&A! We appreciate and love your true authenticity to the independent Hip Hop culture! Please tell us how many years have you been making music? Most importantly, how did you come up with your artist name?
Music has always been a part of my life, but I officially started producing and writing when I was 13. Definitely not a teenager anymore, so it’s been a looong while lol. As far as my name goes, it was easy. My parents did it for me. KC Carter is my real name.
What separates you from all the other up and coming MC’s coming out of the ATL?
One thing that separates me is being born and raised in Chicago. I was exposed to a wide variety of music and culture that helped shape who I am. What sets me apart from other artists is my versatility and drive. I produce and write all of my own music and I have the ability to adapt both my writing and delivery based upon what the production is like.
You are extremely original and really put out a modern sound and style!!! Please tell us how you describe your sound?
I always seem to have trouble when asked to describe my sound. I’m very layered and have so many influences that it’s hard to put it in a box. Because my musical palate is wide, I will say that each project I try to stay within a certain sonic theme to make it more cohesive. There are times when I will bring elements of other genres into my production as I did with this one. For this particular project, I wanted the production to be bold, gritty and in your face because the project as a whole is meant to be motivational. I wanted people to feel hype and empowered when they listen to it. I guess I would describe the sound of this project as Modern Hip Hop with Pop/EDM elements
How are you coping with this whole Covid 19 situation? Has it delayed any new music production by any chance?
The Covid situation has been tough, but it has allowed me to step out on faith and I must say that I’ve been blessed. My partnership with Howling Music on “The Come Up” has been a big part of propelling my brand to the next level. They came at the right time! We started working together towards the end of 2019 and the team has been great. I’ve spent the last few years really focusing on my music and brand so I’m very grateful for each partnership. It shows me that they believe in me and the music. Music is started to become a big portion of my income which has been a big accomplishment. For the past 3 years I’ve been balancing working 50-60 hrs a week at a day job and my music business. I’ve never expected anything to be handed to me so I treat my career just like a job. If I can get up and work for someone else 8-10 hrs a day, then I better put that same amount of effort into my actual passion. This situation has actually propelled and fast tracked everything that I’ve been doing. It has allowed me to focus 100% of my time on music. I’ve created more music over the past few months than I have all of last year.
Tell us about your Hip Hop and/or music influences?
I’m influenced by all types of music. Gospel, Soul, 90’s Hip Hop/R&B, Jazz. I will say growing up in the Chi some of my biggest influences were Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Twister, Common. Listened to a lot of Jay Z, Musiq Soulchild, Lauryn Hill. Gospel artists like Yolanda Adams, Cece Winans, Kirk Franklin, Clark Sisters
Please breakdown the creative process of your new album “The Come Up”. Tell us a little about the album cover!
The creative process was pretty much me sitting in my studio and going through sounds. All it takes is for me to find a certain sound that sort of triggers something in me. From there I’ll build a melody and start to layer things on top. Most of the time I create a 8-16 bar loop with a melody and drums while continuing to build on it. I’ll keep that loop going and start coming up with flow patterns that I like and once I find one, I start writing the actual words. From there I build out the arrangement and by that time at least half the song is already written, if not finished. I pretty much start every song that way lol. We wanted the album cover to be sort of bold and gritty. So I really like the black and dark red. We took a recent press photo and incorporated it into that theme and there you have it.
Your honest opinion, out of all the songs on the project, which is the one song you feel stands out the most!?
If you would have asked me this a few months into the project, I would have said Mamba Mentality (which still deserves an honorable mention and seems to be one of the fan favorites). However, to me I would say “Rise Up”. The funny thing is, the Album was done and this song wasn’t even made yet. Everything was wrapped up and I was sitting in my studio messing around one day. I started a track like I do any other day and I just caught a vibe and it turned into this crazy anthem. When I started writing and putting the final touches on the production, I knew it had to go on the project as the last song. I sent the song to Howling Music and everyone was onboard with adding it as the final piece. It fit perfectly with the theme and was sort of this great closing.
Rappers nowadays think by throwing up a few videos up on social media and pushing quick projects, they can blow up overnight! Give us your view on how over saturated the market is right now with so many MC’s/Producers but not too many quality music.
I understand it. Everyone wants to be famous and popular. It seems as though fans nowadays will listen to a project and it’ll be old news the next day. In my opinion, quality music takes time and will stand the test of it. There are some artists that will take 2-3 years to put out a project and they have that luxury because they’ve built a loyal following, but what we can’t forget is that they’ve built that following by releasing quality music. There are a select few artists that are in a different stratosphere and can probably go even longer than 3 years, but when the project finally drops you can bet the fans will still listen. The music has the quality and substance that sticks to your ribs. I can’t knock the kids for wanting to get on fast, but I’ve learned to just take my time and focus on what it is that I’m really trying to convey to my audience.
We have to ask, with all this social discourse and revolt, protesting and rioting, exposed police brutality toward blacks and BLM, how do you guys feel about this? We would love your perspective on the climate we are living in right now?
As a black man I am angry, hurt, and confused. But I am also empowered because when I was young I was taught my life has value and that GOD made me in his image. I know that I am royalty. Anyone who knows me, knows how down to earth and chill I am. To some people it doesn’t matter how educated, responsible, talented, or nice I am. I’m still seen as a threat and it has more to do with them than me. I don’t live my life in fear and I never will. Before anything, I am a child of GOD and a black man. It’s my responsibility to educate myself on how to fight systemic racism and oppression so that I can pass on that information to the people I come in contact with on a daily basis. It’s my responsibility to speak up when I see something wrong and to have zero tolerance toward racism or bigotry of any kind. Charity starts at home, so I believe change begins within ourselves and the communities we live in. As an artist my art reflects my experiences and I do personally believe music has a way of bringing us together. Whenever I write, I write with sincerity. That being said, I know that eventually I’ll be able to channel my feelings into something that’ll help me deal with the complex emotions I’ve been feeling over the past few months.
If it came down to 1 ALBUM only, what underground/independent Hip Hop album would you guys consider THE BEST OF ALL TIME!!!???……One 1 album you can choose.
I’m biased, but before Lupe signed to a Major I used to play Fahrenheit 1/15 Part 2: Revenge Of The Nerds almost everyday.
Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.