A: I developed a love for music at an early age because I was introduced to a wide variety of music from different cultures. My parents were heavily influenced by African culture. As a result, they wanted me and my siblings to explore different types of music. I played samba drums in middle school and that helped my timing and rhythm when it came to making beats later on in high school. While I was in high school my love for music grew and I became interested in hip hop music. My high school provided a basic piano beat machine which I started using to develop my own music while simultaneously rapping along. After I graduated high school I went to college to study communications. While I was in college I kept working on my craft. I got my hands on some better software called “Fruity Loops”. I began making better quality beats and took rapping more seriously. While I was in college I did a few shows on and off campus, building a substantial local fan base. After some time I discovered the sound that I believed would work best for me and that no one else could imitate. I really recognized the direction that I wanted to take in the beginning of January 2012. Since then, I have worked with many local artists, dropped a mix tape titled “Live Free”, and shot six official music videos- two of which were posted on WorldstarHipHop.com. Since the beginning of 2012 I have had a few shows around the DMV [D.C., Maryland, Virginia] area. I also have three projects complete, one of which I plan on releasing within the next few months.
Q: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
A: I want to record and release my own music because I feel like I have so much to offer the music industry. I think what I will bring to the game is like nothing that is currently out there, simply because of my delivery and the content of the music I create. I believe that I am extremely versatile as an artist. I have the capability of making music with a message and a meaning. At the same time I am able to create songs all about partying and having a good time. I like being able to express my ideas through song because music has the potential to change lives. I don’t necessarily make music just for the fame. However, I do like being able to showcase my talent and artistry. I make music to give a voice to those who don’t always have one. A rapper is only words, but an artist represents an entire vision.
Q: What are your songs about?
A: My songs are mostly about my personal life and the trials and tribulations that I have experienced. They also represent the beliefs and ideals that I live by. Not only do I make music about the way things are, but also about the way things should be. My songs aim to motivate, inspire, provoke thought, and above all contain real content that people from all different walks of life can relate to.
Q: Who are your musical influences?
A: I grew up in a house where all different types of music were played. As a result, I was influenced by hip hop, reggae, R&B, Afro-Brazilian, African, and even a little bit of rock. I appreciate good music from all different genres but some of my direct influences are: Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Luciano, and R.Kelly (to name a few). I truly appreciate real artists who know how to deliver a message and make music with real content and talk about real issues.
Q: How would you describe your music to people?
A: My music is a mixture between what is commonly referred to as down south hip-hop and old school hip hop, but I would definitely say that I have my own unique sound. I would say that these two sounds most represent my personal sound because of my beat selection and the fact that my lyrical content is genuinely infused with a message. I am able to entertain while delivering a good story to my audience. My music captures the ups and downs that I face and I know countless others face on a daily basis. This makes my music appeal to people of all different types of cultures, languages, races, and lifestyles.
Q: What makes you stand out from other artists?
A: What sets me apart from other artists is my ability to relate to all walks of life on every level. I have a wide range of topics that I discuss, so there probably won’t be one genre of music you can put me in. I do it all. I’m capable of making motivational music, educational music, trap music, reggae music, R&B music, and the list continues. I would say nowadays there are too few artists that make music that actually means something. I am one of those artists whose music has a purpose. I am not only a “rapper”, but I know how to write a broad range of music. Nobody is making music like me right now. My music is so descriptive that it can take the listener to plenty of places without them ever leaving the room.
Q: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in your music career. How did you overcome it?
A: The hardest challenge I have had to face so far in my music career was not having the resources to get my product in the right hands and convincing people that I have what it takes to be a successful artist. I overcame this obstacle by taking the time to invest in myself first. I began researching and studying the industry and artists within it who started out independent and were able to break through. This allowed me to create a plan for myself on how to acquire the necessities I needed to produce and promote my own music. I started by taking my own money and seriously investing in my craft, and with the help of a few I was able to acquire the studio equipment, promotional materials and other items necessary to complete my project. I knew that these things would allow me the freedom to have total control over my project and its success. I learned how to use the equipment to record and mix my own music so I wouldn’t have to rely on anyone else to complete my studio projects. I also realized that another obstacle was gaining access to a broader audience. In order to do so, I needed to make official music videos for my songs and put them out on the web to get my music out to a broader audience. By adding videos to my resume, I was able to broaden my fan base and get noticed and taken more seriously within the industry. Finally, as a result of overcoming these obstacles, I was able to complete my first project and shoot multiple music videos. I realized afterwards that people are more inclined to help when they see you taking the initiative to get the ball rolling and help yourself. I thought making and promoting music would be enough. I’m glad I learned how to be self efficient and to get more accomplished at a faster rate.
Q: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
A: Within the next four weeks I will be shooting two new music videos for my upcoming project “Hook King”, which is set to release sometime in the 4th quarter or in the beginning of 2014.
Q: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: My career goals is to take the current music that I am producing independently to a major label in order to broaden my distribution and enter the mainstream. Like hip hop of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, I want my music to help shape the minds and ideas of the next generation. Not only do I want my music to entertain, but help my community and people all over the world recognize their true potential. Within the next 10 years I see myself at a place in the music industry where I have established the “KB The General” (KBTG) brand making it recognizable and synonymous with not only music but all aspects of urban life, fashion/merchandise and other commercial ventures. In 10 years I see myself at a place in my career where I have developed a huge core fan base and will be touring overseas.