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Kindred the Family Soul (also known as Kindred) is a husband and wife duo made up of former solo artists Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler. —Submitted photo

Kindred the Family Soul (also known as Kindred) is a husband and wife duo made up of former solo artists Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler. They’ll be adding to the merry-making of the New Year on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 at City Winery Philadelphia.

“I’m originally from Philadelphia and Aja is from Washington, D.C.,” Dantzler explains. “We first met in New York City to make music together. So while doing the music, we developed a friendship, then a relationship and finally a marriage.”

That’s when the young couple decided to move back to Philly and form their classic soul and R&B music showcase. And that’s where R&B legend Jill Scott “discovered” them and opened up a whole new successful recording world for the musical duo.

Since their coupling, Kindred has garnered critical acclaim for their work. For instance, their many albums began reaching the top of the charts. In 2003, the pair received a Soul Train nomination. Three years later, Kindred was nominated for a BET Award. Their latest release, titled “Auntie & Unc,” appears to be making its way up the same ladder of success.

“Our music consists of things we find successful in our own lives,” Dantzler suggests, “like how we love making music and how it has benefited our lives. And with our music we hope to make others feel loved, uplifted and respected. We realize that love is really the answer.”

He continues: “The respect we have for each other in our personal lives has strengthened our professional relationship. Through the challenges of balancing life, love, family and music, we continue to grow with one another.”

And although their music was never planned to take on such a personal flavor, ‘it’s just the way things worked out,” says the father of six. “You end up writing about your own experiences, about what you know. And that formula has worked out for us.”

Before the pandemic hit, Kindred did lots of traveling. “But not enough to interfere with our parenting or our children’s lives,” says Dantzler. “We managed to find the perfect balance between our career and our children. We spent a lot of time with our children, especially during their younger years when they were developing. They understand what we do, and all of us have managed to balance it all out. Believe me, whenever they need us, we’re there for them.”

And with two such musical parents, some of Kindred’s children do show signs of wanting to follow in their footsteps. “But we never push them into anything. We let them decide for themselves what their futures will be like.”

As for Kindred, they’ve also made important decisions, like Philly was the place to be. “We realized we didn’t have to be in Washington or New York or any place else to have a successful career. Philly works perfectly for us,” Dantzler says.

“We bought our home here, the kids love it here, we have family and friends here, and I have a 30 year mortgage,” he laughs. “So unless someone is planning to run us out of town, this is the best place to be. This is where we are and this is where we’ll stay.”

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