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RnB 28/07/2004

Kevin Lyttle turns it on with debut album

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NEW YORK (Atlantic Records) - Kevin Lyttle, this summer's most explosive pop crossover phenomenon, hits the streets today with his much-anticipated Atlantic debut album. The self-titled collection features the top ten smash single, "Turn Me On."

An irrepressible blend of Caribbean soca, American R&B, and Jamaican dancehall, "Turn Me On" has rocketed into the top five at CHR/pop radio nationwide, with an audience of over 100 million, and is currently #8 with-a-bullet on Billboard's "Hot 100."
In addition, "Turn Me On" is nearing the top ten at CHR/Rhythmic outlets, and is #25 with-a-bullet on Billboard's current "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles" ranking.

The St. Vincent-raised singer will celebrate the release of "KEVIN LYTTLE" by performing "Turn Me On" live today on both MTV's "Total Request Live" and BET's "106 & Park," along with appearances on Fuse's "Daily Download" and MTV's "Hits" and "DFX." The "Turn Me On" clip has been a top five favorite on "TRL," and has earned "Buzzworthy" status at both MTV, where it hit the top ten this week, and MTV2. It is also spinning heavily on Fuse and BET, where it has been named a "Rated Next" video.

Leading up to the album's release, Kevin made national television appearances last week on "Live with Regis and Kelly," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and "On-Air with Ryan Seacrest." In the online world, AOL Music is hosting a "KEVIN LYTTLE" album premiere listening party all this week.

The album has already begun to receive critical acclaim to match the success of "Turn Me On." The New York Times recently declared that "KEVIN LYTTLE" is "likely to turn (Lyttle) into this country's first mainstream soca star," while USA Today awarded the album three stars, noting that "The bouncy 'Turn Me On' is the biggest soca hit in 20 years, but it's just a taste of Lyttle's eclectic, effusive sound."

Foreshadowing its U.S. breakthrough, "Turn Me On" created a major international sensation, first in Lyttle's native Caribbean and then throughout Europe. The song spent ten weeks atop the charts in Denmark, while reaching #2 in Germany, Holland, Norway, and the UK, where it stayed in the top ten for a remarkable seven weeks. In addition, "Turn Me On" hit the top five in Australia, Switzerland, Italy, and Sweden. The single was a No 1 radio airplay smash in France, also scoring top-five airplay in such countries as Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Belgium, Slovakia, and Austria.
"Turn Me On" earned platinum certification in Australia; gold in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland; and silver in the UK and France.

"KEVIN LYTTLE" is as innovative, provocative, and exciting as "Turn Me On," with production by a slate of top names from the fields of dancehall, hip-hop, and soca, including: Salaam Remi (Nas, Ini Kamoze, Fugees), Adrian Bailey (who produced "Turn Me On"), Scott Storch (Sean Paul, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce), Jeremy Harding (Sean Paul, Bounty Killer), Troy Taylor (Ginuwine, B2K), Troyton Rami (Elephant Man), Cherry Ince, Andreas S. Jensen, Da Bhann, and Anastas "Nas/T" Hackett. Lyttle co-wrote the majority of the songs on the album, which includes special guest appearances on three tracks by the great Jamaican dancehall star, Spragga Benz.

While it is only now achieving widespread popularity in the United States, soca (soul + calypso) has long been an integral component of Caribbean music and culture. Soca emerged as an expression of Trinidad and Tobago's African and Indian ethnic mix, incorporating dance-oriented East Indian percussive and musical elements into traditional calypso to create an energetic, irresistible party music. The soca fusion has been embraced throughout the Caribbean, where it supplies the rhythmic soundtrack to the islands' annual carnival celebrations.
"Everybody's searching for something new; that's the way of the world," says Lyttle of his soca-based sound's crossover appeal. "I'm trying to be an ambassador for a music that's been underestimated. My main focus is to take soca music where it's never been before, so people can hear our music, our deep culture. It's important for people to know where I come from."

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