Because of the countless music outlets located on the web, discovering new music from young artists that are experimenting with their own musical talent and style is almost effortless. However, is it that easy for the artist on the other end to break through the music industry barrier? The fast pace demand of our society for the next best thing can take a toll on artists trying to understand both who they are in the music industry and how they want to portray it.
The young rapper BKnitts from South Milwaukee, WI gives us a little insight into this dilemma and also his own musician characteristics.
1. As an up-and-coming artist, what are some challenges you face in the music industry?
The biggest challenge I face is grabbing the attention of people that don’t know me personally. I spend a lot of time on every song/video I make trying to think of ways to capture a new audience. A lot of this goes hand in hand with finding the right sound, rapping about relatable topics, bringing versatility to the songs, etc.
2. Your style was described as “intelligently hard,” could you explain what this style essentially is?
“Intelligently hard” means that I bring about a conscious demeanor in my songs, while at the same time still maintaining emotion in my voice. I want people to feel connected, and at the same time I want them to be impressed with my cadences and passion on the microphone. It’s easy to rap about causing harm to people and sound aggressive. It’s an art to rap about every day, real life situations and remain passionate.
3. Your latest release #SummerSessions includes remixes of MIA’s “Paper Planes,” and Yellow Ostrich’s “Whale,” what do you look for in a song that inspires you to make a remix of it?
Songs like that are either shown to me by my indie band loving friends, or I hear them randomly on Pandora/YouTube. If the beat of the song is catchy, and thoughts immediately come to my head when hearing it for the first time, I feel obligated to remake it. Other songs like “Paper Planes” are just fun to rap over. The beat is catchy. The hook is catchy. Can’t go wrong there.
4. Do you freestyle? If so, where does your inspiration derive from?
To quote the almighty Soulja Boi, “I don’t freestyle, cuz my style ain’t free.” No, for real though. I’ve attempted public freestyle maybe twice (to no avail) as well as recorded freestyle maybe twice (also to no avail). Most of my writing process is just writing down whatever I rap while the beat is playing, but doing any sort of consistent freestyle is out of my mental league, unfortunately. People are always like “Oh, you rap? Freestyle right now!” - They don’t get me.
5. You often incorporate normal conversation in your songs, is this a tactic used to connect to your audience?
Saying things like “My sister thinks I’m trippin, damn” or “My mom asked me if I have ever contemplated”, to me, bring the songs to ground. I want people to know that I’m not making things up when I rap (the majority of the time). I enjoy talking about my life, even if the topics are sensitive. I make real music because I want real people to connect to me. If you like party music, you’ll like about half of my songs, but I still talk about real life in the majority of my songs.
6. What is a song of yours that you are most proud of?
I’m proud of most of my songs. The one song that sticks out to me when I think about my work as a whole is “Beach House Flow”, which is the introductory track to the #SummerSessions mixtape. I wrote it the day before I released the mixtape, because I still needed an intro track for the tape. I sat down, put a beat on, and just rapped about my thoughts. The story of the song flows well, and I am very content with how it showcases my abilities and style.
7. Where do you see yourself going from here with your music career?
The next phases of my “career” include me getting on some stages to show the world who I am and what I can do, as well as working on an actual album for purchase so I can start feeding money back into the music, to maintain a constant growth rate.
8. If there was one rap artist that you could share a stage with, who would it be?
Tough question. I’m inspired by Macklemore, but I could never touch the same stage as him. That would end my career [haha]. There is a local artist coming out of Chicago named Chance The Rapper, who I would love to work with on a song, as well as get on a stage with. It’s nice to have dreams like these. It’s something to shoot for.
Want to know what BKnitt’s #SummerSessions or his other songs sound like? Check out the video below.