featured interview

Senor Kaos The Life And Times Of Kaos 11.11.11 marks, besides a symbolic date, the release of Senor Kaos' first official debut album. 11 days before his birthday, plus Illastrate produced all 11 tracks. The release date is pure mathematics. While the album is autobiographical as the one and only Senor from Atlanta, opens up to his listeners and shares chunks of his life...

With this album you're telling your life story...how confronting was that?

It's the most about myself that I've ever put in my music before. It was actually refreshing. It's just like making a hieroglyphic. Years from now, you can come back to this project and learn about my story. I think with my previous projects I was just trying to prove that I'm a talented emcee. With this new project, I wanted to share about me with my fans.

When you're looking back at your life, your trials and tribulations, what have you learnt from the game and what would you do differently?

I've learned that no matter what people tell you, there is no formula, and everybody's path to greatness is different. You can't worry about what works for everybody else, you have to stay focused on what works for you. If I could do anything differently, it would probably be, not waste as much time dealing with some of the people I've dealt with, who I felt have slowed down my progress.

Are there a lot of life stories that you didn't include?

Most definitely, I'm saving all the detailed stories for the book I plan on writing one day! (laughs)

You took a break from 2004 till 2008. How much of a blessing was your sabbatical period?

Awwww man, taking 4 years off and not working on music was a huge blessing in disguise. I was able to travel the world, meet new people. I learned a ton and I made a great living for myself financially. I also got a chance to really sit and think about what my life was about, and what type of legacy I want to leave behind. During those 4 years I watched a lot of people come and go, watched a lot of record labels fold, and saw technology make it easier for artists to connect directly with their fans. I released my first project in four years with 'Swagger Is Nothing, Talent Is Everything' and a month later my homie Jax from Binkis Recs passed away. I think from that point on, I really became focused on making my dream a reality. That might of been the first point in my life where I said 'Okay, this life thing moves quick, I better stop playing!'

Do you fear the day when you won't be restless no more?

I long for the day that my hard work pays off and I'm making residual income while I'm at rest!

Why did you give your album the same name as your website? What's the effect you want to have on people?

So I could promote the website and the album at the same time. (laughs) 'The Kaos Effect' as a title really just speaks on my life. What I do on a day-to-day, how my actions and intentions have an effect on my world. I want to have an effect on people by inspiring them via my music. The same way that I was inspired by all the artists who were making the music I was raised on. I had days where I didn't want to get out of bed, and listening to a certain song helped me to get my day started. I hope my music influences someone to keep going, be better, think smarter, create, or just have a good time.

You write, do interviews, are involved with marketing...so when you call yourself 'The most interesting mc in the world'. Is it because you do more than just emceeing?

True indeed. I've never looked at myself as a one-trick pony. As an emcee a lot of times people want to put you in this box, where all your supposed to do is be in the studio and make music. It's more to me than that.10 years ago I was writing graffiti. 6 years ago I was running a successful marketing company, etc. And I also did it to make people say 'Why is this guy the most interesting MC in the world?' I knew it would lead people to want to learn more about me, and listen to more of my music.

What makes illastrate the perfect producer for you? Because he's like DJ Premier and you're like Nas?

Wow it's amazing you make that analogy! Nas is like Illastrate's favorite emcee and Premier is my favorite producer. Illastrate has the ability to capture different feelings, different vibes with his production. He's amazing talent, and I think he's going to be someone who shocks the Hip Hop world with his production very soon. He also represents the ATL (Atlanta ed.) hip-hop scene just like me, so I felt it was important to put this project together with as much ATL talent as possible.

Congrats on your birthday coming up...the album drops exactly 11 days before the release date of 11.11.11...would you've released it 13 days before your bornsday?

The science behind the 11 is I released my last project ('The Most Interesting MC In The World') on New Year's Day which was 1.1.11 and the plan was to release the album on 11.11.11. Like you said, it's 11 days before my birthday, and Illastrate produced 11 tracks on the album. So yeah it was all strategic. It's a date that everybody will remember, so I wanted to drop an album that everybody will remember at the same time.

It's a miracle you got your label, High Water Music, following the same strategy...is that one of the things you love about the label?

For sure. Every record label releases albums on Tuesdays. I went to my label and said 'Hey I want to release my album on a Friday.' I figured people get paid at their jobs on Friday not on Tuesday, so hopefully they'll have some money on pay day to pick up this new project.

Last time we spoke you said promoting yourself good has to do with 'knowing your audience' and 'knowing your competition'. How would you describe both in your case?

That's a great question. I've always described my audience as open-minded music lovers of all backgrounds. Hip-hop heads who appreciate the 'Boom Bap'-sound, as well as people who want to be entertained as well as and enlightened. My audience is people who believe Hip-Hop to be a culture, and love it as much as I do.

As far as competition, I'm competing with super emcees. When they work hard, it makes me want to work harder. When they give a good show, it makes me want to give a great show. I've never saw myself competing with people who I believe to be less talented than me. When artists dumb down the music, I never look at them and say 'okay I have to compete with their doing, because it's trendy right now.'

The key to everything I've done so far is not making music for the industry, for the radio, or for the blogs, but to make music for my fans who will appreciate it, as well as make it accessible to them in the best way I can.

It's your debut solo album, but your name is already out there, even in Belgium, how many has marketing got to do with that?

That's great my name is spreading around the world, and I haven't even spent a dime on marketing yet. I don't think that has anything to do with marketing. It has more to do with the DJ's around the world who download my music off my website and then play it on their radio show, podcast, mixtapes, etc. The Internet does a great job of connecting people from around the globe. I can't wait to visit Europe and Japan and perform live.

What pieces of the puzzle are still missing?

Money...money for visuals, videos, artwork, production, merchandise, etc. Management, booking agent, publicist. It's hard being all those things as well as finding time to be creative. I've reached a point where having someone handle some those things is beneficial to my progress and productivity.

What future projects can we expect?

Look out for a new group project I'm working on with Atlanta emcee 4-Ize. We recently started a group called Ultra Beast and we're working on a project now that hopefully will be released sometime in 2012.

What would Jax think of your record?

I think Jax would love the growth that my music has shown. I know he would love the production because he was a fan of Illastrate. I think he would be very proud of the new project from beginning to end. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to play him 'Automatic Classic' before he passed. I remember he said 'yo, that's the one right there!'


POSTED 11|05|2011
conducted by cpf

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