About Kyle Vincent
A gifted vocalist and songwriter, Kyle Vincent is known for his lyrical style, inspired by the '60s and '70s Tin Pan Alley, power pop, and soft rock traditions. He initially garnered attention in the mid-'80s as the lead singer of the Los Angeles band Candy before embarking on a solo career with 1993's Trust. He also scored a minor hit with "Wake Me Up (When the World's Worth Waking Up For)," off 1997's Kyle Vincent. Along with tours with Barry Manilow, Rick Springfield, and Bay City Rollers, he has continued to release his own sophisticated and hooky albums, including 2005's Don't You Know, 2015's Detour, and 2020's Whatever It Takes.
A native of Berkeley, California, Vincent grew up listening to a mix of '70s AM radio artists like the Bee Gees, the Raspberries, Elton John, and others. Although a talented singer, he started out on the saxophone at age eight and initially focused on jazz, studying privately with saxophonist Hal Stein. By his teens, however, Vincent had picked up the bass and begun playing in a local punk band. He still continued to develop his musical skills, taking lessons with guitarist Joe Satriani and honing his vocal abilities with opera singer Claudine Spindt. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a personal assistant to cult rock maverick Kim Fowley (even singing backup on some of the Runaways' tracks). He also continued to take vocal lessons, studying with noted vocal coach Seth Riggs.
Drawing upon his love of '70s power pop groups like the Raspberries and Bay City Rollers, Vincent co-founded the rock band Candy with guitarist (and future Guns N' Roses member) Gilby Clarke. The group built a loyal following in Los Angeles and eventually signed to Mercury/Polygram. In 1985, they released their debut album, the Jimmy Lenner-produced Whatever Happened to Fun? The band filmed a music video for the title track that garnered rotation on MTV. They also toured, opening for Rick Springfield and Corey Hart. Despite Candy's early success, Vincent eventually parted ways with the group to focus on his solo career.
On his own, Vincent worked as a backing singer, appearing on tracks with Kill for Thrills, the Rubinoos, and others. He eventually signed to MCA, and in 1993 released his debut solo album, Trust (reissued in 1999 as A Night Like This), which featured the single "Never Say Die" and found Vincent embracing a more sophisticated, adult contemporary pop/rock sound. Produced with Clif Magness and Steve Levine, the album also featured contributions by former Candy guitarist Gilby Clarke, as well as America singer Gerry Beckley. Around the same time, Vincent was invited to join Barry Manilow as the opening act on the performer's Greatest Hits & Then Some tour.
For his sophomore album, 1997's eponymous Kyle Vincent, he signed with Disney's Hollywood Records. The album found him returning to a more classic '70s soft rock and power pop sound, marked again by contributions by Gerry Beckley, as well as Chicago's Robert Lamm. Included on the album was the single "Wake Me Up (When the World's Worth Waking Up For)." Co-written by vocalist/guitarist Parthenon Huxley, it landed on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. Vincent's third solo album, Wow & Flutter, arrived two years later on SongTree Records.
Over the next decade, Vincent stayed busy issuing studio albums like 2003's Solitary Road and 2005's Don't You Know. He also contributed to Gilby Clarke's 2002 solo project Swag and released three of his own rarities compilations, including 2000's Sweet 16 and 2006's Gathering Dust.
In 2009, Vincent released his fifth solo album, Where You Are. He also further solidified his reputation as a torchbearer for '70s pop, touring as lead singer with a reunited Bay City Rollers lineup and performing shows with Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods. He also issued two '70s covers albums in the Philippines and toured regularly, often appearing in Japan with a Candy cover band. The full-length Detour arrived on SongTree in 2015, followed a year later by the tribute album Kyle Vincent Sings the Great Manilow Songbook. Vincent then returned to his original works with 2018's Miles & An Ocean and 2020's Whatever It Takes. ~ Matt Collar