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CLOSE’s “Base Level” column features the hottest new artists we’re buzzing about. Before they make it to the summit of superstardom, we spot them at base level–the beginning of their hopeful journey to the top.

Kevin McCall is strikingly handsome. I round the corner and he and his team of two are patiently waiting for me to escort them to our private room where our interview will take place. When he rises, I really get a good look at his build–similar to build a Reggie Bush or Cam Newton (I later find out, he is talented with the pigskin). His eyes are slightly hidden by his blue and black fitted cap that perfectly coordinates with his JoyRich jacket. For someone who literally fits the “talk, dark and handsome” mold, he is surprisingly approachable, funny and warm. His smile is genuine.

You are well aware of Kevin’s work. He is the mastermind behind Chris Brown’s summer anthem “Dueces” and wrote “Too Freaky” off Chris’ mixtape “In My Zone.” Through fraternity brothers is how they met and with Kevin’s skill in music production, writing and vocally too big to miss, Chris had to sign him to a publishing deal! Since that day, in 2009, Kevin has taken on a responsibility for R&B,” taking it on his brawny back while attempting to fill what he calls a “void.”

Kevin’s mixtape “Definition” is a collection of climax inducing, bedroom-ready jams to play while wax drips from the candles. His overt sexuality shines through on tracks like “High” featuring Tank and the scintillating gem “Vowels.” Kevin’s confidence is just as alluring as his wordplay.

Get the basics (and some more) on Kevin, below:

Full Name: Kevin McCall Jr

Age: 27

Hometown: L.A

Musical Inspirations: Gospel music, I learned how to sing in church. I was a choir dude.

Biggest Break Thus Far:

“Dueces,” because it was my first placement. It was my first video and my first real collaboration with Chris and Tyga that came out. It was my first everything and it did so well. It made me feel like I made the right choice choosing music over football. And I’m not a failure.

If you weren’t music what would you be doing? I’d probably be in the NFL. My whole life I was trained and molded to be a football player. That’s why my body looks like it does. I’ve been playing sports since I was five. My dad got some good genes. He taught me a lot about discipline and a lot of that carried over into my music. My dad was real militant and real strict. That’s why I understand discipline and corrective criticism. Stuff like that helps me as an artist.

Current music projects? The mixtape is titled “Definition.” It has a lot of sexy R&B on it. There’s some rap on there. I wanted more R&B on there because I came from R&B but I didn’t want to exclude the rapping—there’s something about spitting a hot 16 and seeing the looks on dude’s faces. It’s really a good feeling when the dudes in the street like you music and you appeal to the ladies too.

Which do you love more?

I’m comfortable doing both. I think there’s a void in R&B so I’m more geared towards fulfilling that right now. Rap is kind of for fun. I was born to sing, I feel like.

When did you know you wanted to do music?

I knew I wanted to do music when I saw Tyrese do the Coke-A-Cola commercial. I grew up in an area around him and a lot of my family members knew him. So to see him make it, I knew I could do it!

Have you told him?

Me and Tyrese are real cool. That’s big bro. I’ve been working with Tank and TGT and all those guys. I’ve been really trying to get into movies.

Are you single? We heard you are dating Eva Marcille…

I am off the market. I like women with big personalities. I like a woman who is not afraid to be assertive and be aggressive. But, I also like a woman who knows I wear the pants and I’m in control and I’m the king and she’s the queen.

You are the mastermind behind Chris Brown’s song “Dueces,” how’d you link up with him?

I have a frat bother name Big Mio, who has a younger brother Lil’ Mio, who is Chris’s right hand man. Chris is into krump dancing and my frat brother invented krump dancing so I kinda met him through him. For a while, he didn’t know I did music. Once it finally spread around that I can make beats and stuff. He started seeing I can do a lot more stuff..singing, rapping writing and all that. He was like ‘Man, I gotta sign you.” I signed a publishing deal with him. That was when we did his first mixtape did very well. It was a hard time for him, it was like 2009. I was just so happy Chris welcomed me in at such a vulnerable time, a hard time. A lot of people weren’t around. I was one of the people working with him. It was just about the music.

First impression of Chris?

I was star struck. I just wanted to stay out the way. I didn’t want tot look like a groupie. Especially because I am a Leo and stuff. I don’t want no man knowing I’m a fan. Chris is a real cool guy. He’s fun and young. I love that.

How do you describe your sound?

Soulful. Grown and sexy, bold and cocky…confident. I think it’s also relatable. I like to draw from real life experiences.

Do you listen to your music when you make love?

I have but it’s kinda weird. I like to make love to old school. I’m like a real lover, like Smokey Robinson. I go there.


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