I already have started a movement … and it’s growing nationally. It’s called “Black Heart Gang”. I created it for those who have felt emotional abandonment and/or disconnected. And we practice turning emotional responses into logical responses in-order to control your inner-happiness (aka, self-control).
I had the pleasure of interviewing Keshawn, a young Seattle rapper/producer signed to Empire. After recently debuting his EP “BHG”, Keshawn and his team have been gaining a lot of momentum in the industry. After his latest single and visual “Ron Burgundy” released on @Elevator, we had the chance to catch up with him to ask him a few questions.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was living with my mom’s boyfriend on Bainbridge Island, WA. He had just introduced me to Childish Gambino’s “Heartbeat” music video, and noticed how much interest I took in the song and the elements that made the song. He immediately went and bought FL Studio for me, encouraging me to educate myself via the internet (YouTube, etc.). It was then that I started my career for music.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
When my booking manager Anthony first started as a promoter, we threw shows in Tacoma, WA at The Real Art Tacoma. It was one of our first shows I had ever performed. I was standing in the parking lot smoking with my friends when all of a sudden a random man [in panic] comes from behind me saying he needed to use my phone because somebody was trying to kill him. Come to find out, that guy had broken into this other guy’s car and taken some really expensive stuff. So the owner of the car (I’m assuming) found the guy and shot him, because when the event was over, somebodies body was being moved up the road when we drove by.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Working on a new song with another Seattle-native artist: Travis Thompson. Pretty excited to see how that goes!
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
My manager Taj (Taj King Entertainment) is one of the most interesting people I have interacted with. Most people wouldn’t understand his level of OCD. The most structured man on the planet I’ve personal met, and he inspires me to work harder.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Joe Satriani inspired me when I was really young to be a guitarist, because of how smooth of a player he was. Honestly, it was even more than “to be a guitarist,” but just to make music and express myself. If you watch his facial expressions when he’s ripping a guitar LIVE, you’ll know what I mean.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’ve used it to inspire/and spread knowledge. I used to run a home recording studio where I recorded local artists from my city. My goal ultimately was to bridge people from across the water (in Bainbridge) to transition into the bigger city of Seattle.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I already have started a movement for my brand, and it’s growing nationally. It’s called “Black Heart Gang,” and I created it for those who have felt emotional abandonment and/or disconnected. And we practice turning emotional responses into logical responses in-order to control your inner-happiness (aka, self-control).
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Stay consistent, but do not expect any results. Expectations will be broken in the music industry. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with your sound. You won’t go as far as you could go trying to mimic another artist’s sound based on their personal succession.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
a. Not to over-analyze the music so much. It took me a while to understand, but it got to the point where two years had past of not making music and not recording. So I stopped being so picky about my music and just started recording and releasing it.
b. I said it before, but i’m going to say it again: don’t get discouraged if your career doesn’t go as expected. I was broken-down BAD in Los Angeles & Las Vegas, homeless and all that. I still made it through though, with a good optimistic mentality and that’s all you can do sometimes.
c. You gotta keep the right people around who have the same habits as you. I was around some people who were doing worse than me. It took a negative toll on my mind and I got influenced to be lazy, form bad habits, etc. It was only when I surrounded myself with the right people that my career started to FINALLY unfold.
d. Practice makes perfect. I see a lot of artists who are eager to start their career, but they lack a lot of experience and even terminology. It takes time and strength to be in the music industry, so do everything you can to be prepared.
e. Image is everything. Nowadays, there are artist’s who’s images are more important than there music is. Without a good image, it can make it hard to survive off your music. It doesn’t matter how good the music is. All that matters is, is it marketable?
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Lil Uzi Vert for breakfast. And you ask why? Like it’s not obvious…to be the best, you have to learn from the best.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My Instagram, Twitter handle is the same @keshawntheking and my FaceBook is @Keshawn.
Originally published at medium.com