IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
KAVE: I’m from Texas. I live about 125-150 miles south of Houston in the ever-growing city of Victoria. It’s known as “The Crossroads” because the town is about two to two-and-a-half hours from a lot of the bigger, marquee cities of Texas (Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi).
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
KAVE: I’ve grown up around music since I was quite young, with a vast listening history that includes the likes of George Strait, Selena, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, N’SYNC, Shaggy, and SPM – just to name a few – along with the discovery of Music Television & BET that soon followed. Some of my family members have spent years of their lives playing drums as either a part of school bands or amongst their peers in their own free-formed bands and I followed their footsteps in that regard. It started with Percussion in middle school, which is also where I began to try my skills as both a creative writer and freestyle rapper. My infatuation with the arts allowed me to use other forms of expression through music. Such as dance, which I did much of throughout high school and into college. It wasn’t until college that I discovered my true passion, and music became serious enough for me to attempt pursuing it as a career. In high school, a lot of what I did felt more like a hobby than anything.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
KAVE: A lot of the early songs I released as a new artist were very abstract; all of my ideas and free flowing thoughts were exposed on each track. Most of my lyrics had no centralized theme around them, aside from the fact I intended for them to be as off the wall as possible at times. They were just bars on top of bars, not many of the tracks I released had hooks, only small breaks in the instrumental from time to time. As I’ve learned and grown in my craft over the years, I’ve been able to create verses containing a plethora of subject matter – whether it be love and happiness, struggle and pain or something containing a deeper meaning. My favorites are still and will probably always be the very abstract projects, those full of bravado and braggadocios bars, with a either a short hook or no hook at all – because that’s where I started and also where I excel.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
KAVE: My favorite song to perform is either “Don’t Play” (released 2013) or “Still Bangin'” (released 2012). The first one is one of those abstract tracks with a short hook, full of lyrics, and it was produced by my brother A08. It was also the first song I shot a music video for. The latter is another track produced by A08, and features verses from myself and my younger brother Bank$. It’s a fun track with references in the hook to what most would do at a party or club (smoking, drinking, not caring about the opinions of others). “Bangin” is also a term a group of friends and I used to describe getting faded. The verses are, again, quite abstract on the spectrum, but they are both very in-your-face and fit well together on the track. With a hook like that, who at a party/club/show wouldn’t relate?!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
KAVE: I would say the fact that there are so many fakers and scams that are able to make their ways to an artist is startling. A pleasant surprise I’ve encountered is the willingness to help and the professionalism from those who have been interested in working with artists today.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
KAVE: Musical influences, I’ve got plenty to list. To sum it up, people that have the talent to create an entire album or body of work on their own vocals, production, artwork. I look up to artists like Kanye West, Tyler the Creator, Big K.R.I.T. and Pharrell Williams. Also a big fan of the late 90’s/early 2000’s southern artists, Ludacris, OutKast and UGK. My brother Bank$ is also a big influence in my music, because as we record together I always strive to push my lyrics to be their strongest. I know he is going to bring the heat and I’ve got to be able to maintain that high level of lyricism in order to make the song an electrifying one.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
KAVE: One word I’ve used to describe my music is unorthodox. I don’t always use a structured rhyme pattern and not every song I release uses the traditional hook-verse-hook-verse-hook (with occasional/optional bridge) format. I try to stray from what most would consider “the norm” in today’s industrialized music, while staying true to myself and my craft. Everyone hears each beat or instrumental differently, but I feel my rich musical/percussion background gives me an advantage that other minds I’ve come across don’t have access to.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
KAVE: Something that separates myself from other artists is my versatility. In the same studio session I can give people a verse about the struggle to make it every day with what you’ve got, a verse about a girl and my feelings (or lack thereof) for her intimately and even a track that’s full of swagger and aggression. I prefer not to class myself with one genre, because I can create a verse for multiple different genres, from Pop, to Hip Hop/Rap, to Trap and EDM/Party. A majority of projects I’ve released, however, would fall into the Rap or Hip Hop realm.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
KAVE: One thing I’d like to see change, but probably won’t in the near future, is the appreciation of complex/creative lyricism among the listening population. I’m not much a fan of what I hear on the radio nowadays because most of the music sounds like last month’s “big hit” and most of them contain minimal substance or subject matter in my opinion.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
KAVE: I’m getting ready to release three new projects within the next six months or so. Two are collaboration mixtapes with other local Victoria artists. One will be titled, twoK:14 EP, which will feature 10 (or more) tracks from myself and good friend, Krayson. We go by the collective name “twoK” (as in 2K). Most of the songs featured will be radio ready – more of the norm/what people expect from artists in the industry today. The second collaboration tape will come from myself and another good friend of mine, Pay$tyle T & will be titled, WORKING CLASS. It’s a movement I started a few months ago as someone that still works for a living, while also pursuing my passion during the after-hours. The third (and possibly fourth) projects will both be solo efforts. The first will be, I Am H.I.M. Volume 2 – Under Wraps, which will be my second independent mixtape. It’s about two years in the making and will feature plenty of freestyles and loose verses I placed on numerous, familiar instrumentals. The last project (which may not release until 2016) will be my first album effort, and at this point remains untitled, but it’s never too early to start the process!
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
KAVE: My biggest career goal is to make the music that fans will appreciate, because I never want to sacrifice my art for money, big lights or fame. Of course every artist wants to be successful, but aside from that, I’d like to be an impact. I want to make a difference in each community I reach and I want my voice to help give me that chance. The shelf life of the average unsigned artist isn’t long and most don’t make it to ten years making art they love. In ten years I’d love to still be making music, but I’d prefer doing so from a much more comfortable position. I dislike having to worry about bills being paid on time and having to work for someone other than myself. I’d also like to become more involved in fashion and production, to help broaden my horizons and expand my creativity further.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
KAVE: I’m currently without a website, but there are a few free music websites where fans, new and old, can check out my work:
I’m also on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook:
Facebook: Ka-Ve (www.facebook.com/IamKaVe)
I post and share as frequently as I can, and new followers/listeners/fans are always welcome. Some take longer to open their eyes than others, but they shall not be judged wrongly for that!
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