K-Os conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Canadian Credibility

January 2005

K-Os is somewhat of a phenomenon. Canadian artists rarely come close to breaking the US market, however, with a unique niche, this singer/rapper has nearly managed that. His second album, "Joyful Rebellion" made the highest debut on the Canadian soundscan for a Canadian artist, achieving the #7 slot. Since then, critics and fans alike have showered K-Os with praise.

K-Os also received The Source Award for 2003's "Best International Album Of The Year" for his debut solo effort "EXIT."

MVRemix: Explain the reasons behind your moniker and its spelling.

K-Os: K-Os interviewBasically it comes from knowledge itself, which is a visibility to kind of knowledge yourself on a quest in life. That quest is you trying to figure yourself out. Once you figure yourself out... not to the point where I'd ever got myself figured out - but, you get to the process where you know that that's the key to your evolution. Just being aware of yourself. That's what I was basically trying to remind myself of. Especially in the music industry when you're caught up in so many other people's ideas of what your motives should be, that it remind me to be true to myself of what I wanted to do and to know myself better.

MVRemix: Sparking off from that, talking about what other people in the music industry "want" you to do... How do you feel about what has been going on with Canadian Hip Hop recently? With regards to groups like Swollen Members and The Rascalz' with their latest releases being geared very much more towards a mainstream audience as opposed to their core audience. What are your thoughts on that?

K-Os: People grow, right? Guys do shows for five or six years with dudes coming at them after shows with joints, offering them to smoke with them in small places all across the country. Then all of a sudden, they wake up one day and just get bored of that. People underestimate the ability of musicians to just get bored. Sometimes it's not a big concerted effort where they're planning some global take-over - it's just they're bored. They want to try something new. I think for both those bands, they already had considerable mainstream success. It was just time for them to try something new, and it just so happened that the doors were open for them to try that type of music. I think that they can always go back to that, they understood that. They understand what their "core" audience is. But your "core" keeps changing. It's really hard for me to uni-relate to that - a "core" audience or only having certain people like your music. I think that's not what music was created for. I think it was created for us as a vehicle to grow and so sometimes people just grow out of their own persona.

MVRemix: Do you remember your first experience when your music had touched or affected somebody?

K-Os: That's mostly just people coming up to you on the street and saying, "You know, we're going through 'this' or we're going through 'this.'" After a while, again, it's hard for me to internalize all that because you make something, you make it for a specific purpose. That's the hardest part of all of this. Trying to keep your head on what you're trying to do and not worrying about getting caught up in what everyone else thinks. It's great and it's beautiful, and it's nice that people listen to my music and they're like, "I loved it!" Or they have some deep personal comments but I think more than anything you have to maintain your relationship to it. As long as you do that, ironically, people will keep relating to it. It's kind of strange, kind of weird what people take out of your lyrics sometimes or out of your songs like, "You took that from it?" That's cool, that's cool. It's enlightening in a way.

MVRemix: Your stage show is quite different to most artists. Who influenced you to perform the way that you do?

K-Os: I could say anyone from Bob Marley, The Roots and The Fugees to any band that ever rocked... Led Zepplin, Michael Jackson... People who had live bands and really went for it. They played music. I think Hip Hop is cool and I think recording artists are one thing but live performers are another. There are tools of illusion. When you're doing a live show, you can't do certain things. It's kind of more raw. I've always made the fullest of that experience, just being as raw as possible. Giving people my vibe. I think Bob Marley and The Fugees and The Roots all do that.

What are your thoughts on George Bush being back in the office?

K-Os: It's what America wants more than anything, right? People locked George Bush in a back room, like he nominated himself and voted for him. That's what America wants, so I guess their destiny will be a result of that little decision. I can't really judge, I don't know the master plan or as far as the universe or god - this all could be a part of the plan. I just kind of try to concentrate on my behaviour and the cool thing about that is because you've got a lot of morally void ideas and economic ideas. It's kind of like if you have a snake in the room with you. You're way more alert, because you know what's in the room. I think it's gonna wake a lot of people up and the more introspective and thinking people will be stimulated to do even more thinking because now there's this thing which is kind of a threat. So it could be a good thing as far as alertness and people's awareness because now people will be looking to see where they're at and what they're contributing to it.

>> continued...

Related content:
  • K-Os 2005 Interview by Hugo Lunny
  • K-Os 2007 Interview by Kendra Desrosiers
  • K-Os 2008 Interview by Aaron A*maze Joseph

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