Make sure you align yourself with a circle of people who are going to be honest with you as well as uplift you. — There’s nothing worse than living in a lie. You really never grow if you’re lying to yourself and everybody else around you is lying. You must have genuine and honest people around you that are just as dedicated and motivated as you are about accomplishing this common goal. People that come from different walks of life, different races and different nationalities so you don’t limit yourself being narrow minded you have to be open minded to different people and allow them to help you evolve and elevate especially if you know that they are genuine
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing About Sean Kiez.
Sean Kiez is an artist and songwriter by way of Houston, who delivers a soulful sound and truthful lyrics pairing a west coast lyricism with the bounce of the south. Sean once stated, “The taboos of life are some of the most invigorating conversations that we can all attest to.” Join his musical rebirth with releases running through 2020.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was the youngest of all my siblings. I always wanted to act older so I would watch everyone. I’m very observant and I watch everything that they did and mimic it and you know in our house, music was like our bond we were able to beat on the table or hit the pots and pans. You know growing up going to church I used to play the drums at church so then you know my family it was a big family so everybody would get together for family functions and dance. So I was always an observer and that’s how I was able to build my storytelling ability.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was a Michael Jackson fan and I used to watch him a lot. I used to be around my Granddaddy and he was a stroke victim so even though he could not talk, you could talk to him. When I was dancing around the house that brought a smile to his face so that was his way of communicating. Fast forward from then, to getting help with my music by age 12 or 13 I recorded my first track. I just felt like I had a story to tell, I was always reading when I was young so I wanted to make sure that my music made sense. I was very critical in my lyrics even as a young kid, I wanted to set trends or be a part of a trend.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I remember one time I was promoting a show in Atlanta and I lost 20,000 Elva because I simply forgot to put the date and time on the flyer. Ludacris had a free show at Piedmont park for Luda Day and all the people, well my fans I would have expected to attend my show went to the free show. I didn’t properly market it the right way. I didn’t know better — I cried for days. I lost my apartment, had to dodge the repo man. It was just an innocent mistake that I made that cost me. It was a mistake that cost me that I will never make again.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I learned how not disclosing information can affect your show. I learned this is critical because you spend the money and I still had to pay the artists who was contracted to perform and still had to hold up my obligation. You know you can not make those kinds of mistakes in business and now I put a fine tooth comb through everything, I cross all my T’s and dot all my I’s.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Currently, I’m developing my new sound and I have a singing group Kulture they really will be up next for 2021. We made records together and started recording right before the pandemic hit. We have a lot of tracks together so we’ve been shooting videos lately. I also have a new record coming out with Jucee Froot, an artist signed to Atlantic. We’re just working on giving you some good quality music, we have some real hits coming your way very soon.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
- Diversity is important because it gives different view points so you can see both sides of the spectrum
- Diversity adds more flavor you know because all of us are different individuals and all of us have different cultural backgrounds and different nationalities, different races, different religions, different genders, different lifestyles so it’s important to include everybody and what’s going on.
- Exclusion is so old school and ignorant I mean it’s 2020. We all are in this world together so you have to have a piece of everyone in everything that you do because it’s all kinds of different individuals from all kinds of walks of life so why not have that a part of our reality in entertainment.
Diversity will make our culture grow because if you are opening up the horizons, your eyes or your heart and your mind for different people and different things and accepting peoples differences versus trying to be judgmental I mean it only helps because now we start the platform of being able to open it and effectively communicate
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t be afraid to fail — I’ve been at this music stuff for a while and the lessons that I learned, I’m able to help share with other new artists. I’ve been behind the scenes for years, managing legacy artists and putting together a lot of different brand deals. I have really been running The Formula with my partner and you know with experience you have a lot of accountability so it eliminates the mediocrity of it.
It’s important to have a solid team around you to be successful. I really don’t allow anything but greatness around me, so these lessons that I learned in life I’m able to share with people who are still experiencing and learning themselves but after like all those lessons I learned, were teaching moments so now different things that come our way are easier to deal with and we can handle, versus folding under pressure. We are able to still be effective because you know the strengths and weaknesses of the people around you so you always put them in a position where their strengths is on the forefront.
- Fail as many times as you possibly can. — Well they say pain is a teacher right, so a bruised ego or unsuccessful mission sometime it sticks with you longer than that moment of success.
