Singer, songwriter and activist Mykal Kilgore made history at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards as the first openly gay artist to receive a nomination in the "Best Traditional R&B Performance" category.
Now, the singer is taking his talents on the road, titled as "The Man in the Barbershop" Tour. Kilgore recently released his new single and video "The Man In The Barbershop", a story told from a Black Gay man's perspective about his and many other's experiences at the barbershop where people gather and gossip about their community and the world.
Last night (Oct. 2), Kilgore officially began the tour in Gaye Magazine's backyard, Atlanta, GA at the Vinyl at Center Stage.
Singer Trae Morris opened Kilgore's show, performing his new single "In The Night". The Atlanta native revealed to the audience that "this was the first time in almost 6 years" of having vocal coaching that he was performing on stage. Morris ended with "The Door" one of the amazing songs on his new album, "Subconscious".
Striking the audience in a vibrant black and orange ensemble as he graced the stage, Mykal Kilgore began singing "When It's This Good" off his 2019 album, "A Man Born Black". As the crowd began to cheer and groove to the upbeat melody, he instructed that for the night's show, there were three rules that everyone must follow, "Rule number 1: this is a place for everybody, all people, all sizes, and all genders. The 2nd rule: don't sing melody, sing your part. And the 3rd rule, never ever clap on the one!"
Kilgore laughed with the audience and continued rocking out with the band. As the night progressed, he told the audience how much he loved Atlanta and that "y'all bring so much great energy!"
As he continued to bless the everyone with his amazing vocals, he stopped to tell us a little sorry about how he began singing.
"I would eat lunch outside with all the girls. The boys would come up to me and say 'we heard you can sing, sing something for us'. Remember, it's the 90s...so I sang one of my favorite songs..."
Kilgore then began singing "Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Fugees and Ms. Lauryn Hill. The crowd was in awe as he sang his rendition of the popular 90s ballad. The night was nearing a close as we began to hear the introduction to Kilgore's new single of 2021.
We all got our haircuts as he sang "The Man In The Barbershop" for the first time live, sounding just as amazing on stage with each run and note. Kilgore said in a statement describing the song that, "Black men are beautiful. When you're sitting in a barbershop you get to see every flavor of black man. This song is about seeing someone that is so beautiful that he makes you fantasize," Kilgore shared. "I wanted to write a fantasy and even though it isn't a fulfilled desire, I like that in a space like a barbershop I can fantasize in peace."
Kilgore then sang "God In Me" the closing song on his album, after saying these few words: "Thank you, I'm an independent artist. This song means so much to me...Growing up, I wanted to be Mary J or Destiney's Child, because...I thought even when I had the chance to have the spotlight on me, I wanted to speak for us. I love y'all so much for loving the music so much...but I have to do the benediction of my album, if you don't remember anything that happens in this show, I want you to remember this song. To be present, to stop for a moment. To quiet the mind. I can promise you this. If you can for a moment be present. And in that moment..."
Before the show's end, Kilgore took everyone to church! The room filled with nothing but love and genuine fellowship. He completed his show with "Let Me Go" from his 2019 album and some more encouraging words."...Black Lives Matter, Trans Lives Matter. Love one another. Good night!"
Mykal Kilgore will perform across the U.S., hitting major cities such as Chicago, San Fransisco and New York City.
Watch the music video to his new single “The Man in the Barbershop” below: