Five thoughts: BJ the Chicago Kid at Vinyl (August 5)

BJ the Chicago Kid performs at Vinyl on August 5.
Photo: Erik Kabik

BJ the Chicago Kid is not a newbie to the music game. Many first heard his smooth vocals on Schoolboy Q’s Grammy nominated single “Studio” or his newly released “Church” featuring Chance the Rapper. But the soulful crooner has collaborated with more notable artists, including Dr. Dre, Stevie Wonder and Kendrick Lamar. Here are five things we learned from BJ's recent In My Mind tour stop at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock Hotel.

1. Opening acts can often feel brutalizing, acting as extended previews before a show begins. But the openers leading up to BJ’s set were far from torturous. Friday night’s starters included singers Kyle Dion, Tish Hyman, Courtlin Jabrae and standout Elhae, who recently signed a deal with Atlantic Records. “I love what they represent in music,” BJ the Chicago Kid said about the performers. “I feel like when it comes to my vision, they get it.”

2. BJ creates an intimate atmosphere. The entire show felt more like a jam session with a group of friends enjoying music together than a room full of strangers. Hyman described her opening solo set—which didn’t include a DJ— as her just “chilling, having drinks and singing songs to friends.” “Y’all in my living room right now,” she said.

3. He can play the drums, and well. BJ grew up in the church and has been playing since he was young. During his set, he could be seen going back and forth from the center-stage mic to a drum set. And if you’re wondering, his high falsetto range never cracked.

4. As he performed the seductive “The Resume,” he reminded us of a time when R&B didn’t have to be vulgar. He said he enjoyed writing the song and wanted to make it as true to the genre as possible. Being a Motown signee, BJ wants to be reminiscent of the artists he succeeds.

5. Music is therapy. BJ told the crowd that while they were at the show to forget about bills, bad kids or a crazy boyfriend or girlfriend. “We’re here to forget about all of the nonsense.”

  • Recently she’s been singing with longtime Las Vegas lounge favorite Pop Rebels, formerly known as Generation.

  • “I went through 15 cervical spinal surgeries at the height of my music career, and then came back seven years later on American Idol.”

  • “We’re here to support gay, straight, blue, green—it doesn’t matter what color you are. Music is music, people are people.”

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