Born and raised in Kansas City Missouri, like most singers Carlton Rashad McCormick started honing his skills in his church  He attended Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts from sixth grade on, where his focus was music.  There he performed in school choirs, participated in stage plays, performed in the school’s talent showcases and honed his musical abilities.

Shortly afer graduating in 2013, he formed a vocal group We Are Versetile, with his cousin and a friend.  They performed around town and recorded two albums.  But in 2021,  McCormick decided to go solo and released his own album “Dear Future Love,” consisting mostly of songs and lyrics he wrote.    

In 2021 he was selected Kansas City People’s Choice Male Vocalist of the Year.  He regularly performs around town with a few recent performances at the historic Phoenix in downtown Kansas City.  

Who or what inspired your journey to follow your passion? 

Michael Jackson and Chris [Brown] actually. I wanted to be like Michael so bad. In the movie The Jacksons: The American Dream, there’s a scene where the teacher asks the students what they want to be when they grow up, and Michael responded he wanted to be a singer. Then it cuts to him talking to his rat and then him singing Climb Every Mountain. That was the moment where I said I wanted to be just like him. I also wanted to be like Chris Brown when he released his single “Run It.”

What Motivates You?

The artists that I always admire and look up to, I’ve watched their processes in the studio and see how they don’t always get it right the first time. I’m a huge fan of Beyonce and I’ve watched her studio sessions. Other prolific writers like Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Stevie Wonder– I don’t think he ever has problems writing. But, just to see their experiences in the studio keeps me motivated to keep trying to write. They have classics and I want to be a part of that.

What was the message or personal experience behind your most recent album “Dear Future Love”?

When I created the album it kind of happened organically. My cousin that I had WeAre Versitile group with, Mitchell Chandler, and we were going through a few changes. We released two projects together, and I was fortunate to be one of the main writers of the project as well. But Mitchell convinced me to release a project. So once we started talking the lyrical content started flowing. My cousin and producer asked me what I would name my project and it randomly came about, Dear Future Love. With the music I started to hear and create, it just started to flow organically. I

He says his song “Tonight” is influenced by the loving relationship of his great aunt and uncle who had a loving 53 year marriage.  The song “More Than Friends” was written from the perspective of a conversation  with his dream, his passion: music.  Saying he wants to be that real thing for his music, but he needs the music to trust him and let him in.

Do you have any future projects that you’re working on?

“I’m currently working on a new project and it’s personal for me.  Dear Future Love was more for me to introduce [myself] to the people. The new project is about being in the moment, embracing it and where you are, loving who you are, and who you’re with. 

What advice would you like to give for aspiring musicians? 

“Don’t be afraid to go for what you want and don’t be afraid to accept your greatness. One thing I had to learn for myself, is that I am enough and that I am just as great as other people out there that I think are also great. You don’t have to compare yourself to anybody else, because everyone has their own lane they operate in. Once you find your lane and operate in it, you will be just fine. 

What is one of your greatest accomplishments?

“One of my recent accomplishments is I got to open for R&B singer Llyod last year and perform live in front of him–like what? He heard me sing!.”

Check out a live performance by Rashad on Kimology Live

To stay informed on Rashad’s musical journey, follow his social media:

Facebook: Carlton Rashad

Instagram: @sang_carlton_rashad

Twitter: @carlton_sangboy

Avatar photo

Bonita Gooch

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...

Avatar photo

Simone Garza

Simone Garza was a reporter in our Kansas City office. In addition to general reporting on Kansas City’s African-American community, she reports on economic inclusion for the African American community....