K4OS

by | Apr 8, 2024 | April 2024 Issue, Artists

K4OS – The Sol EP / Photo by Matthew Livingston / Copyright © 2024

K4OS

Artist Bio

Kaos is a Hip Hop producer and Artist from Tsaile, AZ, a small town on the Navajo reservation. He grew up in Arizona and moved to New Mexico to attend college. Plans for higher education didn’t pan out at the time but music has always been a passion of his.

Growing up, music was an outlet he needed through times of loss and life’s struggles. Feeling like he didn’t connect fully with “traditional” Navajo culture or with the “colonized” world, his music found purpose in expressing the lifestyle and culture he grew up in and knows best, which ultimately became Hip Hop.

K4OS / Copyright © 2024

Studio Setup

“My favorite instrument would have to be my MPC. My studio setup consists of an Akai MPC, a Native Instrument keyboard controller, an Apollo Twin duo interface, an AKG condenser microphone, and Pro Tools as my preferred DAW.”

Inspiration

“My inspiration in terms of sounds and musical style has to be the musical Artists I looked up to and listened to growing up. These Artists include Nas, Big L, 2pac, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and Tech N9ne to name a few.”

“Being an Artist, I find a lot of inspiration among my peers. Seeing other Artists create and hearing what they’re doing really drives me to try new things and experiment with new styles and sounds I may have missed out on. These Artists include 4Cer Krew, MC Slader, K. Benally & Letsjusb, Jae Krxnalege, Shodis Beats, and a lot of other dope Artists and Producers from the Southwest.”

“I love seeing the process of Artists and Producers making songs and beats. That always gets me hype to get back in the studio to create. So overall the music from others is my biggest inspiration and drive in my own music.”

K4OS / Copyright © 2024

Future Projects

“I have a couple of shows coming up in the month of April. The first is the Yay or Naye Showcase with Writtyn in Tuba City, AZ on April 6th. The next is the Southwest Connect show in Albuquerque, NM on April 26th.”

“As of right now I’m working on a couple projects.”

“The first project is ‘The Lowrider Bike EP’ by Ese ‘Spook’ Loko. This project has been an experience to create. Spook is an Artist creating music from prison. He was sentenced to life for a self defense crime against a drunk off-duty officer. His story is crazy within itself but I’ve been helping by recording his vocals and by creating beats for him for the past few years. We’ve been dropping singles but now its all coming together to create his first EP which will be released soon.”

“The second project will be my solo project which is in the production process now. That’ll be released sometime after Spook’s project.”

“Kaos” by Artist- Ese Spook Loko / Copyright © 2019-2024

How and when did you first get introduced to Hip Hop?

“I was introduced to hip-hop music as a kid through my brother and father. My brother would listen to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Juvenile, Lil Troy that I can remember. My father had two Eminem albums in his collection that I would usually listen to. Then my cousins started rapping and making their own music and that’s when I got into writing. Next I was making beats and recording myself.”

“Then I got introduced to the culture overall when I moved to Albuquerque. The Hip Hop culture is alive in this city for sure. Its a place where you can see all elements, breakdancing, graffiti, DJs, and emcees who all respect and love the craft and culture.”

How would you describe your personal and creative evolution as a Hip Hop artist?

“My evolution has been a journey. Reflecting on it, I started off wanting to rap because I thought it was cool. Then it became an everyday thing. As I grew with it, it became more of an identity. I remember in high school my friends joking with me to spit 100 bars. And now its just a lifestyle. It’s who I became in the end. Out of all the opportunities I’ve had and the choices I’ve made, I’ve always come back to the music and culture. So instead of trying to be cool, I’ve come into my own and found my confidence and acceptance through Hip Hop and music.”

Please take us behind the scenes when producing a track from start to finish. Do you start with words or beats first, and how does the track evolve?

“I start with a beat a majority of the time. I’m always making beats so that’s a constant. Then it comes down to just picking one and writing. Lately I’ve been taking time to record. And within that step, I may actually switch the beat. So I’ll take a day or two to produce beats then another session to write. Then another session. Then another to record, edit, mix, and master.”

K4OS / Copyright © 2024

Is collaboration an important aspect of your work or do you prefer to work alone? Please tell us about any memorable collaborations if so.

“I love collaborating when I get the opportunity to. I prefer in person collaborations though. I can be picky about the recording process so its easier to work directly with the Artist rather then emailing files back and forth. But right now, where I’m at, I’m pretty isolated so I’ve been working alone.”

“There’s so many memories but a few off the top we’re recording MC Slader’s first EP Lucid Dreams in a weeks time. Or a studio session with Lion Panel (Producer) and K. Benally and Letsjusb on our song, ‘Gettin By’. Or the first time I got to record in my brothers studio in Albuquerque in my teenage years. There’s so many good memories collaborating.

How do you approach lyricism in your work? What themes or stories do you like to explore?

“My approach has been different each time. I first try to come up with a strong hook. Depending on the song itself and the vibes, it has a drastic effect on the music. For example, if I’m working on a serious song, I’ll start with writing and brainstorming ideas for the concept then build from there. If its more of a freestyle vibe, I’ll let the cadence and flow take over.”

“In terms of themes, I feel like I’ve always just tried to tell my story hoping some can relate. Being from the reservation I understand a lot of Native youth feel silenced so I try to be that voice to let them know they aren’t alone. And hopefully one day they can find their own voice in all the noise. Its a lot of struggle with music and acceptance.”

How does your music translate to a live performance setting? Do you adapt your performances for different audiences?

“This has been a process to develop. I found that certain songs may have more of an impact and connection with people while some don’t in my case. So I’ve been working to build a set with balance and purpose.”

“With that being said, I do adapt to different audiences. Some shows may have youth and community involvement so I’ll choose music more appropriate to that setting. Compared to a set I may do at a club/bar type of venue.”

“Overall, its still a work in progress for me.”

What do you hope you’re audience takes away from your shows?

“Before I just wanted people to like my music. Now I hope they can find hope in it. Like I said before, I want to remind people that they aren’t alone in their struggles. And in the end, things will workout if we keep trying.”

Do you use your music as a platform for social or political commentary? If so, what messages are important for you to convey?

“Intentionally, no. I don’t like to be influenced by politics or social constructs. Those are just barriers that continue to cause separation. But unintentionally, I’d say my music is a social commentary on issues and flaws I see that we need to work on within ourselves and society. I feel if we do have purpose to uplift then we are going to be working against the systems put in place generations ago, healing traumas that we didn’t know were there. The goal is healing, reconnecting, then evolution.”

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Listen to Episode 5

Listen to select tracks from K4OS and other indie electronic Artists in Episode 5 of Mythic Rhythmic Presents.