This means that sometimes we forget all the heartache that we had to go through to get to the next level so I say don’t be afraid to challenge yourself a lot of people are scared to even challenge themselves. People don’t want to feel like they’ve lost. If you never challenge yourself you never really know your full potential. Make the mistakes, take those licks and heal your wounds, keep going that’s how you make it.
- Don’t give up no matter how hard it gets because you’re learning a lesson in everything that happens. — You can’t give up, I mean if you really want it you gotta want this! A motivational speaker, Eric Thomas said you have to want this as bad as you want to breathe. You know if it was easy everybody would do it. So you have to separate yourself from everybody else that just talking and really make it happen. That’s why I don’t mind sharing information because you still have to put the work in. I am not a hater, so it would not do me any good to withhold information when you still have to do it and put in the work.
- Make sure you align yourself with a circle of people who are going to be honest with you as well as uplift you. — There’s nothing worse than living in a lie. You really never grow if you’re lying to yourself and everybody else around you is lying. You must have genuine and honest people around you that are just as dedicated and motivated as you are about accomplishing this common goal. People that come from different walks of life, different races and different nationalities so you don’t limit yourself being narrow minded you have to be open minded to different people and allow them to help you evolve and elevate especially if you know that they are genuine
- Listen more than you speak, you learn more from listening sometimes then you do from reacting or speaking that’s true wisdom. — So growing up I didn’t have a lot of mentors in entertainment. I didn’t really have a lot of mentors in business, my father owned a staffing agency and was the first black staffing agency in our town. My mom owned a daycare so they knew those areas of business and building with people. I would listen to Master P for his motivational stuff and try to retain as much information as I could that he will give. I listen to Diddy for some information as well. From Russell Simmons to Jay-Z, I feel like if you do more listening, you can learn a lot more when you’re always a student of something.
I studied Master P, Jay Z and Diddy’s blueprints. By picking up the pieces of the puzzle along the away I would be more effective. Even Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre. you watch these different guys and see what they do and watch their mistakes watch their accomplishments. Even with the people around you, you take life lessons from people who you see go to jail or make a bad decision. I’ve always been an observer, that’s a part of me being an empath. To be aware is to be alive.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I say make sure that the people that you employ and surround yourself with do their fair share.
Make sure you take out time for yourself. Go get a massage, grab something to eat by yourself, listen to some music. Don’t forget why you fell in love with what you’re doing in the first place. Some of us get so wrapped up in the business side of things that we lose the love for it.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂
My group Kulture and I, Sean Kiez, we are leaders of the new generation so we want to represent love and bring that love back to people.
I just want people to remember it’s okay to be genuine, it’s okay to be yourself, it’s okay to spend time with your grandma or go to the grocery store with your kids and promote that too.
It’s okay to do things that people may not generally see as “cool”. Ultimately at the end of the day that’s what we all try to protect and that’s what we all are here for is to love each other.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I remember when I was 21 years old, I was on Hollywood Blvd. I was at a check cashing place after work. I was going to cash my check and then walked in was Bobby Brown — New Edition Bobby Brown.
So growing up, he was somebody that I admired and looked up to and he was there coming to pick up some money as well.
I’m probably telling all his business but he was picking up a MoneyGram and we just hit it off and start talking, even exchanged information. He became a role model to me as a young writer at the time. After developing a relationship/friendship, he invited me to come out to the set of Nora’s Hair Salon to the set of North hair salon. After that he kept up with me, he would listen to my music let me know that I would be one of the greats which just felt good. I just appreciate that time that he took out with me.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It is free to think. It does not cost you anything. I apply that quote to my everyday life — don’t let your brain lock up on you, you gotta keep going. A lot of us, we put ourselves in compromising positions because we fail to think.
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 might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I have a few people who inspire me but I would say to who I would probably rock with the most and culturally will probably be Master P being that I was originally born in New Orleans and to see where he comes from. I would go visit my family just the pride that they have from down in New Orleans. So much stuff that he’s done for the city and so many different people around that area you know and when I first got my first rap name it was from my Godbrother that lived in New Orleans rest in peace Mario you know I just feel like meeting him and sitting down talking to him I will learn a lot.
And Quincy Jones
How can our readers follow you online?
You can follow me on Instagram at @SeanKiez