Roshawn Lyles: The ‘Kwiet’ Before the Storm

Saturday, 05 January 2013 20:47 Written by  Jasmine Browley

Long before temperamental bad boy Chris Brown, the ambiguously intriguing Miguel, and endearingly sensitive Frank Ocean, there was Kwiet Storm.

They took the R&B genre to another level with their romantic lyrics and their soul stirring, often acapella, vocals. Back in the late 1990s and in the early 2000s, the quartet toured with Usher and Jagged Edge just to name a few. The band was synonymous with Jodeci and Boyz II Men, but inexplicably disbanded before that came to fruition. Other than Willie Taylor, who found fame on the MTV hit show Making the Band, the members of Kwiet Storm had lived up to their name and seemed shunned in silence. Recently, another member of the group re-emerged to the music scene and is making quite a name for himself. With songs garnering attention overseas, a reality show in the works, a slew of stars that he can add to his writing roster and his own songwriting and production company on his resume, he seems to be anything but “kwiet” these days. I recently caught up with Roshawn Lyles to speak to him about his career as a breakout star, the reasons behind the breakup of the group, and the present state of R&B.


GlossMagazineOnline (GMO): You established a songwriting and production company, His and Herzz Ink. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Roshawn: For two years now, I have really wanted to perfect my craft. Writing was definitely something that I always focused on even when I was one fourth of the group Kwiet Storm. So now as a solo artist, I devote my energy towards establishing myself as a writer and an outstanding artist by partnering with Alex Tillman to create His and Herzz Ink.

GMO: What prompted you to start this company?

Roshawn: Our focus initially was to collaborate with a team of talented writers from all over the world to write, compose and arrange awesome songs to distribute to all avenues of the entertainment business––be it commercials, movies, or a well-known artist for an album filler. The goal is to be the one stop shop for artists to be provided with everything they are looking for. For example, I just worked with gospel legend Ann Nesby for a myriad of different reasons, not just to record a hit record.

GMO: For those of us that know you only from the disbanded group Kwiet Storm, how have you managed to form your own identity as an entertainer?

Roshawn: I’ve always been one to have a plan B. Even when I was in the group, I made myself into my own multifaceted artist, just in case anything went wrong. Even when the group went through its changes, and I was facing one of the hardest times of my life, it never stopped. My artistry never suffered. I was, however, trying to find out who I was, so I started to look at the greats of the business, you know, Michael Jackson and Nat King Cole. Essentially, when I was in the group, I had three others to rely on musically. I don’t have the crutch anymore, so I have to make sure I deliver my passion every time I touch a microphone.

GMO: Do you mind getting into the some of the reasons why the group is no longer together?

Roshawn: No problem. One of the main reasons the group disbanded is because of the nature of the music business in and of itself. If you’re not willing to grow in the business as well as understand it, then you are not going to prosper. I am not one to name names, but that’s the long and short of it. Willie (Willie Taylor formerly of Day 26) and I understood that. We started the group, so we understood the logistics, contracts and copyrighting and so forth. The other group members looked at the contract and saw some things that they didn’t want to see, and instead of seeking legal counsel, they listened to others who had no real knowledge of what they were speaking of. Also, I hate to say it, but some people just are not cut out for the music business. When you have to tour 90 cities and you’re missing your family and friends, it puts a lot of things in perspective. Only the strong survive.

GMO: Tell us about your new single “Addiction.”

Roshawn: I wrote the song primarily from a personal standpoint initially. My relationship was so addictive, in every aspect. I know now, that I was going through the relationship … well … addicted (laughs). My writing partner, Paschan, identified that the song had a universal appeal because the emotions were so relative to everyone. She also made sure to include some soulful lyrics, even though the song has some elements of pop to give it that Usher/ David Guetta feel.

GMO: Do you still reside in Chicago? If so, what is your opinion is on the current onslaught of violence in the city?

Roshawn: I am stationed in Chicago, but I represent Harvey [a suburb right outside of Chicago] and I have to say that the violence here is crazy. I witnessed a murder just last night, not too far from home. It’s ridiculous. That’s why I feel like it is my civic duty to groom these teens to be their own role models. I get them in my studio and teach them to lay vocals instead of laying their hands on somebody. My manager Alex Tillman and I staunchly believe in representing our community in a positive light because something has to change. I have lived all over the United States, most recently in Atlanta, for about four years. I never experienced a problem there. I just visited Los Angeles, which I do frequently, and I didn’t hear any reporting of violence for the three-week stretch I spent there. Something is definitely wrong with Chicago right now. I encourage the parents to take a more active role in their children’s lives before it’s too late. But on a positive note, the food is good! (laughs)

GMO: What advice can you offer to up and coming artists?

Roshawn: I know this sounds cliché, but never, ever stop … period! The second that you stop, that’s when your blessing was going to come. I have been in Kwiet Storm since 1994 and I’m still working like a starving artist because it’s truly my passion. Secondly, be dedicated to your craft. If you are passionate about what you do, it will come easier than you would think. Next, get a team of good people to support you and your talent. I also firmly believe that you have to venture outside of your comfort zone to garner the amount of support that you really need in order to succeed in the music business these days. Go EVERYWHERE! It is all about branding and branching out for the betterment of your craft. Lastly, carry yourself as a role model at all times.

GMO: What projects are you working on currently?

Roshawn: I am currently working diligently to put my signature stamp on the music industry. I’m working on compiling my album, and pushing the bangin’ tracks that we have created. The song “Screaming” is definitely one that I firmly believe in. I’m working on the visual accompaniment for that as well. I also have a song “Galaxy Rush” that is blowing up overseas like crazy, and I’m working on partnering with Samsung to feature the song for the Galaxy series of their cellular phones. We have a reality show in the works as well called Writer’s Rumble, which is basically the songwriter’s version of The Voice, American Idol and America’s Got Talent all rolled into one. It follows the journey of a handful of writers gathered together for a competition to compile songs that, if chosen, will be used for major placements. These include nationally recognized jingles for major products, records for well-known artists, commercials, movies, etc. It will show the creation of songs all the way from the basement to the stage. My manager and Grammy-winning songwriter Chanel Red are the creators. I’ll also be making an appearance on The Bill Cunningham Show that is supposed to air in the next coming months.

Find out more:

  • and
  • For writers to submit original work they can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • For booking, contact Alex Tillman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Writing partner can be reached at


*Photo Credit: 5Link

Jasmine Browley

Jasmine Browley

Jasmine Browley holds a bachelors degree in psychology from Chicago State University so naturally she has an opinion about EVERYTHING. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in journalism and publishes a bi-weekly blog,

She can be contacted at or via twitter at