Kawzee [Prolific Profile]
Toronto, ON – Our latest Prolific Profile feature is up and coming artist Kawzee, who has also been a long-time supporter and member of the HipHopCanada Community. He is currently preparing for the September 20th release of his album Finally. Click the jump to check Kawzee’s profile and to hear the first 2 leaks songs off his album – “What Happened” and “I Promise” featuring Emerson Brooks.
HipHopCanada: How do you define hip-hop, and where do you feel you fit into that definition?
Kawzee: Hip-hop is the greatest genre of music to ever come about! There are so many sounds, so many concepts, so many variables to experiment with that make it the most malleable style of music to ever exists. There really are no boundaries and that’s what make it so robust. And this is just the music we’re talking about… lifestyle is a whole other monster! I could go on and on, but I’ll stop at that. I’m not sure where I fit in. It’s always been an issue for me. I grew up listening to hip-hop… Lord Finesse, Big L, Maestro, Native Tongues etc. but still listen to Jay-Z, Jeezy, Drake etc. I rap to express myself and love the street beats, but I wouldn’t consider myself a street rapper or a backpacker. I just enjoy making music and hope that one day I’ll fit in somewhere.
HipHopCanada: What drives you to stay in a business that is rarely profitable and highly competitive?
Kawzee: Well I know I’m not in it for the money! Who knows how much I’ve put into my project over the years? With me also giving it away for free? You can safely say that I just enjoy making music and at one point in my life I really needed it to get by. It truly is for the love.
HipHopCanada: Where are you based specifically?
Kawzee: I’ve spent my whole life in and around the GTA area. Mind you, I’m proudly nested in the suburbs right now and loving it.
HipHopCanada: How has living there influenced your sound?
Kawzee: I wouldn’t say by much. I’m more influenced by the music I listen to, the people around me and experiences regardless of geography.
HipHopCanada: Who is your primary fan base?
Kawzee: Don’t know really. Whoever wants to listen. I guess my music isn’t what the 19 year olds are looking for in the clubs or what a street dude is looking for… but in all honesty I still can’t write them off. I speak of life experiences and if a person can relate, they’ll take it in. Also, I do still have bangers on the album so don’t sleep. I’ve always been unsettled in regards to my target market. We’ll have to wait to see what kind of reception I get from my release I guess.
HipHopCanada: What tips would you give young artists coming up, or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the hip-hop industry?
Kawzee: Do it for the love. As cliché as that sounds, it couldn’t be more true. If you’re looking to cash in on this rap thing? Wake up. You’re better off becoming a producer, promoter, blogger or a DJ, cause at least they get paid. Unless you have a team financially backing you… prepare to go broke! Also, be 100 at all times. I pride on keeping it real with every person I work with and they can all attest to that.
HipHopCanada: In which ways do you interact with your community?
Kawzee: I don’t really. This is really a hobby. I just have a complex on having to work with the best. 90% of my time is either spent working or with my family. I’d love to go out and contribute, but at this stage of my life it seems like there’s always something planned for me when I wake up. I do try to offer my completely unbiased opinions on HHC forums if that helps!
HipHopCanada: Which artists have you worked with that left an impression on you, and why?
Kawzee: More so producers. I was there at the infant stages of Soundsmith and watching these guys grinding day after day and making strides in this music biz is truly remarkable. The fact that they’ve accomplished so much and still took the time out to hook me up shows how grounded these dudes are. That’s fam right there. Shoot, all the producers I’ve worked with have been successful in their own right I’ve just been there with Soundsmith on the come up. Oh yeah, can’t forget Via Linez… dude is a beast and that’s why he’s on two joints on the album!
HipHopCanada: Which Canadian artist would you most like to collaborate with?
Kawzee: Adam Bomb. Dude is just crazy with it and doesn’t get enough recognition outside of blogs and forums. Beat and hook wise? Kin Smuv by far.
HipHopCanada: Tell us about past and present successes, as well as future projects?
Kawzee: I’m relatively a new jack in the game. Was one of the finalists in the Just Entertainment Demo contest a few years back, performed at Styles in Progress at Dundas Square, was featured on a few mixtapes… but nothing earth shattering. Presently, I’m just riding the high of finally having my album done. I’ve thought about what my rap career would be if I had just released some of my tracks years ago. A lot of the tracks on the album were done during the earlier stages over an 8 year period but I dare you to pull out which ones they are… cause they’re timeless! I just wanted to release an album and not be like so many rappers from Toronto who release track after track and disappear with no album to their name. As for the future for me in hip-hop? I’m just focusing on getting my album out there.
HipHopCanada: Any last words for the HipHopCanada online community?
Kawzee: Thanks for keeping me entertained for years. I’ve seen the aliases come and go and the redesigns. Don’t sleep on my project, I really feel there’s a good mix of bangers and personal joints on there. Just good music. I’d like to give a shout out to all the emcees I respect in the Cancon game right now… Sese, Jaykin, Tona, Adam Bomb, JD Era, Drake, Richie Sosa, Via Linez and the list goes on and on. Producer wise… Ritchie, Y-Not and Mac from Soundsmith, Aloysius from Tone Mason, Rich Kidd, Vokab (where’s my turntable?!), Neenah (Congrats on winning the BOTBM!), Anonymous Twist for the guidance and everybody else I missed. Oh yeah, Emerson Brooks can sing… get at him! Rich Kidd single is next. Much love and stay humble.
Kawzee – What Happened
Kawzee – I Promise ft. Emerson Brooks