“And every life source shall sing Your song.” Those inspiring words ring through the heart of Savannah native, Derrick Aikens, who makes it his priority to place the King’s will over his: a true servant. Over the years, Aikens has performed as a background singer for two of the C-Port’s well-known gospel groups: Revelation Love Worship (RLW) and Antwan Smalls & Life Worthy. The youngest of four brothers is now ready to stake a claim as an individual vocalist under the moniker: King Lamon.
iD: How did you start singing?
KL: My mom says I’ve been singing since I was in the womb, but I remember starting at Beulah Baptist Church here in Savannah. I was like 4 years old, and they let me sing soprano with the youth choir. The first song I remember singing is “Melodies From Heaven” by Kirk Franklin, and we also sang “Shake the Devil Off” by Dorothy Norwood.
What are your hobbies?
Exercising has become one of my new hobbies. I also love to dance in my spare time. I actually wanna get back into that. I don’t get a chance to dance because singing has taken over my life, but dancing was next to singing for me. That’s my second love. It’s another form of artistic expression.
Tell the readers an interesting fact about yourself.
I can yodel. I’ve gotten to the point where I can switch intervals. I haven’t done it in a while. I can scat as well, but I never have to, so I don’t.
What’s your favorite cartoon, and why?
My favorite cartoon right now is Samurai Jack. It’s action-packed with an amazing story line, consistent, and drama-filled. Just a really cool show.
If you could summarize this season of your life in one word, what would it be?
You’re a solo artist now, and you had your first concert, King Commencement, about 5 months ago in December. How did it go?
It went very well. I had all of my friends and family there to support me, and the Spirit came down very heavily in the room.It was a definite crossover moment for me because I was transitioning from singing background for other people to establishing myself. I feel like it was a great foundation for what’s to come.
Why did you pick “King Lamon” as your artist name?
It’s funny that you ask that question because I just got a new revelation on it. My first name, Derrick, means “great ruler,” and “King” fits into that kind of like a synonym. “King” and “Derrick” are interchangeable.
As for “Lamon,” I really like my middle name. My middle name doesn’t have a meaning, but my first name gives my whole name meaning.
How would you describe your musical style?
I wouldn’t even say that I fit into a specific genre, but my message is Christ. My music style infuses all sounds from everything I’ve learned, heard, and what I’m influenced by, but my message will always be Christ.
If someone asked you to list your 3 favorite singers, who would they be?
I’ll say Brandy in the number one spot followed by Michael Jackson and Maxwell.
If you could pick one of them to do a duet with, who would you choose, and what do you think that song would be about?
Brandy, and we would sing a song that we wrote together. It would probably be a conceptual song about redemption or getting free from something. It would all come together at the end to basically lead people to the meat of the message: Jesus.
What kind of events do you normally sing at?
I normally sing at church events, open mics, in lounge settings, and I love singing at weddings.
What is your biggest struggle as an artist?
Accepting my voice and accepting different people’s ears because everyone isn’t gonna like my voice and my music, but I have to get past that and see the majority: not the minority. A lot of people will like it, and a lot won’t. At least I would be touching those that do love the music.
Even if my career doesn’t get as big as I want it to be, if I’m impacting people on a local level, I’m fine. How can you affect the universe without affecting home first?
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?
Anywhere. The earth is open to me. It sounds really weird, but that’s the only way I can explain it. Every part of the earth is The Lord’s (Psalm 24:1). I can get inspiration from trees. I can feel the wind blowing and be inspired to write a song.
What is your usual songwriting process?
It’s very random. Sometimes, I’ll hear something and record it, but it may not even have words to it yet, and I probably won’t come back to it for another 2 months. Other times, I can finish an entire song on the spot. It really depends. There’s not much of a definite process for me. I do better on the whim.
What does your ideal venue and audience look like? This could be as simple as the building or as complex as the people in it.
I see a really bright stadium where everyone is happy and being touched by the music. It’s a good atmosphere conducive for the Holy Spirit.
You’ve been singing for years, but do you still get nervous before performances?
All the time, man. I have to use the bathroom before I sing, and it’s even worse when I have to speak because I hate talking in front of people. That’s not as natural to me.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while singing?
When my voice started changing during puberty, and I couldn’t sing tenor at all. I was a tenor 2 at one point. [Laughing] My dad used to call me up to sing before he preached, and my voice would just be crack-a-lackin’ all over the mic.
If you could blink your eyes and be in a favorite place right now, where would that place be?
I would have to say Dubai because it’s really beautiful there.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Don’t give up, and don’t look for the easy ways out. Be careful, read every contract, be patient, and put God first. Don’t be afraid to be independent. What I mean by that is don’t be afraid of the hard work that comes with doing it without a label. That makes the journey worthwhile.
Do you have any social media sites where people can keep up with you?
I’m on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And my booking email is firstname.lastname@example.org.