Kenny Wesley’s “Won’t Let It Go” flipped wigs all over the planet when it was performed by dance contestant David Matz on the hit show, So You Think You Can Dance? in 2012. The show didn’t actually credit Wesley’s as the dynamic voice on the song, and the Internets went nuts over this miscarriage of justice, inquiring about his identity online and on the show’s website.
This kind of response is typical for the performer, a bespectacled, self-coined “soulful nerd” from Jacksonville, North Carolina, who currently calls Washington, D.C. his home. The recipient of numerous nominations and prizes (like the D.C.-based Wammies and Montreux Jazz Festival’s international vocal competition), Kenny Wesley is a singer on the cusp of even bigger things, already supported by musician friends like Ledisi and Kindred the Family Soul.
At Wesley’s website, a testimonial from Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Gordon Chambers describes Wesley’s voice this way: “[His] tenor is Hathaway deep, Luther warm and in terms of color… golden.” Wesley’s latest song/video, “The Window,” is energetic pop R&B with a wonderful truism at its core—leave your past and present burdens outside your door and “look out the window.” Press play and fall in soulful-nerd love with this week’s INTRODUCING pick, Kenny Wesley.