“In addition to that, I’d really like to have a larger exposure on the Austin hip hop scene. There is a ton of talent here and I think it’s only a matter of time before people start to recognize that on a bigger scale. I’d love to play a hand in that.”
Check out the interview with KB the Boo Bonic exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
KB the Boo Bonic: I was born and raised in Texas. Early on I listened to a majority of country and classic rock (passed down by my parents). As I got older I pretty much just listened to everything. I wanted to hear it all. I always had a very fond love and intrigue for words. I think that made rap really stick with me.
Growing up in Texas, I always had that sense of pride about where I was from. I started getting into some of the pioneer Houston rap shit like Geto Boys and UGK. With the whole Screw Movement there was a lot of freestyling. I was largely shy when I was younger, so they weren’t really expecting it when I jumped in and began to freestyle. That continued on for a few years until I moved off to college.
I kept writing and freestyling throughout college and then in my senior year went to a studio in San Antonio with another artist. Thats how my first album, Scars Are Sexy, came about. After that I started doing little shows in San Antonio and San Marcos and got myself a little buzz. And here I am, almost a decade and a few projects later and I can’t quit the bitch.
What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
Having really good music helps. It sounds silly for me to say that, but I think especially when you are an independent artist who is wearing 10 different hats it can be easy to lose creative focus and the art itself can suffer as a result.
And of course fans. Fans are everything. Social media is a must. Genuine interaction is a must. Let people know you appreciate them and also ask them their opinion.
What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
I really am at a point where I would just like to be able to do this full-time. If I had a team of people helping me with ASCAP, management, booking, etc., I know I could do some really crazy shit. I also just want to give the ladies of hip hop culture something a little different. Female emcees who were well-known used to really wreck shit. They had content and were truly lyrically gifted and stood for some shit. I’d like to be reminiscent of that and give people, especially women of the younger generation, something other than the impression that you have to have a fat ass and talk about pussy on every track to be successful.
In addition to that, I’d really like to have a larger exposure on the Austin hip hop scene. There is a ton of talent here and I think it’s only a matter of time before people start to recognize that on a bigger scale. I’d love to play a hand in that.
What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
Not quitting. I’ll get pissed or mad or discouraged for whatever reason and of course make some empty threat saying I’m through. Then within an hour I’ll be jotting down a rhyme or someone will contact me for a feature or a show and I’ll be all about it. I guess you could say luckily for me I just really need it. If I don’t record or perform or have it in my life for too long I get really, really depressed. It’s become part of my life, so much so that I can’t imagine what I would do without it.
What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
I think it’s pretty safe to say that Austin’s music scene is a horse of a different color. There is not one night that goes by that there is not live music at any number of venues across the city. The Austin hip hop scene itself has been pretty damn good to me. It’s kind of like the first place I really felt like I fit in when I moved from Houston. It’s definitely grown and definitely something I’m proud to be a part of.
There are some people that are just in it to make some quick money. There are people out here selling slots to play gigs which I think has kind of been something plaguing live hip hop in more than just Austin. I always tell younger artists and people who are new to the city and trying to get their first shows to avoid pay to play at all costs. Spend your money on production, studio time, merch, web design, and anything other than that. If you get all those other things on point, the shows will come.
What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
I would say that especially in the current climate of the music industry, don’t sign anything without really having someone who knows about legalities and contracts look over it. Lawyers aren’t cheap, but having a knowledgeable music attorney look over something you’re not 100% sure about could ultimately save you years of misery and a lot of damn money.
What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
I think anytime you hear someone else singing something that you created, at least for me, it is the craziest euphoric feeling. I recently did my first international gig and played Festival Ajusco in Mexico City. It was amazing because I had never been to Mexico but have always wanted to go. Secondly, it was insane because the people there were so incredibly beautiful. I had never been to this country in my life and there were people who were treating me like I was a superstar.
People were almost ravenous for new music, and it was a completely different experience from doing a gig in Austin. Music fans in Austin are spoiled rotten. They can see pretty much any artist they want to on a regular basis here. Out there they don’t have that luxury, so when someone like me comes from another country they are incredibly inviting and show their appreciation.
What is your inspiration?
I think it’s a combination of the real spirit of the hip hop culture and my mom. I fell in love with hip hop because of its rebellious nature and the way that real true hip hop makes it a point to call out injustices and reveal the truth. When you listen to a KRS-One track you are going to be getting raw truth and deep content that is timeless.
And then my mom, I’m like her and unlike her in so many ways. She was a single mom and she taught me by example that you can be a woman with a strong work ethic, moral fiber, and get what you need with those tools and with your intellect. She taught me not to depend on anyone and to have respect for myself.
Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
Absolutely not. I do feel like it is easier than ever and there is a lot more access for artists to get into the business than ever before. If anything you have to want it even more nowadays because labels aren’t trying to give you shit unless you basically already made it yourself.
I think the landscape has potential to change (and already really has) in a beautiful way because there isn’t just a little assembly line of manufactured acts and artists that labels are putting out anymore. There is vast expanse of independent artists out there making music out of love and having complete creative control.
Where can we find you on social media?
Official Website: www.kbtheboobonic.com
DatPiff: Bat Sh!t Mixtape
iTunes: Kb the Boo Bonic
All Social Media: @KBtheBooBonic