With his first official release off his untitled project, KOTA is a Brooklynite MC who’s one to watch.
Dubbed by NYLON as “The Coolest New Indie Rapper,” KOTA is on the verge of releasing his latest album, which will be a collective EP about the complications and challenges he faced growing up in Brooklyn.
The young MC, who draws inspiration from the likes of JAY Z, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar, the young rapper is hoping to leave his own mark on the Hip Hop genre by coupling his lyrical storytelling with visuals to create an ‘overall experience.’
Having opened for Slum Village and being a visionary in the “psychedelic soul” rap scene, KOTA is starting to make a name for himself as an artist to watch out for with his new single, Customs, and his EP, coming in spring 2016.
How would you describe your sound?
My vibe is very chill and relaxing. For me, musical is spiritual so I want people to feel like they’ve been taken on a journey when they listen to my material.
What has your musical journey been like thus far?
Interesting! I’ve always been a musical person my whole life. Then in college I started a psychedelic soul rap group called Nappy Hair with some friends and that’s when I started to take it more seriously. Like I said, for me music is spiritual and for me that means when I’m creating I see colors and textures (synesthesia). Right now, I’m learning to combine that visual aspect of music with the lyrics to create a spiritual experience for the audience.
Is your next project going to allow people to go on that experience?
Most definitely. It’ll be my debut EP, and it’ll be nine tracks and it will tell the story of my life in a way. About a man who is dealing with the stress of his city, dealing with love and heartbreak. I’ll also talk about some of the stuff we’re afraid to talk about like depression and addiction. We act like it’s not normal to feel certain ways and I’m going on record to say how I’ve felt and how I deal with those feelings.
What makes this project exciting to you?
Like I said before, I have a background in film, so to accompany the music I’ve created a 33 minute short film. It’s been a kind of therapeutic process for me, because I’m recapturing all of the moments of my life that I reference in the music. It’s also important to me because I’ve done a lot of the production and filming and editing by myself on my own. So everything about this project is me showcasing my art and creativity.
What mark do you hope to leave on Hip Hop?
I want to create things that make people feel something again. I want them to be inspired to live life freely. I want people to be able to relate to what I say and know that they’re not alone. I don’t do any of this to make money or to create some kind of financial empire- I believe music can be healing and I want to be that healer.