Check out the song: “Kurt Cobain”
Canadian musician KO opened up over the phone regarding the context of his music, his past, his journey to where he is now, and his plans for the future. He’s keeping busy, and sending out his message strong; hard drugs are detrimental, stick to the herb! His music deals with some very hard-pressed and personal issues that his fans can relate to. Here’s how it went.
“Capable” carries across a very genuine and heart felt tone. Does this track hold any personal meaning?
KO: Most definitely. It’s about a girl I used to date; a real life experience. I’m really lucky that it’s a single that people grasped onto. I like it a lot myself. The whole record is fact based.
Tell us about your experience as a young Canadian in New York? Was it crazy?
KO: It most definitely was. I was only 19, and I was at all the clubs drinking and partying. The drinking age is 21, so I felt pretty special for sure. It took a while to get things moving. It was a lot more hype than action. New York signed me and took care of me. But musically, Canada helped me on my way.
Did you enjoy the Joint Venture tour with Rebel Emergency and Daniel Wesley?
KO: Fuck yeah. One of the best, it was too much fun. It’s nice when you get to tour, but even better when it’s with people you really like. Me and the boys in a van driving around the country, meeting some amazing new people. Lots of weed, lots of booze.
Any plans on touring/working with them in the future?
KO: Most definitely. I’d love to work with both of them again. I see it happening for sure. Canada is big, but not that big, we’re bound to cross paths.
Which artist have you been listening to most lately?
KO: Uuuh, probably artists, like Collie Buddz, Morgan Heritage, Yellowman, lots of reggae! I love my hip hop, but it’s summertime; I open my eyes and I see a beach, I miss Jamaica. So, reggae it is.
What’s one thing you MUST accomplish before you die?
KO: Play a show at Madison Square Garden. That’s fuckin’ hard.
You’re signed to Atlantic Records. Do you feel like you’re representing Canadians to a certain extent?
KO: Well, I’m not really signed to them. It’s kind of complicated. We’re kind of in the process of deciding whether we want to go independent or not. I’m flying to New York to figure out who I’m getting signed to. We’re just some Canadian guys trying to make some moves down South. I’m not too sure whats going to happen. We’re working on distribution, we just don’t know who it’s going to be with.
Your music often touches on drug culture. Would you say it reveals a broader perspective on such a lifestyle to your listeners?
KO: I think people can relate to the things I’m talking about, a lot more than I initially thought. There are a lot of crazy people in the world, and I’m one of them. I just put some thoughts out there, and they got attention. I really loved drugs when I was a kid. Now, I’m a pothead, i try to stay away from chemicals. I think the records reveal this. My music is more an expository anti-drug message more than anything. Anti-crack; the single “Capable” is about not doing cocaine. I don’t think of it necessarily as a drug culture, bit rather, as my own culture. I see both sides of it. It’s what I know.
Check out the song: “Capable”
Describe your creative process.
KO: It all depends, sometimes if a producer gives me a beat I’ll just start writing over the beat. I’ll start building a track with words in my book. When I’m playing the guitar I just fuck around till I find something I like. I start humming and writing. Once I get an idea going, no matter what it is, I write it into a notebook. I have a studio in the basement of my house. We’re recording violin right now, there’s always shit going on. I’m always making music. I ‘m working on my buddies’ hip hop record at the moment, and lots of other side projects. Directing videos, making music, recording music; I like to keep busy.
What advice would you give to a young person struggling with a drug addiction?
KO: It’s hard to tell someone who has a drug problem anything, because they don’t wanna hear shit. They’ll grow out of it or it will kill them. I came to a realization in my life that I either take advantage of the opportunities in front of me, or I end up in prison. Everyone will have that catalyst, to shake them out of their habits. People don’t realize that going to jail sucks. I went to jail, and I realized I did NOT like that shit. Never going back there, fuck that. Some people think it’s a badge of honor to go to jail. Handcuffs suck, strip searches suck. Fuck that shit!
Any further comments/message to your fans?
KO: Let’s blaze, where they at?