Kevin West (1st prize winner of American Songwriter Magazine's lyric contest July/August 2006), is a throwback Singer-songwriter/ Guitar player. Playing guitar and singing since a child, Kevin has studied many styles of music including Blues, Hard Rock, Metal and Hip-Hop. He also studied Jazz at the College of Charleston, South Carolina.
Born in San Diego CA. and raised in northern New Jersey, Kevin West grew up in a lower middle class blue collar environment which is often reflected in his lyrics. His writing tells stories about living in the real world and how rough it can be, though sometimes using humor to make his point.
Living and performing in Charleston for a number of years now, Kevin has played in many bands with numerous musicians, on just about every stage in town. From playing at Charleston’s famed Music Farm or The Wind Jammer, opening for national acts like Rehab, Afro Man, Long Beach Dub All Stars/Short Bus and Kevin Kinney (Just to name a few) to doing acoustic sets at intimate venues downtown and on the beaches. Big show or small, Kevin's love for the music is easy to see in every performance.
Charleston is not the only city where West has done his act. Audiences at The Cubby Bear in Chicago, Rays Boom Boom Room in New Orleans and various clubs in cities such as New York, Richmond, Atlanta, Va. Beach, and Columbia , SC have also seen him do his thing.
His first album “On The Way To Nowhere” (2001) is a compilation of songs that was put together from recordings made throughout the late 90’s. A variety of Charleston’s best musicians can be found accompanying Kevin West on this one.
On his last album "My Life & Times" (2006) Kevin West created a Hip-Hop/Singer-Songwriter cross over sound that showcased his talent as an artist as well as a producer. By using jazz chords, singer songwriter arrangements, Hip-Hop beats, 16 to 20 bar rhyme schemes and strong hooks. Then, adding original comedy skits, sound bites and other forms of studio magic give the album a sound that’s truly unique.
Kevin's newest album "Once In A Lifetime" is a back to basics kind of album. This project is more performance based. A Guitar Player/ Singer-Songwriter sound as opposed to the Hip-Hop feel of his previous endeavor. "Once In A Lifetime" is an excellent example of what Kevin West sounds like when you see him live.
Along with playing music for a living, Kevin has done countless performances and hands on volunteer work for many low country charities to include, Communities in Schools, My Sisters House, Happy Days And Special Times, North Charleston Juvenile Detention Center, Make A Wish Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and ”COURAGEOUS KIDZ”.
With every album, as with every performance it is clear that Kevin West is constantly growing as an artist, a musician and as a person.