“Once you believe in yourself and dive in face first, and you give it your all without thinking twice about giving up, you want to share that experience with more than just close friends and family. You want the world to rock with you. You just have to stay patient and never give up. Get out and network. Put your music in their face. Make people believe you because if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect a fan to believe…”
Check out the interview with K.I. exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
SKILLY: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
K.I.: From the bottom; the very bottom, and everything that I have, every opportunity I’ve ever earned, was all because I worked for it with my own blood, sweat and money. I can’t sit here and say H haven’t had help from influential people who’ve blessed me with opportunities. I’ve created and worked for those opportunities. When you really come from rough places, you use that to get to where you want to go; whether it’s good or bad. I chose music. I’ve loved and understood music since I was a child. My mom didn’t have the money to put forth to help me take on my dream. I’ve never let that stop me neither. I’ve read books, watched videos. I’ve studied the music game. I understood how to record music before I ever stepped foot into a recording studio. I love music so much I have a T.V. I haven’t turned on in months. Although I’m a rap artist, I love all genres of music minus country. I just can’t relate and I’ve tried haha!
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The music scene around the Chicago area is very diverse and full of talent from independent artists. Everything from hip hop/rap, house music, to metal and country. With that being said, there is a sense of anti hip hop clubs and bars where they won’t even entertain the idea of supporting hip hop events. There’s an understanding as to why because of so much violence in Chicago and surrounding area’s, and just the overall rap reputation and stereotype. At the same time, you can’t blame hip hop for the things that happen in these neighborhoods and always expect that a hip hop event will turn out to be a wild west showdown. Hip hop isn’t music made just for the ghetto. I’ve seen people from some of the better neighborhoods and towns come rip a stage just as hard as somebody from the hood. Hip hop is much more diverse than what people give it credit for.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
It’s hard to say. There’s the younger hip hop crowd who love this new style of music with the catchy hooks and dances. Then there’s the older crowd who are saying “let’s just get back to lyrics like the old days.” I’m a fan of both. One thing people have to understand is that music is forever changing. What’s hot today can be old news tomorrow. As an artist you can do one of three things; one, you can accept the new era of music, adapt accordingly, and try to remain relevant. Two, be versatile and indulge yourself into other things than just being a rapper. There’s a reason Dr. Dre and Jay Z can go so long without dropping music and remain relevant in the rap scence. They have their hands tied into so much other than music. Or third, be a one dimensional rapper who feels like he can’t sell out to the new way of doing things and fade into the dark.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I try and put my hands into everything. I mix old school ways such as selling CD’s by hand with street teams, to mixing things in with technology using social media. And of course, doing as many live shows as I possibly can. There’s nothing like showcasing your brand live in front of people. I mix a lot of conventional ways to build enough capitol for the bigger picture. I want a strong PR company who can help build my brand and point me in the right direction.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
Getting people to believe in my brand, my journey, and my music to where they become dedicated fans is the greatest challenge. Once you believe in yourself and dive in face first, and you give it your all without thinking twice about giving up, you want to share that experience with more than just close friends and family. You want the world to rock with you. You just have to stay patient and never give up. Get out and network. Put your music in their face. Make people believe you because if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect a fan to believe?
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Remain humble and dedicated! Remember where you came from. Remember what it’s like to be at the bottom struggling, and use that as fire power to be a great person. Don’t just be a great rapper, but a great person. Long after the music people will remember the person you are. I was sleeping outside on green machines and used that as fire power to build myself into an individual with the will to become a leader among my peers. Anybody can make it.
What inspires you to write your next song?
Of course it will always be the things that go on around me, and what I’ve experienced in life. Most of the time I’ll ask my producer to send me some new beats to check out. Then from there the beats usually dictate what my song will be about.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
You can find me some of everywhere online. Don’t Be afraid to connect or reach out. I actually like talking to my fans and I respond.