industry and pretty much making our living solely as entertainers and we didn’t have health care at the time. But i think that home birth was kind of a natural progression for us because when my 1st child was born we had a midwife and her children were born at home; and although my experience with my midwife was so wonderful, and my labor wassomething that Iwas able to handle, I felt after he was born that if i had another baby that i would want to have a home birth. So it kinda coincided with something I was already thinking and it just ended up being a much more economical choice for us back then. By the time we had the twins we had spent a lot of time self employed so that was something we had been doing for years.We’d been used to it and had great doctors and relationships, so by the time we had the twins and this last child, home births were just a part of our lives.

Fatin: I also came from a large family of six as well, and my mother had three of her children at home, so I was used to that too so it wasn’t a shocker.

Aja: His mother had also assisted in a few home births as well.

AHH: What about the pain?

Aja: I’m one of those people whose like, I do my thang and you do your thang, nobody’s gonna hand you a badge when your done, so if you wanna get the shot, then get the shot, do your thing. But it’s kinda just a personal choice. I feel like my labor goes by much quicker without the medicine and that’s just a fact. Epidurals just drag out your labor longer and you can’t really feel what your doing.The body isn’t really naturally doing what it’s supposed to and its just a higher chance of getting a big split if you know what I mean.

AHHA: Yeah, well I’ll take 18 hours of prolonged pain as opposed to two hours of that kind of unmedicated pain, so I applaud you.

Aja: The pain is just a reality of labor so if you choose to go natural you kinda already have it in your mind that that’s what its going to be so it doesnt really shock you, but let me just say this last one? He was a doosey!

AHHA: Well I’ve seen all of the episodes leading up to the birth so i can’t wait to see the final episode. What made you guys want to do a web series vs. going for a network reality show?

Fatin: The idea to start on the web series just happened very organically, it wasn’t really planned. We had sat down with networks before who had asked us about doing a reality show when, at at the time, was a couple years ago and we weren’t really that interested having seen all the train wrecks that happen on all of the reality show’s so we were like naw, we don’t want to be percieved in that way. When we found out we were gonna have another boy with this last child, my oldest son was on the football field and I went to tell him and since his mom wasn’t there I just happened to record it on my phone because I wanted her to see his reaction. It was such a genuine moment it felt kinda like our music, so i felt like it was something people would be able to relate to and hope that they see comparison’s in their own lives in it. People always ask us how do we do it? What is it like a day in the life of our family? Because they hear the music and want to know what inspires us to continue to discuss our family and our life, and it just felt naturally cool.

Aja: And the internet thing really came about because we felt it was just a freer typer of environment and so we would be in control. And its a way to share with our audience but protect our kids in a much more open forum that’s not as programmed and scripted where people can set you up to look bad,

Fatin: Not that we Don’t want to share all of what’s real but its more like sharing our family photo album as opposed to our family photo shoot.

AHHA: I can honestly say watching your family makes the music even that much more real for me. “Far Away” is one of my favorite songs. It always takes me to a special place when i hear it. You guys have celebrated success with your music yet watching your show is far from the opulence you’ll see on Run’s House in that you guys seem to live a very modest, loving, normal life in the city, in the heart of Philly. How is it going from performing in arenas at night and coming home to quaint, humble dwellings?

Aja: For us it’s one of those things where we end up getting the best of both worlds. I feel like if you had asked us 10 years ago what we thought fame was about and what we’d like to accomplish with our career, we would be kind of different people because at this juncture we’ve been able to see 1st hand how certain levels of success can kinda ruin the beauty of everyday life. Like to be able to live in a real neighborhood where your kids can go out and play, and go to public school, and hang out and have real friends and a real life and be able to walk the streets and the grocery store without pandemonium and still have success in your career at the same time. For us we’ve been able to have a very successful career and be able to do what it is that we want and be able to support ourselves but at the same time have been understated enough that we’ve been able to live a fairly comfortable life where it’s not extravagant but its a good life and have been able to provide well for our very large family and ultimately I think the duality of our lifestyle is what keeps our music very real.

AHHA: Speaking of your music, are you guys working on a new project?

Fatin: We are getting ready to approach the studio we hae a lot of new ideas and are about to get ready to get back in there.

AHHA: Are you guys still with Hidden Beach?

Fatin: Next question. I don’t want to get into that part of the conversation right now, but we’re working on new music.

AHHA: Ok, we’ll leave it at that. I notice the kids show their musical side on the show. Do you guys have a new Jackson 5 in the making?

Fatin: I think a lot people assume that but the funny thing is I don’t think so. Our kids enjoy music and they’re cultured in that their parents do music. We love music and music is always on and its a part of our lives but we’re not pushing music on them. Its just something they like to do but they have other dreams and aspirations so whatever they’re comfortable with is what we’ll support.

Aja: My son wants to play football and my daughter, believe it or not, her hero is George Washington Carver. They love music but i don’t think its something they want to make a career out of, except maybe the little one Nina. She seems to have been bitten by the bug. She doesn’t know how she’s gonna do it yet but she knows she’s going to be a star.

AHHA: As real musicians yourselves, how do you guys feel about R&B music these days with all the autotune and things of that nature?

Fatin: We were about to get T-Pain in the studio so we can try to make something happen , no just kidding, but to each his own. Whatever works for some people. Of course we’re very big on the history of music and trying to make music that makes a difference and contribute to the musical library that exists that’s full of classic and timeless material which is what we would like to create. We realize that there are a lot of niches and fads that come out, and people are kinda able to get in where they fit in and that’s cool in any business, but real classic tunes are what i believe are going to last. We hope we can continue in that tradition and we like to deal with people from that angle and we don’t want to veer to far to the left to do whats happening per se

Aja: The bottom line is autotune is whatever it is but people still gotta show and prove, because if every singer used autotune you’d still have to choose the best singer. But at the end of the day no matter what people tend to do, they still have to be artists. They still have to be original, they still have to be good.They still have to have some type of work ethic they still have to be creative because if your just a carbon copy of everything else you’ll go right by people.

AHHA: What do you think are the biggest misconceptions for people when they first get into this business?

Fatin: That they’re about to get paid. That they don’t need to do much and can just put out a hot record and next thing you know its cha-ching. There’s a lot of hard work and a lot of time and effort that goes into making stars, and superstars, known artists and all of those things; there are no overnight sensations.

Aja: Another misconception is that you can read the industry and then make yourself fit it and that’s how your successful. People have this misconception that if i do whats popular and do that than thats whats gonna do it for me. If your a new artist you want to be fresh you want to set the trends you don’t want to follow them.

AHHA: In ten years from now what do you want people to be saying about Kindred?

Fatin: I’m about to go to that concert! The new album is out and I bought my ticket. We just want to have been productive and leave a legacy behind in music. We want people to say they’ve raised beautiful kids and their kids are doing great things and we just want to be proud and make people proud.

AHHA: Well your definitely on the right track thank you for taking time out to speak with us and good luck with the show.