Mark Kingswood’s modern take on Big Band jazz infused with pop sensibilities, combines energy with elegance for a classy, ultra-cool style that harkens back to the days of crisp suits and the sexy sheen of The Rat Pack.
But he is so much more than a talented crooner trotting out the classic songbook – he is a gifted songwriter with an unrivalled flair for taking traditional Big Band music and injecting a 21st century tone and lyricism – before finding his place in Big Band jazz, his varied career had taken him from winning childhood talent contests, numerous writing and production credits including platinum, gold and silver recognized sales worldwide.
Growing up in Kent, UK, in a home where a host of music was played on the family stereo, Kingswood gravitated to the powerful and charismatic recordings of singers from the 60’s to the 90’s many of them under the wing of producers such as Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson & David Foster. Mark soon became fascinated not only with great voices, but also how the songs were written, recorded and produced. For many years, while honing his musical and compositional chops, he also worked in studios learning the craft of engineering, producing, mixing from the ground up.
The result of this journey is Kingswood’s exceptional debut album “Strong” – a destination on the musical journey he found himself on. “I think it’s just good honest music. I love live orchestras and the energy those musicians send out. I like big voices, big drums, big strings, big brass!”
The songs on Strong show off his range as a vocalist, writer, arranger and producer as they sway from brassy, up-tempo dancefloor numbers to charming, evocative ballads that would make Sinatra swoon.
In a live setting, Kingswood and his 4-piece Band will perform original compositions but also some of the more traditional songs of the genre and some you wouldn’t expect from a 21st Century crooner. But this choice of variation is what make’s Mark Kingswood who he is, breaking the typical crooner mould and leaves his fans walking away dying to see the show all over again. Mark will always be an original artist first and foremost, and if he does record cover material for Studio albums, They will not be the songs typically borrowed from the swing/big band catalogue. For the Strong album, he overhauled the massive REM hit, Losing My Religion, and also performs a delightful homage to the late great pop icon George Michael, with a cover of his song One More Try.
Since the roaring success of his debut album Strong, Mark’s career has undeniably gone from strength to strength. He received unprecedented support from Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2, in the form of a playlist inclusion of Strong, as well as an awe-inspiring live session in the Piano Room.
Mark Kingswood released his highly anticipated second album on May 1st, entitled “Brave Enough”. Recorded in Montreal. Canada, Brave Enough brings back signature Big Band sounds with a fresh and modern Kingswood touch for a collection of songs that will not only resonate with die-hard crooner but reach a whole new generation of fans reconnecting with the richness of fine musicianship. Expect to find variations in timbre, from toe tapping brassy up tempos to Motown’s soulful flare
The following track, single Brave Enough, sees Mark offer the listener an original, hook laden number encouraging self-belief in the face of adversity, exemplifying Mark’s modern take on the sound of big band jazz and his penchant for songwriting.
“With over 50 live musicians, big arrangements and ‘no holding back’ attitude on the drama, we’ve captured a nice variety but without falling too far out of our lane. From the outset, I wanted to make sure there was a little something for everyone so that it reaches new audiences as well as still satisfying my supportive fans who have been with me from the start. The album includes brand new traditional sounding big-band tracks and heartfelt power ballads but also journeys right through to Motown’s groove and soulful backing vocals. I really hope that people enjoy it as much as I loved writing and recording it. I had a blast.”
The album Brave Enough was quickly crowned BBC Radio 2’s “Album Of The Week”. And was played daily on the ‘The Ken Bruce’ and ‘OJ Borg Show’, reaching just over 4 Million listeners each day.
With a fierce sense of creative independence and a confident approach to his brand of music, Mark Kingswood is redefining what it means to be a modern-day crooner. And is fast becoming a household name. More than an interpreter of the ‘Great American Songbook,’ as a writer and producer he is building upon the magnificent foundation of those who have come before him through his ambitious and original compositions.