Kindred the Family Soul talks shop ahead of upcoming performance at The Birchmere

The American neo soul performers have released six albums (with the seventh on the way), and have been performing together for 20 years.

Photo courtesy of Kindred the Family Soul

When it comes to work life versus personal life, Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon have no borders—it’s all blended together, resulting in Grammy-nominated music and a discography of six albums, with a seventh currently in the works. The husband-and-wife duo behind Kindred the Family Soul, Dantzler and Graydon have been performing together for 20 years (they also celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary in September).

The American neo soul performers return to The Birchmere this month for two nights of “passionate, loving and uplifting family music,” says Dantzler. We spoke with him about the band’s tour, being a parent of six and more.

What makes your music resonate with listeners and audience members?
Coming across as real people. We are really transparent, and we wear our hearts on our sleeves. We are who we are within the music and outside of it; we haven’t changed. We don’t put on airs with the music. We’re the same people in every kind of environment.

How do you balance parenting and your professional projects?
We wake up every day with the intention of getting everything done, and hoping that we can give the best of ourselves to our children and our projects. We’re firm believers that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t bear, and we don’t see our children or our lifestyle as a burden, but as a blessing. We’ve been fortunate.

Why do you love touring?
Watching the material and the catalog come to life in front of the people who have supported it and given us the opportunity to go on the road. It’s like birthing a child and watching them grow and run and you’re just in awe. You bring something into the world and then watch it flourish and come to life. That’s what happens when you perform. // The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; Oct. 4-5; 7:30 p.m.; $69.50

This post originally appeared in our October 2019 issue. Want to know about all the best things to do in NoVA this fall? Subscribe to our semiweekly Things to Do newsletter to stay up to date.

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