10 Questions with ... KJ-52
April 2, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- BEC Recordings
- Dangerous (2012)
- KJ-52 Triple Pack! (2011)
- Five-Two Television (2009)
- The Yearbook: The Missing Pages (2008)
- The Yearbook (2007)
- KJ-52 Remixed (2006)
- Behind the Musik (A Boy Named Jonah) (2005)
- It's Pronounced Five-Two (UpRok, 2003)
- Collaborations (UpRok, 2002)
- 7th Avenue (Essential, 2000)
1) What can we expect to hear lyrically and/or sonically on the new album Dangerous? Any surprising changes coming our way?
I think a big part is the amount of singing that I'm doing on the new album. Usually in the past I would get someone else to do those parts but I was really encouraged by my producers to take a shot at singing the stuff that God put on my heart. I think lyrically you're going to hear a lot of transparency in my content - being honest and open about my life and what's going on it.
2) What's the story behind your latest single "Dangerous"?
Originally it was a song written to multiple of people in my life that I felt had been going down the wrong path. But after re-examining it, it felt a bit too judgmental. Rather than going down that route, I decided to throw a twist on the end, and let you know that the song is about myself.
3) Is there a theme or message that runs throughout the new album Dangerous?
Just that there is a lot of things out there that are "dangerous," things that we should consciously avoid but on the flip side that we are called to live "dangerous." God wants us out of our mediocrity and embracing all that he has for us.
4) This is your seventh album with BEC. How do you keep the process fresh? What challenges do you face when you start the recording process again...for the seventh time?
Staying in touch with my fans, who in my head are really my "fams" (short for family). They are constantly giving me a stream of ideas/issues/inspiration and feedback to what's going on with them.
What challenges me? Starting! The initial "get the ball rolling" process is the hardest part for me. Finding a direction to go in and the process of digging that out can be the hardest part of the creative process.
5) Do you have a favorite song that appears on the new album?
Currently it's a tie between "They Like Me" featuring Lecrae and "Dangerous," only because those two songs are 1) something I wanted to tackle lyrically (racism) and 2) artistically a place I've never gone before.
6) Do you have any inspiring, interesting and/or humorous stories from your time working with radio?
Back when I used to do a lot of open mics/clubs/battles in my hometown, we were asked to come up to the local mainstream Hip Hop station to finish off a round (battle contest). We (myself and my old rhyme partner) kept winning the local contests so much they offered me a job on the station! They knew what we stood for but were so blown away that we never used profanity and kept winning the battle contest that they wanted us to be apart of the station. It was great to see people recognizing God's hand on our lives even though the music they pumped stood in opposition to what we stood for.
7) Is there a favorite song that you love to perform live?
Currently "Do the Bill Cosby" only cause it cracks me up on stage to see people doing the dance.
8) Where is your favorite place to perform?
In my hometown where I grew up (Ybor City, FL) at one of the clubs there where I grew up checking out shows. It's real significant to be able to go back there and be able to do what I do now with a whole new perspective.
9) What song do you wish you had written?
"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police
10) Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? Anything in particular catch your ear these days?
Really digging a lot of the new electronica/dance stuff that's dropping lately (i.e. Dubstep/euro synth/moobahton etc.)