Kevin Pollack calls it NuTown, a throwback style meshing Motown classics with a new energy.
And that assessment is spot on.
The Chicago-area singer-songwriter, actor, talent buyer and fest-thrower recognized how some big players on the national scene — Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake, for example — were tapping into a retro sound with considerable mainstream success.
“I didn’t exactly want to go that route,” Pollack said. “I wanted to create a new sound with an old sound that people love.”
The result? A new video for his recent single, “Man About Town,” an upbeat number that channels the best of the classic soul and Motown groups that most influence him, but with a modern vibe. The video premiered nationally earlier this week.
“After writing ‘Something Good’ (a song Pollack wrote for his wife for their wedding), I wanted to write another upbeat one,” he said. “I wrote the chorus first. I wanted it to be hook-y enough to tell a story, and then I formed everything around it. I thought about a date night I had and figured ‘Man About Town’ would be a perfect date night song.”
And it is. With its energetic vibe and uplifting melody, it’s a song that feels ripped straight from a rom-com soundtrack. But with updated twists and a fun, lighthearted video.
“I’m always positive. I don’t swear in my lyrics. With all the negativity in the world right now you need positive things to bring you up. Every song I write is like a party,” he said. ”And as an actor, I wanted to show who I am on the acting side of things. To make the video a mini musical a la ‘La La Land’ while telling a story, which ties me back to the singer-songwriter aspect.”
Starring in the video — which cuts between scripted scenes and studio performance clips — Pollack is no stranger to the stage. He has already earned a reputation around Chicago with many theatrical roles as well as a winning stint in the Black Ensemble Theater’s production of “Men of Soul.” But perhaps he’s best known for his ongoing role as Jake in the long-running Blooze Brothers tribute act. He’s been touring with the band and playing the role for the last four years, to much acclaim.
Pollack has also been a talent buyer at Reggies, and has been recognized internationally as the founder of the annual Progtoberfest progressive rock weekend.
With all this on his plate, it seems unlikely that someone would have time to focus on his own songwriting. But somehow the Buffalo Grove native and current Glenview resident makes it work, with new songs and an eventual EP coming into play.
Keep watch this November for the release of a video for his original single, “Something Good.”