INTERVIEW: KIIINGSLEY

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photography & Interview by Shannon Williams

Recently you’ve released your first solo song, what made you want to do it? “What made me release my first solo song would have to be the love I have for my girlfriend. At the time I had zero plans on even putting out any song of my own but during that certain week when I made the song “ Dear Akasha, Is There” I had built up feelings for my girl that I didn’t exactly know how to write on paper or say exactly to her face. So the best way and the most comfortable way I thought I can express those feelings I had towards her at that moment was through a song.”

You’ve always spoken about helping local creatives in your community, how would you help them? Do you have any plans to do so? “Some plans I did have in mind to help out the locals would have to be starting My Independent Record label called “ Musty Records” in the future. With the label, I would try to help young creatives who don’t have a name for themselves in every way possible, teaching them everything that I have learned throughout the industry so they can try to use it in their own way to be successful. I would also like to open up my creative center/ safe place in the city where creatives can come and work on their craft. Being a creative can be hard at times because people might look at you as being “Weird” for following your passion or doing things out of the norm for them. So the center I have in mind building in the future would be a safe place where creatives can call home. It would consist of multiple studio spaces for the artist who would want to record and make beats, space for designers to plan out ideas/ t-shirt makes for them to bring their ideas to life, and area where photographers or video editors can come to lay down some of their ideas.”

Would you ever release a solo project? “I would actually! When I first came into the production scene in 2016 I always vowed and told myself that I would stick to just making beats/always be the behind the scenes type of person because I disliked my voice. But now in 2020, A lot of things have changed for me., I gained more experience making songs, gained more confidence in my voice, lived my life a little more and now I think it’s time to finally share some of my stories with the world within my music.”

Photography by Shannon Williams

Are there other things you want to branch out to creatively other than music? If so, what else would you do? “Some other things I had in mind to branch out doing is to Act/direct movies and be a broadcast journalist for music blogs. Ever since I was little I always had a fascination with acting or doing voice-overs for cartoons so doing one of those would be a dream come true. I also love to watch interviews online so I would love to work for a company like Complex News, Vice, or Genius to be a media personality.”

What inspired you to start making music? “The thing that inspired me to start making was watching my older cousin make music and being around music my entire life. My older cousin named Levi has always been a huge inspiration to me since I was a little kid. He was my super Hero when I was young. He was the person I looked up to the most because he was so fearless, he did not let anybody boss him around or do things he didn’t want to do, he always did things so effortlessly. So watching him also do music made me want to start making some songs of my own. Also ever since I was small, Coming from a Nigerian family, my parents would always play some type of music from the range of Nigerian music to Bob Marley, Shaka Chan, all the way down to Outkast, Beyonce, Kanye West, and The Neptunes from my oldest sister.”

With the state of the world, lots of creatives are finding it hard to go out and create like before. Have you found yourself struggling during this crazy time? What have you been up to while everything has been put to pause? “This COVID-19 situation took everybody by surprise because nobody at this time would have seen this coming at all! When the stay at home order got put into place I was struggling quite a bit because all the plans I did have in mind such as throwing mini shows for the locals, BBQs for the neighborhood, photoshoots, and things in things in that matter had to be pushed back. But by staying home for a couple of weeks and being by myself for most of the time I concluded to change the way I looked at the situation by stating “ why not make the best out of staying home for who knows how long by using all my free time to work on the things I wasn’t so good at music-wise so when it’s finally time to go back outside I can be a better version of myself”. So that is exactly what I have been doing since.”

Who inspires and motivates you to keep going with music? “I would say my family and city inspires me to keep on going with Music. Harbor City doesn’t get the credit it deserves when it comes to the musical talent it has in the area. So I feel like it is my job to try to break out that box the media tries to put us in and show the world that Harbor City is more than just Gang banging and negativity! We are a place of where you learn the definition of hard work a lot of hard work gets put in”

If you have ever been given the opportunity to work with anyone, who would you choose and why? “Dang, this is a TOUGH question lol If I had the opportunity to work with anyone it would have to be either The Neptunes, Kendrick Lamar Kid Cudi, or Playboi Carti. The Neptunes have been in the game for so long, Consistently making bangers no matter what generation. So I would work with them because I feel like they can teach me so much about making beats. I would Kid Cudi because his melodies have always stuck with me for years. His music has helped me through so many dark periods in my life so it would only be right to work with Cudi. Kendrick Lamar because I find him so wise and lastly, Carti because his music is so fun and energetic to me.”

For the past couple of years, you’ve been putting on your own small festival, Stank Fest, what inspired you to do it? How do you choose the creatives that get to be a part of the festival? Have you already started planning the next one? “Choosing artist to be apart of Stankfest would be too hard if I was by myself so I picked a team of people who I trust to help me chose an artist to be apart of the festival, certain things we can add to make it better than last years, which vendors to choose and so on. At the moment I haven’t really started planning for the Stakfest due to the Covid-19 situation, the only thing I can say I have been doing is keeping my eye on a certain artist who I think would be a great fit for whenever I have the next festival.”

Photography by Shannon Williams

What do you plan on releasing for the rest of this year? “For the rest of the year, I am planning to maybe drop One more Single before I gear up to release my main project …. Not too sure to be honest, I sure shall tell though I always change my mind on stuff haha.”

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