First Listen: Mykal Kilgore visits the "Barbershop"

Photo credit: Christopher Boudewyns

(November 19, 2021) Orlando-born Mykal Kilgore has garnered serious industry recognition since making the leap from the Broadway stage to recording studios. His 2019 debut album, A Man Born Black, landed him Grammy and NAACP Image nods, as well as a nomination in our very own SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Awards.

Since planting himself in the Nashville scene, Kilgore has bred a sound ripe with gospel-charged soul and a tinge of country-inspired storytelling. His new single, “The Man in the Barbershop,” finds him authenticating that blend one step further with an especially vulnerable lyric and stripped-down arrangement. Even in this enlightened era of gender identity, it takes courage as a Black gay man to bare one’s romantic struggles with the same sex in the realm of modern R&B.

(November 19, 2021) Orlando-born Mykal Kilgore has garnered serious industry recognition since making the leap from the Broadway stage to recording studios. His 2019 debut album, A Man Born Black, landed him Grammy and NAACP Image nods, as well as a nomination in our very own SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Awards.

Since planting himself in the Nashville scene, Kilgore has bred a sound ripe with gospel-charged soul and a tinge of country-inspired storytelling. His new single, “The Man in the Barbershop,” finds him authenticating that blend one step further with an especially vulnerable lyric and stripped-down arrangement. Even in this enlightened era of gender identity, it takes courage as a Black gay man to bare one’s romantic struggles with the same sex in the realm of modern R&B.

On “Man in the Barbershop,” Kilgore relays a secret longing for the admiration and love of a fellow male client, only to be awakened to the stark realization that the man is leaving with his lady. What follows is a poignant examination of grappling with the subsequent loneliness that comes from regularly dealing with one-sided affection in a predominantly heterosexual world. Over a decidedly somber and dark-hued slow groove, he yearningly croons, “Why do I want what I can’t have? It is so close to me, but I can’t grab/Where is my love like that?”

The video treatment for “Man in the Barbershop” is cultivated illustriously clearly and enhances Kilgore’s delicately strong delivery. Ideally, his universal message will bring further perspective to the very real emotional challenges faced everyday by those who just want to love, but aren’t in the majority.

By Justin Kantor

Mykal Kilgore – “Man In The Barbershop”

 

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