Since its inception, music has progressed to the point where it frames youth culture to a T. The power of media, music, and pop culture has never been so viral with the advent of bandwidth-powered internet 2.0. Social Media’s reach continues to slice through the digital landscape market attacking an ever-increasing consumer base that allows us to explore rare music and find artists which we might not otherwise. There’s one artist that you might not otherwise find so randomly based off how real he is but rest assured, he represents the GTA with a special grit.
Kysean is a force of an artist that represents the current urban voice of this generation. Through his melodic vocal range and often very gritty lyrics, he is a cultural tornado who through his music explores both individual and community identities. As a young man growing up in the city, Kysean’s outspoken demeanour and unapologetic attitude shows plentifully on his latest EP Truth Be Told featuring Reeko Rieffe. The EP shows a mature, polished grip on hit-making whilst drawing inspiration that is Toronto’s youth culture. During these quarantine times, Kysean took the time out to speak to RESPECT about his latest EP and much more.
RESPECT: Where are you from?
Kysean: My family is spread all over the GTA, as a Kid I have memories of living in Markham/Richmond Hill but having to move due to unfortunate circumstances. My family moved around and I ended up in Brampton, after being in Brampton for sometime I ended up staying Downtown Toronto and now I am somewhere else in the GTA.
RESPECT: Growing up how did music play a part in your life?
Kysean: Music played a huge part in my life. I was always getting into trouble by retaliating to things that didn’t necessarily need my attention. Since I was always getting into trouble, people didn’t want to hear me express myself / explain my side of the story. Since I was always getting shut down I decided to write down my thoughts and I naturally starting writing poetry which later turned into me writing to a beat / melody. I started to research more music (genres) and ended up constantly listening to artists I could relate to, once that happened I started to notice myself staying out of a good amount of trouble. I also was put into extra curricular activities such as Basketball, Soccer & Martial Arts.
RESPECT: What are some of your biggest musical influences? and why?
Kysean: My biggest musical influences are artists such as, Quincy Jones, Jay Z, 6lack, 50 Cent, Russ, Drake, Brent Faiyaz, Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, Ja Rule, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Nipsey Hussle, Post Malone, Sy Ari Da Kid, Ne-Yo & Nelly. There are many more I could mention because I listen to a lot of music, but all these artists have made music that I am connected to or can relate to. I also enjoy their music and choice of production as well, production plays a big part when it comes down to what kind of vibe/energy and message you are trying to get across. I am grateful for all of these artists because from watching them and listening to their music and interviews I have been able to learn a lot about music and the music business, or just good business moves in general, like good investments.
RESPECT: What would be your dream collab?
Kysean: My dream collaboration would be with any of the artists that have influenced me which I mentioned earlier. They all played a part in how I make my music and view certain things within the music industry. I would be happy to work with any of the names listed above.
RESPECT: First Album you ever purchased as a kid?
Kysean: The first album I ever purchased as a kid was Reasonable Doubt by Jay Z.
RESPECT: When did you make your first song ever and what was it called?
Kysean: The first song I ever made was in grade 3 and I have no recollection of what it was called but I know it was no where near good haha.
RESPECT: Your latest EP Truth Be Told, what can fans expect from it? features and sound wise?
Kysean: My new EP is called Truth Be Told. Fans can expect a new Trap sound and a solid RnB vibe to end off the project. Me and the team really tried to create a very enjoyable listening experience with each song, also trying to make it a very smooth listen. I would like to thank, Reeko Rieffe (another up and coming artist from Toronto), UrbanSound (My main producer from Detroit) Brandon Jay (another producer from Toronto) and LaGuil (the audio engineer and producer from Ottawa) for playing their part on this project.
RESPECT: If I was to check your playlist right now, what would I find?
Kysean: My playlist right now contains music from artists such as, 6lack, Jorja Smith, Brent Faiyaz, Drake, Jay Z, K. Forest, Roy Woods, Ace Hood, Miraa May, Lil Uzi, Nav, Anders, Key Glock, Post Malone, Sy Ari Da Kid, Kendrick Lamar, SchoolBoy Q, Eryn Martin, Emi, Notifi, Odie, Jack Harlow, Jahkoy, Luu Breeze, Jay Glavany, Devontee, Tobi, Tory Lanez, Russ, They and 50 Cent. I know these are a lot of names but, I really listen and enjoy all of their music consistently. There is always a song from one of these artists that make any playlist curated by me.
RESPECT: If life’s a novel and you’re trying to write it, you would name it?
Kysean: A novel about my life would be titled, “Veiled.”
RESPECT: 5 goals in 2020?
Kysean: My five goals in 2020 are,
1). Release more music on a consistent basis, along with other content like vlogs so my supporters feel more connected.
2). Gain a better understanding of my craft and get better at it, this involves production, engineering and delivering vocals/recording. As long as I get better musically everyday I’m reaching my goal.
3). Make a certain amount of money from my craft.
4). Get more involved in my community and organize events that shine a positive light on Toronto.
5). Gain a bigger fan base.
For more music from Kysean, follow his insta.
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