Lighting Up the Radio
Kory Burns on Being an Indie R&B Artist

When indie R&B artist Kory Burns first heard Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover,” he knew right away that his life's goal was to be a singer.  He was three years old.

Since that time, he’s released several hit singles independently, including “Follow the Leader”. Most are about things that are important to him: love, religion, his parents…

His latest release is Radio”, a song he recorded with Sean McMillion (Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Snoop Dog ) Grammy award winner Carlos Battey.  It’s a seductive pop track about nothing serious; basically inviting that special someone home to put nothing on… but the radio.  It’s more upbeat and feel good than his past releases because, as he explains, “it’s what the world needs right now.”

We spoke with Kory from his South Florida home.


What is a day in the life of Kory Burns like today?  

Kory Burns:  My days can either be extremely wild or completely chill. There’s no in between. I’m constantly working on projects and writing new music. 

What is like to be an independent artist today?  

Kory Burns:    There are pros and cons to being an independent artist. It’s more challenging to try to get your music out and heard and you don’t have the backing of a major company behind you. The freedom is nice, though, and I’m fully in control creatively so I like that aspect of it. 

Many independent artists say it is easier to get music heard but harder to make a living from music. 

Kory Burns:    It’s easier to get heard if you know what you’re doing and have the right resources. The reason it’s a little harder to make a living for some is they don’t have the right booking agent and/or manager and they kind of just take the shows that get presented to them. 

Artists in the dance music and rock genres do well independently because many find success playing in bars and clubs.  What is like for R&B artists such as yourself?

Kory Burns:    For an artist like me, I can play anywhere. I have the tricks up my sleeve to where I’m able to do that. 

Should R&B artists look to work with dance producers to get their music out to clubs?  It worked well for Toni Braxton!

Kory Burns:    I’m a huge fan of Toni's! I think it’s worked well for many artists. I love my dance remixes and I love dance and edm music. I think if an artist wants to try a different style of music, they should go for it!

Are there other genres of music you may want to tap into at some point?

Kory Burns:    I want to try them all. 

Why is now the right time for a song like “Radio”?

Kory Burns:    You know when something just feels right? This feels right. 

How did you connect with the writers and producers for the song?

Kory Burns: I met Sean through my manager and Carlos though a mutual friend. We talked about our ideas for a new song.  They came down to Miami and we made it happen. I also had Steele, one of my best friends, in the studio with me, throwing some lines and ideas out and keepin’ me hyped!

What's your ultimate goal as an indie artist?

Kory Burns:  To really, really make it. 

Are major labels still important today?  

Kory Burns:  I think they are still important. I’m not opposed to a major deal. I just gotta stay in my lane and do what I gotta do to get where I wanna be. 

Kory Burns’ “Radio” is available now on Apple Music, Amazon and all other major retailers, as well as for streaming through Spotify.  Follow Kory Burns on Instagram @ KORYBURNS

Written by Paul Hutnick

Freelance writer



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