Street Life, Music, Keeping It Real and Faith
What makes a successful CHH artist? Hmm...Well if you take a moment and think about it. Songs like "Wont He Do It" "Find You" and "Cycles" are successful because they sound good, they bop but more so many people find truth in the lyrics. It's relatable. They don't shove the Bible down your throat but definitely leave you uplifted in your faith, your resolve and your life. Artist, Ayye Kev, from Washington does just that. Sharing with us his experiences, his music and his faith!
Fe: What’s up Kev?
Ayye Kev: Hey, what’s up
Fe: Tell us about yourself and your music.
Ayye Kev: Well, first off, my name is Aye Kev. Just want to say a quick positive message about Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Also, transparency, honesty in my music. Just a lot of relatable life experiences.
Fe: That's awesome. So we have been doing our research and we’ve noticed on your Instagram that you are working on something new. What can we look forward to?
Ayye Kev: Right now I am dropping a new video and single at the same time. The song is called “Thank You” so keep an eye out for that by the beginning of May. It’s going to be released on all digital platforms and the video will be released on Youtube and all other platforms as well.
Fe: Awesome. What do you love about the creative aspect? You have the single coming out obviously before it even gets there you have to come up with the lyrics, the beat, the strategy, and having the direction for the video. Do you enjoy the creative process?
Ayye Kev: I do. I most definitely do. Especially with the video. It’s a team effort. Shout out to my brother you know. We brought that process to life. My project “Better Late Than Never” is going to be released by the summer of 2021
Fe: You are a Christian Hip Hop artist but tell us which artists you study or look up to in some way.
Ayye Kev: My top 5 would be Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, T.I., and Nipsey Hustle as well.
Fe: What is one thing that you learned from one of them?
Ayye Kev: From Drake, it’s all about emotion and honesty and I think we all need that. With what we are all going through right now, honesty is the best key. What I learn from J. Cole is willingness. Kendrick is someone that always goes outside the box. Keeping it on the acoustic level but still wanting to be different. When it comes to TI, I would say entrepreneurship and Nipsey too. Talking about their music and their career. Give the world a little insight and I want to do that with my music as well.
Fe: That’s awesome. A lot of the skills just mentioned are things that are respectable Christian values as well. Being honest, transparent, and authentic. Those are some things that are a vital part of the Christian faith. I grew up in church and many of my peers stopped attending church because they felt they couldn’t talk about real-life issues, they can’t be authentic, they can’t be truthful without being judged or demonized. Hearing that you are being honest with your music is great. Not only that it is a key ingredient to keep people listening to your music because they will be able to relate.
Ayye Kev: Mhmm. Most definitely.
Fe: What efforts do you put in your music that everyone can relate to?
Ayye Kev: Give people a little insight into my life and also what God has in store for me. Right now for me, it’s all about the quality and not the quantity. I try to take at least one step at a time and not rush it because I want to put out the best music that I can. I can only do that if I take time with the process and put out the best of me that I can with the song. I want to mention it in every bar, in every lyric and beat.
Fe: What’s the independent music scene like out there in Washington?
Ayye Kev: It’s pretty silent. The problem though, for me, is marketing and for me now I'm starting to do some of my research so I have been taking a step back from writing and learning more about the business. Learn about what needs to be installed and manifest.
Fe: That’s awesome. You have to stay knowledgeable. Those that know about the business aspect of the music industry tend to go further with their careers. What's the best advice that you’ve received as an independent artist?
Ayye Kev: The best advice was any type of brand or entrepreneurship venture, try to show people to have value and credentials in the type of industry that you have. Show your creativity.
Fe: Solid advice. I listened to your song “Thank You” and you mentioned a little bit about street life. Tell us a little bit about that song.
Ayye Kev: The song “Thank You” is about God and going through my life experiences and being surrounded by the wrong people and being around the drug scene. I look at people that died and think that could have been me. The guy I was surrounded by selling drugs and stuff like that so I always thought that could have been me. He paid the price so I realized that there is a light and a much better way of living.
Fe: I love that you are touching on topics and scenarios that we see too often, more particularly with young black males. Often there is a longing to feel like they are a part of a family that understands them or they feel pressured to be in that street life environment deeming it as cool. They get into the street life and don’t know how to keep their life on track. I love that you are true to that and talk about it. It is very important and it's great that you discuss finding faith and hope, crediting that as what got you on track. Others will be able to relate to that, learn from your experiences, and one day also credit how faith in God can help you turn your life around.
Ayye Kev: Yeah, that's true!
Fe: Tell us about your song “Run Up the Score”.
Ayye Kev: That song and two songs that I sent you are going to be a part of my upcoming project “Better Late Than Never”. That song is about me counting up my blessings through all the trials and revelations. I quit my job at Home Depot for lack of workdays and to be honest I let my pride get to me. I had zero dollars and I let my pride get in the way of doing what I needed to do in life. I’m still trying to pursue ministry and thank God I had some help and was financially stable for a while. Shoutout to the homie J Loft that was the feature on "Run Up Da Score".
Fe: Talk to us about the production and what it was like to prepare that song “Thank You”.
Ayye Kev: Well, shout out to everyone that was a part of it. Shout out to Martin B, shout out to Nightflight Recording Studios fo allowing me to record, shout out to everyone that helped me with this production, and help bring everything to life. Thank God of course for being me and stay true to my story. Many scenes like money and drugs scene but it's also a celebration. It will all be amazing and you all should check it out and you will love it.
Fe: Sounds like you have a pretty great team.
Ayye Kev: Yeah
Fe: What message would you leave for anyone that comes across this interview?
Ayye Kev: My message would be that I did it on my own. I always keep it honest and for me and I didn't compromise anything for money or anything like that. I work hard to do what I got to do and you just have to keep it real.
Fe: That's a fact!
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