Best Kept Soul to charm Dover
This is the first summer in about three years that Thomas Lamont Mclean said he's gotten a weekend off.
His Wilmington-based band Best Kept Soul, offering tunes from R&B to rap, has kept him well booked over the years.
"A lot of our summer would be going from one event to another during the same course of the day," he said. "Most of the time we're playing on Friday and Saturday, or two events on a Saturday."
Like most musicians, the pandemic hit Mclean pretty hard. But he and Best Kept Soul will have the chance to try to ease into normalcy when they play the Concerts on The Green series Thursday.
Mclean touched on an underrated example of how black entertainers are often diminished, his new hobby of motorcycling, and more.
The pandemic helped you spend more time motorcycling?
I started to learn a couple years ago. Then a few months back I started to go fully into it. That's been my outlet when my 9 to 5 is done. Some other members of the band have enjoyed time with family. Our lead singer became a grandmother. She's enjoying time with that. Some guys are going on vacations where they otherwise probably wouldn't have scheduled one because of our work schedule.
Have you created a plan for how your band can make money in case another pandemic occurs in the future?
Some of the things we've already started are getting more into producing our own original music, so we can sell and stream our music online.
We've kinda established some good relationships with a couple of local studios that have been taking advantage of the fact that people still want music; obviously you can't have people at venues [at full capacity], so we did one event as Best Kept Soul where we had the studio stream our performance [for a virtual concert]. We recorded it so we could use it for a later time. Everybody does the Cash App thing so you can try to collect some funds from your stream.
But I think the main thing was for us to get out there, be present, and let people see us, so they can keep us in their thoughts and consciousness. I think we had between 2,000 to 3,000 people who watched the video in total. That was good. It's nice people are still looking for us and are still interested in what we're doing.
What's something that gets overlooked about black people in entertainment?
People love black culture, but they don't necessarily always love the people behind it. It's easy to listen to the music and enjoy how it makes you feel, but do you take into account the person behind the music, what they've gone through, and what they deal with; and that they feel [uncomfortable] about being looked at a certain way?
Sometimes do you feel you get stereotyped?
I still feel at times people will look at me a certain way when I'm in a particular store or restaurants. I remember a time recently where I was just standing in line, when people first began wearing masks, and a woman made a comment about me standing too close or something like that. Of course, I wasn't. I was thinking to myself that it kinda gave them more of a right to be a little more differential to me outwardly than they would've in the past.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Concerts on The Green featuring Best Kept Soul
WHEN 7 p.m, Thursday, Aug. 13
WHERE The Green, 25 The Green, Dover
INFO Facebook or 674-7541