Of all the places to launch a music career, KorKeya Rondale picked Columbus.

Of all the places to launch a music career, KorKeya Rondale picked Columbus.

Born and bred in Huntsville, Alabama, the soul singer-songwriter decided to relocate here two years ago to seek out a larger audience without getting lost in the shuffle of the overstuffed music scenes in New York, Nashville and L.A.

So KorKeya left behind Tha Loft, the arts and music hub he owned in Huntsville's historic Lowe Mill building, and set up shop as a personal trainer in Columbus, pouring every spare moment into publicizing his blend of old-school soul and modern-day R&B.

Though he played to a packed Espresso Yourself Music Cafe in January - "It was literally a fire hazard," he said - the campaign begins in earnest Saturday, when KorKeya headlines the Lincoln, backed by a fine-tuned fleet of Youngstown-based musicians. They'll play originals plus classic soul covers by the likes of Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke.

And don't forget the gospel tunes - KorKeya got his start 10 years ago with a traveling singing group that toured churches across the South.

"I'm a take you to church," he said, "down South, Alabama-style."

Next on the agenda is recording an album he hopes to have out by his birthday, Oct. 25. While his demo "All In My Soul" was recorded by producer Kelvin Wooten (Anthony Hamilton, Raphael Saadiq), KorKeya hasn't yet determined where he's recording or who will produce. He might even try a live album.

"The goal is to sell [the show] out," KorKeya said. "After that, it will be full-throttle to get this album out by October."