FILE UNDER: Urban/Hip Hop/Pop

FILE UNDER: Urban/Hip Hop/Pop
It’s hard to believe that
such a magnificently
beautiful and positive song such
as Good to Me could be born out
of such a potentially dark and
despairing place.
But that’s because you don’t really know Kaymbo
Shines, the gifted Montreal/Atlanta based Canadian hip hop artist, who wrote and performs this
memorable song.
Only someone with such an extraordinary faith and
sense of gratitude could have fused a powerfully
positive world view with an equally brilliant ability
to craft songs that are meaningful, accessible and
as captivating as any of the pop music being heard
radio stations like we do now. So I grew up listening
to songs like Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow, or
Ironic by Alanis Morissette. Those are the sorts of
songs, the good quality pop songs that soaked into
my DNA. Writing Top 40 music is what I am more
comfortable with, so I incorporate that style into my
hip hop to make music that everyone can gravitate
Through his appreciation for well written melodic
hooks, crafty songs that were both meaningful and
memorable soon became his driving motivation as
a songwriter.
“Melody is everything. I wasn’t able to speak English
at first, so I might not have understood the words in
a lot of songs when I was a kid, but I knew a song
was good because you could hum to it, and that was
Good to Me chronicles Shines’ thoughts and feelings
in the aftermath of hearing the traumatic news that
his mother had suffered a devastating stroke and
was comatose in a hospital bed thousands of miles
away in Kinshasa, the capital city of the African nation of Congo in the summer of 2012.
During what was obviously an upsetting and anxietyproducing scenario, Shines chose to use his creative
talents to not express fear, sadness and trepidation,
but rather he chose to take the folks who hear Good
to Me on a remarkable journey of gratitude and hope.
“It’s one of those things in life where you look at it
and realize it could have been worse. I could have
lost her; she could have died. For most people who
have a stroke that severe, there’s no coming back.
But my mother can walk again, talk again and is able
to express herself again. She can remember everything that has happened in her life. For me, from the
moment I realized that she wasn’t going to die, that
made me very grateful,” said Shines.
The uplifting message, which is echoed not only in
the lyrics but also in the sweepingly upbeat melody,
is even more potent for Shines himself as his mother
continues her remarkable recovery.
“Eighteen months ago, when I sang Good to Me, I
was just happy for her being alive. As she recovers,
the song is now more about how it gained strength
through what she went through and how it really
forced me to count my blessings and understand
what my life would have been like if she had died.”
Born in France and coming to Quebec at age three
where he grew up in primarily English-speaking enclaves of Montreal, Shines’ musical indoctrination
came through the medium top-40 radio throughout
the 1980s and 1990s.
“I grew up on Michael Jackson’s songs. I didn’t
even listen to rap until I was 15 or 16 in high school.
When I started writing music, we didn’t have urban
That authenticity also lead Shines to eschew the advice he was getting from many in the music industry
to not only have the song recorded by a ‘bigger’ artist, but to also have an artist of note do the female
vocal track.
“I felt for the song to be as honest as possible I needed to have someone who could relate with what I
was saying in the verse. She was there too. My sister
D’amyka felt what I felt. And, frankly, I think her voice
works beautifully on the track.”
The experience of seeing the debilitating effects of
stroke on someone of such significance in his life,
and the knowledge that he gained about the ailment
not only motivated Shines to create Good to Me as
a song of hope springing from a grateful heart, but
also as a call to action to encourage all those who
hear the song to also educate themselves about
“It is a blessing we have as entertainers and artists
that we have the platform to be able to shed light
in situations in our lives that so many other people
can relate to. I can use my press appearances and
shows to promote awareness of stroke prevention
and treatment, because people need to know about
the warning signs and how to avoid the risk factors.
Even though it is something that is pretty common,
people still think it’s never going to happen to them
or someone close to them.”
beautiful. Michael Jackson once said that the reason
he was so big in countries all over the world was that
people everywhere understand melody, and I believe
that is so true,” he said.
The process for creating Good to Me was somewhat different than the way some of his other songs
have come together in the past. Lyrically, he forged
a deeply personal path that took him somewhat out
of his comfort zone. But the final product rings with
an undeniable authenticity and humanity that there is
no doubt his approach was exquisitely appropriate.
“As soon as I got the beat I liked I started pulling
the chords together. I wanted something that was really catchy but I also wanted the words to be about
something that everyone could relate to, because
that’s what songwriters are supposed to do,” he said.
“But it’s very rare that I will write about something
so personal. I normally write about broader topics
like not letting life take away your smile – things like
that. But as soon as the music came together I knew
that the best thing I can do to add to this powerful,
melodic tune, is write about my situation. That was
kind of unknown territory for me, and I started the
lyrics right from how I was feeling the moment I got
the phone call about my mom.”
Good to Me came from the wellspring of Shines’
personal faith. A man of deep religious beliefs, he
nonetheless considers himself to be an artist whose
music is broadly accessible to people of all faiths or
no faith.
“I am an artist who happens to be Christian. Writing
about gratitude to God was just the best way, for this
one song, to describe the situation and how I felt at
the time. I am just showing one side of me on this
song. The next songs I release will likely be quite different. Good to Me is an honest reflection of where
my head and heart were at during this very difficult
Good to Me is the first of many new songs to come
from Shines in 2014. He recently signed a contract
as a songwriter/producer with Defient/Grand Hustle,
the Atlanta-based label and production company that
represents some of hip hop’s elite players, including
B.o.B, meaning more great songs are still to come.
For Kaymbo Shines, life truly has been good to him,
and he hopes that his music will be good for all those
who have the opportunity to experience it.
www. kay mbo s
www.twitter .c o m/ Kaym b oS h i n e s
www. fac ebo o k.c o m/ K aym b oS h i n e s
PUBLICITY CONTACT: Paula Danylevich, Hype Music, 647-559-0302, [email protected]