Aja and Fatin of Kindred The Family Soul set down with Essence.com for a candid conversation on their new album, raising their family, and why their love has no recession.
ESSENCE.com: You have six children ranging in ages from 12 years to 17 months. How do you manage that and a music career?
Aja: We have been making music since my son was born, so we don’t really know what it is to make a record without having a baby. All of our children have known the inside of a studio. We’ve always incorporated them in what we have to do. Once they got older and it was important for them to be stable and to be in school we were blessed enough to have family that stepped in and made sure that the home life was just as stable. Our family is the third member of Kindred and the Family Soul.
ESSENCE.com: The name of your new album is so powerful. What was the inspiration behind naming the album “Love Has No Recession?”
Fatin: Initially we called it “The Great Recession” and we decided to change it after discussing the name with the fans through social media. Though we wanted it to reflect on the times, we didn’t want it to be a downer. We wanted to take the idea of the great recession and turn it on its side to bring a more uplifting spirit to it.
ESSENCE.com: You have some amazing collaborations on the album from Chuck Brown to Raheem DeVaughn and Bilal. How did you choose who to collaborate with?
Aja: [They are] our people that we’ve done shows with—Raheem Devaughn we go back pretty far with. We have known Bilal for many, many years. He’s our family. We recently had a show with Chuck Brown and hooked up with him about doing a song. I’m from DC too so I would get a little bit of flack from folks like ‘when are you going to rep for DC, I know you’ve been in Philly for a long time but come on now?’ With each person we sent them the track and we let them write their own part. It’s like they contributed who they were to it.
Fatin: This album is more reminiscent of a film on tape. It’s like me and Aja are the stars of that film but there are a lot of costars who are in supporting roles and they have great roles and scenes in the film.
ESSENCE.com: What are your personal favorite songs on your album?
Fatin: Our album is a body of work, but there are some songs that speak to me like, “Authentically You,” “Magic Happens,” and “Going to The Go Go” — that’s the Chuck Brown song. As a Philly artist I have a deep appreciation for DC and the music that they created. [Going To The Go Go] feels authentic.
Aja: One of my favorites is “SOS,” and I sing “Magic Happens” around the house. I think that’s the one song that I just sing all the time involuntary.
ESSENCE.com: You have an awesome fan base and your webseries has become such a hit online. What is the show about?
Fatin: It’s a reality-based webseries about how we manage our lives, how we juggle it all. People ask us that question a lot. We wanted to give them a real look into our lives so we picked up the flip-cams and just started filming moments and sharing with our audience. We are up to about season three now. People have been really enjoying that piece of real reality.
Aja: We’ve tackled everything [like] my homebirth with my last pregnancy. When I had my first son I had a mid-wife in the hospital. When I had my second child I decided that I wanted to do it [home birth]. We [also] did an episode about my husband getting his vasectomy.
Kindred the Family Soul’s latest album, “Love Has No Recession” is available on iTunes.