Kindred The Family Soul: A Legacy Of Love
If you’ve been blessed to hear or see a live performance by the Grammy-nominated, Kindred the Family Soul, you can just feel the love the flows with every note, every smile and every beat the married couple sings on. The adult contemporary R&B duo from Philadelphia consists of husband and wife Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon. The couple now celebrate 20 years of marital bliss. Fatin puts it beautifully on an instagram post: “Happy 20th @kindredthewife! I pray for more time in front of us than we now have behind us. I love you more today than ever before. You have enriched my life in every way possible and I am grateful for it all.#cheers to my sweet brown jellybean.”
Dantzler and Graydon began as solo performers. Dantzler was born in Philadelphia and got his start in the music business writing songs for Pebbles and Bell Biv DeVoe. Graydon, from Washington, D.C., had a solo deal at the age of 15. The two united and began writing songs, but then married and started a family, which meant they needed steady income of work outside the music industry. After a time as an appliance salesman, however, Dantzler went back to trying to make it on the local scene. He and Graydon began performing at the Black Lily club, where they caught the attention of Jill Scott, who took them to her label, Hidden Beach Recordings. And the rest as you say…is history.
Surrender to Love, their debut album, was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best R&B/Soul Album. Kindred released two additional albums for Hidden Beach. In This Life Together, inspired by Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis’ memoir of the same title, arrived in 2005. The Arrival, released three years later, was their highest-charting title to that point, reaching number 67 on the Billboard 200 and number seven on the R&B Albums chart. Then their fourth album, Love Has No Recession, was released in 2011 and A Couple Friends, followed in 2014. All the while the couple continue to tour in the States and overseas in sold-out shows worldwide.
But for the couple, family is always at the top of their mind, no matter where they are.
“Over the years, as the oldest of six children, I’ve come to realize that I’ve been training to be a father from a young age,” reflects Fatin.
“Now as the father of my own six children, I’ve learned a lot from my mother, who has to be the strongest person I know. I’m sure as kids we were all a handful but despite that she never gave in to the pressure and broke down. She just carried the load and did so mostly on her own.”
“My biological father and mother’s relationship did not work out but she later married a wonderful man who became a father to me. He was a great sound example of Faith, Strength, Love, and what it means to be a Provider. However, he was not perfect. What I witnessed in him and my mother drives me to this day to be there for my family.
“I’m also blessed enough to have married a woman who I believe embodies that same strength and dedication to her family as my mother does.”
The loving couple, parents and business partners share their seven secrets to living and loving in marriage for over 15 years:
1. Patience is optimum. You have to have a lot of patience because when you work together, your work life will impede on your personal life quite a bit. You’ll have to deal with certain things that happen unplanned, last minute, and lots of things that will require your patience.
2. Be flexible. Be able to embrace your situation and life as a couple and a family. If you embrace it, you don’t feel flustered by it. Nobody else will. They will embrace it and feel comfortable with it as well.