Kawasi’s journey has been anything but perfect, but he wouldn’t change a thing. After tons of rejection and self-discovery, He is the best version of himself. It is told that having musical talent is all you need, however, he has learned that tenacity and discipline are the most important talents of all.
What first got him into music?
As a child, he was raised by my grandmother, Reather Weston. She took me in and raised me. As a kid, he suffered from anxiety because he didn’t have his parents around. His grandmother got a gift when he was five. It was a radio. This introduced him to music. In her words he never let it go. he can remember her playing Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Sam Cooke around the house. It’s safe to say music found me. Then it saved me. He is everything because of those voices he heard come from that wooden radio she bought for him. That what introduced him to music.
Who inspired him to make music?
Before he got that radio as a child he can remember having so many emotions but not knowing how to express them. He felt so much all the time, about everything. Especially the loneliness he felt or the lack of inclusion he felt from his peers. He began to write when he was only six years old. Imitating those voices he heard from the radio. Shortly after, everything had a purpose. He could make anything into a song. So, life itself inspired him to make music. Learning how to streamline his emotions with music, literally saved his life.
How would Kaswasi describe the music that he typically creates?
He was given advice early on by one of his idols. Though this advice wasn’t directly given to him, he keeps it close. Whitney Houston once said, “Never sang a note you don’t mean.” For him, this meant that every note needs a purpose or a sense of emotional recall. If it doesn’t, the listener will hear it instantly. I’ve taken that advice and learned that his music is Soulful. No matter what genre, soul seeps into my cadence and pronunciation because that’s all he knows.
Who would he most like to collaborate with?
His dream collaboration would be Prince. Though he is no longer with us, he is the reason. He has done so much on and off that stage that truly revolutionizes what an artist should be and the heights they can reach. His musicianship is unparalleled and he will be immortal because of his contributions to music as a whole.
What is one message Kawasi would give to his fans?
He calls his fans the “Dreamers,” because we are all dreamers at one point in our life. We then are told we have to wake up and get a real job, later conforming to society’s standard of success. His message would be “They call us dreamers but we never sleep. They call us cowards but how brave are we, to get up every day and chase our fears away, they call us dreamers but we’re not dreamers, we are believers.”
What would he be doing right now, if it wasn’t for his music career?
He would be in politics on the world stage. He received an undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and studied at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy for International Affairs and Public Policy at Princeton University. While at Morehouse he received the Pickering Fellowship, by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. After working for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he resigned to do Music, starting my music career. If he wasn’t doing music he’d be a Foreign Service Officer/ Diplomat.
How does he feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
The internet has opened up the flood gates so to speak for music. With the birth of Spotify and other streaming services, everyone has a chance to get their music heard. YouTube leads the pack in giving the voiceless a voice. We are more connected than ever because of the internet and that has enhanced life and experiences for all life forms. He feels this change is positive.
What is the best advice he has been given?
His greatest advice came from his greatest inspiration, his grandmother. She said, “Never get caught up in trying to be great. Greatness is not defined by honors, accolades, or achievements. Greatness is defined by how well you treat yourself and others. Therefore it will outlive you.” He has carried this with him and will always remember to treat everyone with respect and love, no matter how popular my name becomes.
If he could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
He really wishes music was still polarized off of truth, talent, and hard work. Today’s music is centered on popularity, not talent. We live in a world where everything is over-saturated and the true talents get lost in the noise. He long for the days where you could work hard and have undeniable talent and would be enough to reach heights of success, no matter who you are.
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