Kevin Mark Trail

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Kevin Mark Trail
Kevin Mark Trail of The Streets live at Parklife, Sydney 2011.jpg
Kevin Mark Trail performing at Parklife, Sydney 2011
Background information
Birth name Kevin Mark Trail
Born October 1980
Genres R&B, soul, reggae, hip hop
Years active 2003–present
Labels EMI (2004–2005)
Warner Music NZ (present)
Website []

Kevin Mark Trail (born October 1980, London) is a British R&B, soul, reggae and hip hop singer-songwriter. He has released one album, Just Living, which spawned three singles, "Perspective", "D Thames" and "Last Night". He rose to fame, however, by appearing on two tracks on The Streets debut album Original Pirate Material, including the hit single, "Let's Push Things Forward", which made the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart.


Early years[edit]

Trail was born and raised in North West London. Trail's music is a mix of soul, reggae, hip hop, folk, and Modern Electro, influenced by US R&B and Jamaican reggae. His mother introduced him to reggae and soul in his childhood. Travelling back to Jamaica every summer helped him secure his roots and culture. He lists acts such as Bob Marley, John Holt, Gregory Isaacs and Toots & the Maytals as some of his reggae influences, and Millie Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway as his soul influences. His influences in modern music include Cassandra Wilson, Outkast, Jill Scott, N*E*R*D, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest and Sting.

At 15, Trail obtained an Atari and began drawing sketches in his bedroom in Wembley. Later, he attended a weekend arts college in Camden, where he gained experience in composition, performance and musicianship, all of which shaped his debut album Just Living. He was mentored by three tutors, John Mullon, Rachel Bennet and Julie Dexter, who encouraged his writing/sense of British identity.

Trail first shot to fame after passing a BA Hons in music production and business, when he collaborated with The Streets. He provided vocals on The Streets' hit single "Let's Push Things Forward", and also on "Same Old Thing" from his Original Pirate Material album. The single "Let's Push Things Forward" peaked at No. 30 in the UK Singles Chart. The single was his experience of chart success and remains his biggest hit to date. Trail commented at the time, "Mike Skinner is a talented guy – I rate him, man. I hadn't heard anything like it before, and that's what attracted me to the project." Skinner also invited Trail to tour as part of The Streets' live experience.[1]

Just Living era[edit]

In 2004 Trail signed to EMI and released his first solo single, "Perspective". His second single, "D Thames" was released in February 2005 and fared better. Trail collaborated with UK rapper Estelle on the single's remix, which was featured as its B-side.

On 7 March 2005, he released his debut album, Just Living. He commented at the time that the album was about "all the stuff I experienced, just an album about life. I just write about what I experience, what's going on round me." For example, in "D Thames", he talks about a moment of clarity, in "Perspective", he talks about everyday anxieties and "Bread" discusses the pleasure and politics of when food was served on his family's dinner table. Trail wrote, demoed and produced the tracks in his bedroom first and then arranged them and performed them with a band in the studio. Kevin commented that "It's about trying to better yourself as a person, trying to achieve and give back. You're always facing new things and rising to the challenge, so it's a constant battle. You've got to keep moving forward and stay positive."[1]

As well as touring with The Streets, Trail performed at venues including the Jazz Café in London. He collaborated with Nitin Sawhney on the track "Eastern Eyes", taken from his album Human, after he watched one of Trail's live performances. The collaboration received positive reviews, with Time Out magazine comparing his vocal performance to Donny Hathaway, one of his major influences. Shortly after the release of Just Living, Trail toured with Beverley Knight on her "Affirmation" tour, to which he received favourable reviews.[2] On the tour Trail previewed a brand new song, "Last Night", which would be released shortly after on a re-release of Just Living. The album was re-released on 4 July 2005, with another new track "Ticket Line". "Last Night" was the lead single, however, the single was subsequently cancelled and Trail announced on his official messageboard that he had been dropped by his record label.


On 1 November {year?} the album "Hope Star" was released. Written and produced by Trail, its musical influences range from hip-hop, soul, folk, rock and reggae to classical. Most of the album's orchestration has been recorded live, with strings sections, rock guitars, reggae organs, live drums and bass.

Started in London/Jamaica, while touring New Zealand Trail added additional instrumentation with Nathan Haines and Alan Brown. Trail then travelled back to London, continuing recording in The Streets studio. The vocals were recorded with Kevin Leo of Midas Productions who has worked with Jay Sean, Sugababes, Pixie Lott and Lemar. Hope Star features Basement Jaxx vocalists Sharlene Hector, Vula Malinga and Plan B vocalist La Donna Peters. The album was mixed and mastered in New Zealand at Kog Studios by Chris Cheatland. Over the past few years Kevin has travelled back and forth to New Zealand developing a relationship with its music, land and people.



Year Album Chart Positions
UK Albums Chart
2005 Just Living Did not chart
2005 Last Night - Digital EP


Year EP


Home Work


Year Title Chart Positions Album
UK Singles Chart
2003 "Let's Push Things Forward"
(The Streets Featuring Kevin Mark Trail)
30 Original Pirate Material
2004 "Perspective" 126 Just Living
2005 "D Thames" 96 Just Living
2005 "Last Night" Cancelled Just Living [Re-Release]


  • 2012: Huia Hamon – "Huia's Waiata" (on the track "Karekare K road")
  • 2011: Kevin Leo – Powerful (on the track "Powerful)
  • 2011: Lyric L- "Amazed" (on the track "Away")
  • 2011: Lyric L- "Amazed" (on the track "To Me Me Me")
  • 2011: Lyric L- "Amazed" (on track String City)
  • 2011: Dean Atta – Post Card to Paradise


  • 2012: Ilana lorraine- "My little tree" (on track "I Choose Life")
  • 2012: Kevin Field- "Field of Vision" (on track "As one")
  • 2012: Kevin Field- "Field of Vision" (on track "To Know")
  • 2012: Kevin Leo- "Blackbird" (on track "Run")
  • 2011: Sharlene Hector- "Expressions EP" (on track "Like I used to")
  • 2011: Kevin Leo – Powerful (on the track "Powerful)
  • 2011: Lyric L- "Amazed" (on the track "Away")
  • 2011: Lyric L- "Amazed" (on the track "To Me Me Me")
  • 2011: Lyric L- "Amazed" (on track String City)
  • 2010: Motet- "Various-Jazz re:freshed Volume one" (on track "Angel")
  • 2010: Nathan Haines "Heaven and Earth" (on track "Pathways")
  • 2010: Bardo State- "Mariposa" (on track "I feel you")
  • 2003: Nitin Sawhney "Human" (on track "Eastern Eyes")


  1. ^ a b[dead link]
  2. ^ "". 8 April 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 

External links[edit]