May 6, 2010
Kevo Desh Interview
Kevo Desh is a man who does just about everything: he’s a musician and the man behind the scenes, producing his own records and running a label. Oh, and working on a movie. Somewhere in all of that, he had the time to answer a few questions with us.
1. What is your role there at erb records?
My roles include but are not limited to: managing-partner, artist, producer, engineer, etc…
2. What advice would you give to artists who are thinking about going the indie route and perhaps starting their own label?
The same advice I preach to myself everyday in the mirror:
- Be prepared to be intricately involved in EVERY facet of your label.
- Pay close attention to web and mobile trends, and
- Benchmark what other independent labels are doing.
3. What is your approach to the musical style that backs up your raps? It sounds like you have some experience with jazz.
My approach is firmly rooted and grounded in “improvisation” aka “freestyle”. In session I create music in real time using Reasons, ProTools, my guitar, and my congas and bongos. So it’s a collage of digital and analog instrumentation. Then I generally go through rounds of editing when I delete the bars out that don’t fit.
When I work with other artists such as drummer Zach Allred, I do all of my improv work before hand and we build from a more organized approach. Jazz is improv at its finest, I believe.
4. Who are some of you biggest musical influences?
My musical influences are Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Andre Crouch. I credit them because I can trace specific memories in my early childhood that each of these artists made a memorable impact. I can truly say I lived my life to one or more of their songs.
5. Do you usually record with the same group of musicians? Is the Atlanta scene made up of a tight-knit group of artists?
Honestly, I’m alone in session 99% of the time. I’ve worked with Baron Saucy Live at CENIC when I released my first album because I needed a band, but that’s pretty much it. I must issue this disclaimer; I am more of an expressionist than musician, and technology has made me better at that.
6. What’s unique about the rap scene there in Atlanta?
Just that, it’s Atlanta. Atlanta has it’s home-grown talent, but its got people from so many other major cities that it’s a HOT bed of molten talent right now!
7. How much to you perform around Atlanta? Do you have a favorite place to play?
Truthfully I’ve only done two shows within the last year, and that’s because I HAD to put on my artist hat. Remember, I believe as a label owner you have to be prepared to be involved in every facet of your label. I am a producer by design, but I wear the artist hat to show that if I can produce me… then I can really produce someone with talent.
8. How would you characterize the overall message you usually try to convey in your lyrics?
As an artist, the overall message I try to convey is guided by LOVE. I hope that the end result of what I say will result in a fruitful act of LOVE. Now sometimes it comes across as tough LOVE, but LOVE is the guiding force.
9. Do you think the indie scene within hip hop is having an influence on the material being produced and released by the major labels?
Wow! Tough question. Because hip hop at one point was only and all indie, and it obviously influenced material being produced by major labels during that stage of its early development. So then I must say that yes, there must be a remnant of that indie gene/DNA in hip hop still carrying out that function however small it may be.
10. We hear you are about to write the score for an indie film. Do you plan on using it as a vehicle to get some of your existing music out there, or do you think the creative process will lead you to write all new material?
All new music, I’m so happy to say! I actually wrote the novel, converted the screenplay and I’m producing and directing the film. So the icing on the top is I get to produce the score and soundtrack. That’s the other really cool thing about Atlanta, it’s like the new Hollywood, without the “Hollywoodness”.
11. Where can people go for more information about what you’ll be doing next?
You can find me on Twitter at @kevodesh, the erb records website, and coming soon www.kevodesh.com.
Alright, thanks for joining us Kevo! Make sure you keep us updated on that movie, and we’ll be sure to check it out.
Posted by A. Sogal at 9:08 am