Born in Kansas, MO and now living in Tallahassee, this young hip hop artist, Kanessa has the best of both worlds with her midwest southern sound. Her single, “Let’s Drink Up,” is heating up the internet. We posted the track on our site and it has been feedback good vibes.
I got the chance to interview Kanessa to get know more about her artistry, upbringing and what’s next for her. Read the interview after the jump!
Let start off by telling your story. How did you discover hip hop? Why did you decide to pursue music as a career?
As a child I was constantly told “you can do anything you set your mind to” and I believed it…and I still do to this day. My mom even sang “The Wind Beneath My Wings” to me. In school I fell in love with writing at the age of four and that overflowed into music. Growing up, I was a product of my environment, small town Kennett, MO., that had Country, Gospel, Top-40/ Pop radio stations. So of course that’s what I was writing. Until I was in [elementary school], my cousin played Tupac on our way home. That was the first time I heard him. I also discovered Eminem and hearing the wordplay, the crafting of verses and the challenge of telling a (vivid) stories within, captivated me.
Your single “Let’s Drink Up” is a true party track and club banger. Talk about the session when recording it. What was the energy like? How did you collaborate with the producer?
I was skimming YouTube for an instrumental for the lyrics to “Let Drink Up” (about a year after I actually wrote the song) and I came across the producer, AstroKnocks and he had an instrumental titled “Get Off My Swagg.” I pressed play and was like “AYE! This is BANGIN’!” So I grabbed my notebook and started rapping the lyrics and they fit perfectly. Besides a few word changes how you hear it is exactly how I spit it to the beat the first time. It’s like they were made for each other.
I recorded the released version at Greenwood studio in Conway, AR, a town about 30 minutes outside of Little Rock. The engery in the studio from the first verse to the final mix down was phenomenal. I believe me and (Chad) Wigley made magic.
I believe all of the challenges I’ve face up to this point have had nothing to do with me being a female, but rather just me learning and being green and paying my dues, because I am new to certain aspects of the music (industry). Thankfully, I have an incredible manager in Mr. Miguel Brown who handles business, but what I hold in high regard is how great of a teacher he is. One of my daily goals is to learn. When I’m not working or spending time with God, I’m learning, gaining knowledge.
As far as collaborations I have yet to face any challenges in general. The gentlemen that I’ve been speaking about business have been just that, gentlemen.
Right now I have a collaboration brewing that will be released by the end of the month. I plan to attend SXSW in Austin, TX at the end of March and from there I plan to release another single.
What are some of the goals you would like to achieve by next year?
I want to continue to build. Everything is starting to come together and at the same time which to me is great. It’s up to me to continue in the right direction and to stay a few steps ahead especially when it comes to planning/strategizing and executing.
Honestly, if I’m not in the car with the radio on, then I’m not listening to anything. I’m doing a lot of crafting and I don’t want to be influenced by someone’s sound or words. But when I do begin listening again, J.Cole’s Forest Hill Drive will be one of the first [on the list].
As far as being a fan of an artist that artist hands down is Aaliyah. She was just a special person. She carried an aura that command your attention and respect yet she was so mild and free. I respect her as an artist and a person because as both she made a positive impact on the multitude, including myself.
Lastly, what would you like to share to Purplebars.com audience. Anything we left out?
I’m a Missouri native and the incidents that have occurred in Ferguson and across the nation are troubling and alarming. Keep those and other social issues at the forefront. Social media is a powerful tool. Out of sight out of mind, DO NOT let that happen! Hold our government and justice system accountable!