RESPECT. Interview: Kari Faux Talks Musical Influences, Little Rock & ‘Lost En Los Angeles’

Kari Faux

Photo by: Ibra Ake

It’s easy to say that Kari Faux is putting Little Rock, AR on the map. Ironically, it’s only the by-product of her love for music. Her love for music has taken her many places and brought her right back to home. Her love for music moved her to L.A. to record and work directly under Donald Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino) and his management team. Hell, her love for music most recently brought us her debut album, Lost En Los Angeles.

Simply put: the album is truly a breath of fresh air. Kari does an amazing job staying true to herself without following the sound of the mainstream. She’s the “supplier — giving you the vibes that you desire.” She’s also raw, unfiltered, and unapologetic. Amazingly, she embodies all of this while maintaining that riding music Los Angeles is known for.

Unlike other “artists” that piggy-back the style of their favorite rappers, she allows her influences to flow through her own production and lyrics, letting them to live through her.

Thankfully, I was able to catch up with her by phone, where we discussed her musical influences, and also what happened in her life for her to begin to take music seriously. Keep in mind, this is only the first of a three-part interview.

“Turn this shit on, Head bobs automatic/
Thought you heard this before, ’cause it feels like a classic.”

RESPECT.: First thing’s first, what/who are some of your musical influences – like, what did you grow up listening to – aside from the classical or gospel music your parents played when you were younger?

I definitely listened to UGK, 8ball & MJG, Outkast. I definitely listened to all of that because that’s what was played around me from my brother or my cousins.

But as far as what I was listening to, it was pretty much everything on the radio, because I was a kid and always in the car all of the time.

Basically any pop song that was on the radio, I probably was fucking with it, and I probably liked it.

RESPECT.: Does Little Rock have its own music scene? Like, select artists that frequently get radio airplay?

Not necessarily on the radio, but there are people that are out working trying to build their Internet presence and stuff. Because now, a lot of people are understanding that the internet is your friend if you let it be your friend and use it right.

There are other artists that are definitely working.

RESPECT.: So I see you went to the Art Institute in Atlanta but left after 2 quarters, because “the school is a scam.” When you got back to Little Rock, you began DJ-ing. Now was DJ-ing something you’ve always done on the side?

No, No, No. I suck at DJ-ing. I’m so terrible. Like, I really need to practice. But, I was just DJ-ing for my friends’ rap group.

RESPECT.: … the Weekend Warriors?

Yeah, yeah, so I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll just be your DJ. I don’t want to rap anymore.’ Cause I was making music before I went to college, but when I got to college I was like, ‘Making music is stupid – well, rapping is stupid.’ And I didn’t want to do it because I felt like I would never make it.

And then I moved back home, started DJ-ing – or whatever you want to call it – I finally just decided to make music again.

RESPECT.: Now what was it after you said, “I thought it was stupid,” was it when you got the IDGAF attitude that it started clicking?

It was more like my co-producer, Black Party. He came over and played a beat and then I was like, ‘Yo! This beat is so fire. Like, I would rap again if I did this beat.’

Then I had made this song that turned out to be really tight. And then everybody was like ‘This song is really tight.” Malik (Black Party) was like, “you should just do it. This is something that you’ve always done, it’s not like you’re just picking it up just because – it’s something you’ve [always] had an interest in. You might as well do it.” So I did it.

Stay tuned for Part 2 & 3 of our interview with Kari Faux!

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