Born in 1978 in Long Beach CA, Unified Giants has become the leading Hip-Hop artist of the generation that emerged in the wake of the profound influence of the living legend Big Snoop Dogg and the Dogg Pound. Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON studied Hip-Hop music production with local legend DJ Pro in the rustic recording studio that was built in the tool shed owned by DJ Pro’s father in the early 1990s. There, he absorbed the acute ability to record entire song without pause do to the equipment’s lack of track recording capabilities, subsequently refining his own aggressive delivery that emerged through his focus on the expression more so than the words that are being said, through the necessity for memorization.
Unified Giants’ work, including his trademark bass heavy production, can be found on a myriad of mixtapes and album features over the years that are both in the United States and abroad, and has been heard on numerous websites worldwide. He currently lives and works in North Long beach California within the United States of America. Here he gives us an exclusive look into his past, current and future moves. Including the release of his latest album, RISE.
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: I have been doing music for 20 years since I was 15 years old and I was actually recording songs at that time… but the thing that got me started was the fact that i seen a video shoot after a little league football practice and my friend approached the artist manager about how we could get into music and she was like give me your demo tape and we will see… and after that I never stopped recording
2. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: My musical influence at the time was a hip-hop group by the name of “Kriss Kross” which were to kids that had a hit record out and I always felt like if those two can do it then I can too.
3. Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: right now I am listening to that new Nipsey Hussle mixtape titled CRENSHAW and Meek Mills’ new Mixtape “Dreamchasers3” which are quite inspiring as far as content and styles and those 2 guys are some of the people that I would like to collaborate with as I feel like I can get them on my level subject wise.
4. Tell us something about how the Unified Giants project came about.
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: I happened to be watching a documentary about the rock band the “Rolling Stones” and then it came to mind that KEI-SHON-SON is like “Mick Jagger” and Unified Giants is like the Rolling Stones and I am simply the lead vocalist for the moment.
5. Will you still be releasing solo material under the Kei-Shon-Son name? Or will you be concentrating on producing other artists and your own stuff under the Unified Giants umbrella.
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: I doubt that I will, as I believe in what the Unified Giants brand stands for, yet KEI-SHON-SON is officially my production name …so it is not a lost cause.
6. Tell us about the creation, recording and production of your latest release, ‘RISE’?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: I created the RISE album in about 2 months … and my goal was to showcase the rise of Unified Giants as a brand and get people with the style of music that they can always come to expect… as far as recording… I laid all the vocals in my own garage with simply a mic and a laptop…. Just with my belief in our rise to power
7. Although you are obviously competent in all, what do you consider yourself as most? A lyricist, rapper or beat maker?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: I am a Rapper first and foremost… where my production abilities came about based on my need for beats and I couldn’t afford to pay producers… and in some cases that is still true … yet what you hear now is simply based on 1,000’s of hours of practice
8. You have a fairly large catalog, but on which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: I have been on a good run in regards to this last project but my favorite is the title “Loves Gone” as it is a very accurate story line and I hit a strong emotional presence and during the recording process I hit both verses on one take, after taking only an hour to write the whole thing so I was in my zone on that one.
9. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist? And how did you how did you get the name, “Kei-Shon-Son”?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: my main ingredient is my energy on the songs …its like I basically say it like I mean it, and relay how I feet to the listener in every single song that I do… as far as the name KEI-SHON-SON… it was my first rap name ever, going on 20 years with the same name and its origins began with me being a gospel rapper as well, and it is short for Keishon (which is my first name) the SON of GOD…
10. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: at this point I feel like its more about a habit of creating music… where I have actual job outside of music that I have had for the past 13 years… but I feel that I get better with age and my perspective about my own product make the timing right to go to the next level at this age in my career
11. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: the independent part is not too exciting for me as I have to focus on many different areas aside from the creative and performance part and it also hinders my budgeting activity … where I spend one day recording and 29 days out of the month marketing and promoting the music
12. Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: the beat always come first and the song comes from the beat …its like I am an interpreter and the beat is telling me who it is and who it wants to be and then I translate that into words so that the listener can understand
13. How involved are you in any of the recording, producing, mastering and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: I have learned to do everything in regards to all music production from mixing to mastering even registration of the music to cut cost down but I will always outsource things to a professional mainly on the PR side to maintain the excellent quality of our brand that we are known for.
14. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: the best advice I have gotten was to always say it like mean it when recording songs, so that the listener can feel it… and the advice that I should have followed was to perfect your follow-through ….to always see a project to completion before moving on.
15. At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit the your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: Live Gigs will change everything …as it is a side of me that people rarely get to see and it so happens to be one of my strong points so I am excited to add that aspect to how we share this music and build strong foundation for the final stretch.
16. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: it is great for me because I make sure that reach out to other countries and I also have SEO experience to separate me from the “copy-and-paste” artist who don’t really know what they are doing.
17. Where are you hoping to achieve with the Unified Giants umbrella, that you feel have not yet achieved under the Kei-Shon-Son brand?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: Unified Giants represents many and KEI-SHON-SON represents one so even when I retire from recording in a few short years … I can bring in another young headliner to share his story under a brand they have been accustomed to know and love.
18. Which song on “RISE’ best describes the sound and style you ultimately prefer and why?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: the song that best describes the style is the song title “Till They Fall” which showcases more of a global sound that transcends language barriers which is the basis of the whole album, which is a RISE to a different level and sound of Hip-Hop.
19. What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist and performer, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: the barrier that has been most difficult is to make a living while doing music… where I try to finance all my endeavors musically and still keep my bills paid and in the stages before it actually takes off where the music its self can cover both aspects …there is a great sacrifice in either area or maybe both… depending on a persons determination to advance or maintain.
20. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: I am not willing to compromise who I am or my public or brand to make sure that they always remain the same thing and stay consistent… because one wrong move can be difficult live down and can also end a career.
21. Can you tell us about any new projects or ideas you will be working on in the near future?
Unified Giants aka KEI-SHON-SON: i usually always start a new project but this time i think i will stick with this one for about a year and perfect my follow through… to see this one to completion.
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