Detroit Native K'Jon On Music That Pumps Him Up

In 2009, K'Jon's song "On the Ocean," set the record for the longest run on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Now the Detroit native is back with a new album called Moving On. As part of Tell Me More's series "In Your Ear," K'Jon talks about some of the songs that gets him pumped up for the day.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we'd like to end our program today with the occasional series we call In Your Ear. That's where some of our guests tell us what songs they listen to for a little inspiration.

Today, we have a special In Your Ear from R&B artist K'Jon. You might remember my conversation with him earlier this year, where he gave us a preview of his new album "Moving On." Well, K'Jon's album was released this month. It had a positive reception from critics. Congratulations. Here's R&B artist K'Jon telling us what he listens to when he wants to get pumped up for the day.

K'JON: Hi, this is K'Jon and this is what's playing in my ear.

(SOUNDBITE OF "CRY BABY")

CEE-LO GREEN: (Singing) If this makes you cry, girl I didn't mean it. Next time I should lie, the truth is inconvenient.

K'JON: The first song I'm listening to is "Cry baby" by Cee-Lo Green.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CRY BABY")

GREEN: (Singing) I bet if you'd try, you could live without me. I really don't know why, you bother to cry about me. Cry, cry, cry baby...

K'JON: I really like the strings in his record. It kind of takes you back to, you know, when the Barry White was doing his thing, the symphony orchestra and the strings. I mean, no one is really doing that in today's music - not that much. So I really appreciate it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CRY BABY")

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PARTY")

KANYE WEST: You a bad girl and your friend's bad too. You got the swag sauce, you dripping Swagu. You a bad girl and your friends bad too.

K'JON: The next song I'm listening to is "Party" by Beyonce.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PARTY")

BEYONCE: (Singing) I may be young, but I'm ready to give you all my love. I told my girls you can get it. Don't slow it down, just let it go. So in love.

K'JON: This song just gets you going, you know, amped up for a party or just, it puts you in a good mood. If you're in a car, if you're at your home, it just really gets your day going, it puts a smile on your face and get your body moving. It's a really party, upbeat type of song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PARTY")

BEYONCE: (Singing) 'Cause wake up knocking till the morning light. 'Cause we like to party. Eh, eh, eh. We like to party.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOVING ON")

K'JON: It was once said to me the things I created were never intended for my possession.

I'm also listening to one of my songs. It's called "Moving On."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOVING ON")

K'JON: So I said to myself, this too shall pass. So I had to move on, I had to move on. (Singing) Sometimes we get stuck like a tire in some mud. And we can't get up, can't get up. Seems like we can't get up. Sometimes we fall down but nobody's around to help us up. Help us up.

This is a very self-inspiring song for me. It kind of motivates me, gives me the inspiration I need to just get up every morning and deal with whatever negative things that you may have to deal with. And it just helps you get your mind together and focus, and so you can do your job.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOVING ON")

K'JON: (Singing) Time for me to get going now on life. Nobody to hold me, I'm moving on, 'cause my will is too strong. Everyday is a lesson in real life. I've done my lessons I'm moving on, 'cause my will is too strong. I'll be holding on.

MARTIN: That was R&B artist K'Jon telling us what's playing in his ear. To hear my earlier conversation with him, you can go to NPR.org and look for TELL ME MORE on the Program tab.

And that's our program for today. This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk tomorrow.

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