& a little sneak peak into what inspires his sound.
Kero one is definitely known for his unique spin on hip hop and rap. Not only was he co-signed by Stevie wonder, he’s also written a #1 hit song in Korea– making him a nationally renowned artist.
This Bay Area native has been making music and producing since 2003 and recently released his newest album “Reflection Eternal.” I got to sit down with this rising artist.
Casually snooping through his collection of hip hop and r&b vinyls that took over every inch of space in his living room, my first question for him was: what did you grow up listening to?
Kero: “I grew up listening to 90’s hip hop.. I mean, I listened to everything– but in terms of stuff that inspired me, I’d say Pharacyde, Souls of Mischief, Common.” He goes on listing some original names that held down hip hop for ages such as ATCQ, Nas, Gangstarr, Pete Rock, etc. I’d expect nothing less coming from someone who has performed with artists like KRS 1, Blu & Exile to Living Legends.
While listening to his new album, you can’t miss those mellow, jazzy beats he pairs perfectly with each song. “Funktion” ft. Brandun Deshay and “Underwater” ft. Blu are just two tracks off the album that really show off Kero’s organic sound. Then you hear “Princess Diamond,” and can’t help but be intrigued by the way he slipped in this smooth, buttery, semi-electronic track effortlessly.
He proceeds to surprise and enlighten my hip-hop-head self by playing some artists and dope songs I’ve yet to hear. I finish up my beer and ask if there was anyone or anything in particular that influenced his new album?
Kero: “Soundcloud sh*t, old school r&b stuff.” (like what?) Musiq Soulchild, Aaliyah.. Yeah, all of that.“ We continue our conversation outside on the terrace while I light up a cigarette and that’s when we get into Reflection Eternal.
RBC: How would you describe your new album or what you think your fans should expect?
Kero: “I’m trying to make the old feel new.. some of the tracks I have on there have more of a newer feeling and I want to give it something that’s familiar.. (like nostalgic?) Yeah.”
Ending our random, impromptu interview, I go ahead and throw out the question I’ve been waiting to hear the answer to: why or how did you decide to get into the music industry?
Kero: “I didn’t want to get into the industry, I just wanted to release music and it happened naturally. I got thrown into the industry– I just wanted to put out records, like actual vinyl records. So that’s what I did.”
RBC: “And look where you are now.”
If you haven’t heard it for yourself yet, you’ll find vinyls, CDs and other merch here: http://www.kero1.com/?p=2334
*Reflection Eternal is the newest album released by Kero One among past records that have also received critical acclaim and praise from artists all over the world.*