INTERVIEW with KAZIKV – an artist who values expression and authenticity

KAZIKV is 28 year old artist from Florida who grew up obsessed with Eazy-E and Eminem, and their influences are evident in his music. Although he started recording music at the age of 9, he only started taking it seriously as an adult. He collaborates with other producers, but handles all of his songwriting and vocals himself. For KAZIKV, music is an art form that is all about expression. He creates music according to how he likes it to sound, without following current trends, because it feels fake to him. His music is his expression, and it’s genuine. He wants people to listen to his music and take whatever they want from it. KAZIKV is an artist who values expression and authenticity over following trends or trying to please others. He creates music that comes naturally to him and hopes that people will enjoy it and take whatever message they want from it.

  1. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started in the music business, and when you decided to take it seriously?

KAZIKV: Music in general I was about 9, that’s when I started recording music. Most of my life I never took it seriously, it was more of a way to express myself, my outlet. I only started taking it more serious as an adult.

  1. Do you handle both the songwriting and beats on your songs or do you collaborate with other producers and writers?

KAZIKV: I collaborate. I handle all my songwriting, and vocals.

  1. Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember, and who are you listening to right now?

KAZIKV: Eazy- E and Eminem. I grew up obsessed. I looked up to Eazy- E heavily as a kid. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Dolph.

  1. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners?

KAZIKV: I think listeners should take whatever they want from my music, I create it for other people to listen to, but whatever the message is in the song, hopefully that’s what resonates.

  1. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style?

KAZIKV: Honestly I can’t say I ever emulated anyone musically. I looked up to Eazy -E and grew up on a lot of East Coast rap but always created my music according to how I liked it to sound.

  1. What is your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?

KAZIKV: It’s always been about expression for me, music is art. I’m taking what’s inside my mind and turning it into a piece of art for the world to hear.

  1. Do you write a song with current musical trends, formulas or listener satisfaction in mind, or do you simply focus on your own personal vision and trust that people will empathize and vibe with your sound?

KAZIKV: I just write how I want to write. It’s probably to my detriment that I don’t follow current trends, but that just feels so fake to me. My music is my expression so it’s genuine. Some people will vibe with me, some won’t.

  1. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a beat or a narrative in your head?

KAZIKV: Sometimes I do just get ideas in my head, they come easily. But often times I hear a beat, and it just flows for me. It’s like one of my senses, it comes natural.

  1. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to endure in your life or music career so far, and how did you overcome that event?

KAZIKV: That’s tough, most of my life has been either really hard, or moderately difficult at most times. I overcome the hard times through my perspective. Life isn’t perfect, I embrace hard times and things that will challenge me, these things teach me, and shape me into the man I am. I feel most people are so used to just being victims they miss the opportunity to do the same. I always take circumstances no matter how bad, and try to steer them in my favor. There’s always a silver lining, you just have to find it.

  1. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?

KAZIKV: Every day that I take another step forward and become a better version of myself is a successful point in my life.

  1. Putting aside any accolades or criticisms that fans, the industry, or the media may afford your persona or music, is there anything about you or your music, you think people may overlook, underestimate or misunderstand at all?

KAZIKV: I think people misunderstand a lot about me, but it’s not really for me to explain or persuade others to think differently. People will think what they want to think regardless, let them.

  1. Do you think is it important for fans of your music to understand the real story and message driving each of your songs, or do you feel everyone should be free to interpret your songs in their own personal way?

KAZIKV: There’s always a message behind the music, but that’s fine if people interpret the music in their own way, I make the music for people to listen to, and take what they want from it.

  1. With social media having a heavy impact on our lives and the music business in general, how do you handle criticism, haters and/or naysayers in general? Is it something you pay attention to, or do you simply ignore and move on regardless?

KAZIKV: I just ignore it. You can’t control what people think and say, you could be perfect, and someone would still hate you. Besides, hate always comes from beneath you anyways.

  1. If you had a choice to collaborate with any acclaimed international artist or producer right now, who would you choose, and why?

KAZIKV: If he was still alive I’d say Young Dolph. My youngest son actually got me into Dolph, he’s a huge fan. I think Dolph was a talented artist who made good music. RIP Flippa.

  1. What’s the most exciting part of being an independent music artist for you, and which is the part you like least?

KAZIKV: The most exciting part is the ability to be creative and expressive is never ending. I can’t say there’s a part I don’t like.

  1. Could you tell us something about your latest project(s), and what the highlights are to watch out for?

KAZIKV: I have too many projects, that’s my problem. I can’t sit and focus on one thing, I’m constantly evolving as an artist without finishing full projects. I have a lot of songs almost done though.

  1. Creative work in studio environment, or interaction with a live audience? Which of these two options excite you most, and why?

KAZIKV: Both for different reasons, it’s really depends on the vibe. Sometimes sitting in the studio working on music is the vibe. But sometimes so is a show, the energy is different.

  1. Do you have a favorite motto, phrase or piece of advice, you try to live or inspire yourself by?

KAZIKV: “By any means”. I have it tatted on my arm. It reminds me where I started and how far I’ve come. It’s about survival for me, I treat everything like survival. If I want it I’ll go get it by any means.

  1. How essential do you think video is in relation to your music? Do you have a favorite visual you could suggest fans see, to get a better understanding of your persona and craft?

KAZIKV: I think it depends. Video is important to me sometimes because music is art, sometimes video helps bring the art to life better, and create a certain vibe, or emotion.

  1. What do you find most rewarding about what you do as an artist? And do you have a specific vision or goal set in your mind that you would like to achieve in the near future?

KAZIKV: The most rewarding thing is seeing my vision come to life. When you make music out of expression taking what’s inside and putting it out into the real world, and you see it become reality, it’s a different feeling.


Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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