NEW FROM WYN STARKS
About Wyn Starks
A modern-day pop-soul pioneer, Wyn Starks builds a bridge between the old-school music that filled his childhood — from the soulful sweep of Motown classics to the bright sparkle of '80s hitmakers like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson — and the grooves, hooks, and genre-bending bounce of contemporary radio. It's a sound that celebrates not only the multi-octave range of his elastic vocals, but also the power of his songwriting. From the retro ballad "Circles" to the dancefloor-worthy banger "Split in Two," Wyn has cemented his reputation as a progressive artist who hasn't forgotten his roots.
Raised in Minneapolis, Wyn sang his first solos in church. The soaring power of gospel music took ahold of him at a young age, as did the pop songs, soul records, and R&B hits that he'd listen to at home, hidden from the rest of the world behind his family's couch, headphones pressed to his ears. To Wyn, it all sounded like magic.
"I'd sit there and listen to music for hours," Wyn remembers, rattling off a list of artists whose songs soundtracked his childhood in Minnesota. "Boyz II Men. Stevie Wonder. R Kelly. Kirk Franklin. Yolanda Adams. The Clark Sisters. I know what it feels like to be absolutely mesmerized by music when you're young, because that's what happened to me. And starting at an early age, I knew I wanted to create music that did the same thing for others."
Before long, Wyn was creating spellbinding music of his own — music that made room for the wide range of his influences, while also pushing forward into new territory. Looking for a town whose music community was equally as diverse as his art, he headed to Nashville, where he signed a record deal with Curb Records during his first six months in town.
Partnering with producer and co-writer Fred Williams, Wyn introduced his unique brand of pop music to the world with singles like "Circles, "Dancing My Way," and "Sunday Morning." All three songs nodded to his unique combination of influences. "Circles," with its sky-high melody and old-school chord progression, could've been a soul classic from the 1960s, while the bright grooves and sharply-written hooks of "Dancing My Way" evoked Motown one minute and Prince the next. It was a popular combination, with "Circles" racking up a half-million Spotify streams during its first year. Even so, Wyn was eager to branch out and show the full range of his musical abilities.
He began doing so with 2020's "Split in Two," a punchy, progressive single that traded his Motown roots for something boldly modern. Laced with horns, R&B swagger, and a dancefloor-worthy beat, "Split in Two" fused the timeless appeal of Wyn's earlier work with the progressive punch of something entirely new. Lyrically, the song traced the downward spiral of a failing relationship… but musically, it represented a marriage of styles.
"It's a bridge between two worlds, connecting the throwback vibe of what I've already released with the contemporary sound of what I'm working on now," Wyn says of "Split in Two," which he co-wrote with Jason Walker and producer Josh Bronleewe. "I've always loved incorporating the sounds I grew up with into the music I'm making, but I'm not trying to sound like anyone else. I'm only interested in sounding like me."
And what, exactly, does Wyn Starks sound like? He sounds like the rare sort of songwriter who blurs the boundaries between genres and generations. Like a pop-soul heavyweight who makes music for today, inspired by the musical heavyweights of the past. Like a singular artist whose songs will inspire others to discover their own unique forms of expression, just like his favorite records once did for him.
"I'm all about inclusivity, love, equality, and acceptance," says Wyn. "I'm an artist and an activist, and I use my music to share a message. This is music that will make you dance and make you feel good, but it says something, too. I'm always exploring who I am as an artist, and I hope these songs can inspire others to do the same."