REVIEW+PHOTOS: BJ The Chicago Kid | “Generations of Soul” | Mack Sennett Studios | 4/2/15

E&J Brandy is America’s most awarded brandy. Celebrating their 40th anniversary, they’ve embarked on a “Generations of Soul” campaign featuring the musical talents of Raphael Saadiq, BJ the Chicago Kid and Lee Fields. We were able to attend their private concert at Mack Sennett Studios on 4/2/15 and BJ The Chicago Kid gave a performance that surely won over many a new fans.

Hailing from Chicago, Bryan James Sledge p/k/a BJ The Chicago Kid, has been in game for a minute. Having been featured on various tracks featuring Kanye West, Freddie Gibbs and Warren G, among others, BJ has been working in the music game over the years. He signed a deal with Motown back in 2012, and his prepping his first major label release.

This kid has a lot of potential. I’ve known for awhile that he has the pipes to woo his target audience, but watching him perform live really made me a believer that if he’s given the right music to sing, he bring a new youthful face to the soul/neo-soul game.

It’s not often that musicians can twist a classic tune, especially one that’s not from the same genre, and give it new life. During his performance, he did it twice. Flipping the script on Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” was impressive. Flipping the script on MGMT’s “Electric Feel” blew my mind. Fifteen second clips of each performance are posted below.

When a musician has the musical wherewithal to make someone elses’ song genuinely his own, that is something that I beleive only a true musician can do. Overflowing with soul, BJ The Chicago Kid  demonstrated to me that he has that ability. Hopefully, he’s taken that musical ingenuity and incorporated it into the music he’s recording for his first album. If it’s anything close to what I heard at this performance, he’s sure to make some waves.




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