"The Fresh Prince of Darkness/Sephiroth of South Central"



NK: Nicole Kali, Black Rockers United and Kelvin Kaoz, our special guest "The Fresh Prince of Darkness" is here for our 16th (*17th) #BRUTalk. Wow, thanks for joining us.

Kelvin: I'm ecstatic to be here!

NK: Yes, how is everything on your end, Kelvin?

Kelvin: You know, this year has been tough for a lot of people. And I wanna say it has not been tough for me in the same ways. It has been more just uncovering the things that I needed to do, and it got rid of the things that I didn't need.

It showed me the fakeness and the futility of all the things that I was doin' and allowed me to really focus on the things that I really, really like or are very important to me.

NK: Okay, so it was revealing for you!

Kelvin: Yeah, with the global pandemic, it was kind of terrifying at first. You're like "Oh!" [Concerned] You know? Lots of, you know, relationships I had had started to break down.

But I realized I had been going in my own direction for so long up till this point that—you know—I won't say I was afraid to break away but yeah. I was afraid to be out on my own, to actually be doing...

My roommate like, moved out on me! He was just like "Hey, see ya later!" [Peace sign]

NK: Phew! Yeah, I heard that happened a LOT! And I'm sorry. You know, that's rough, you know, unexpectedly as a musician. "I need roommates!"

Kelvin: Oh my God, YEAH! And the fucked-up part: he's also a musician so he knew. And he didn't just even tell me, didn't give me a heads-up or anything—he's just like "Hey, I'm out!"

NK: Shady.

Kelvin: But like I said, the cool thing about that was we were trying to start a kids' music program together.

NK: That's really cool!

Kelvin: Right? But he would never really want to do I was like "Okay, we're gonna do this and we're gonna do this". It was mostly me and I would be waiting on him to give me his part. And he would never do it!

So when he moved out on me, I was like "Oh, okay, that's why 'cause he had no intention on doing that" so that means I need to be more focused, and not be waiting on other people.

Yeah, so that happened, and there was a company that I worked for, umm, that I had been working for for years. Their company, you know, started to get kind of—because of COVID, it was like a summer camp for art!

So they would do acting, music, singing, dancing, all of that stuff and because of everything that happened, I ended up doing a partnership with her. So that we could work together, that ended up—didn't end up working out, so I had to start my company by myself.

NK: Yeah.

Kelvin: And yeah. And then another thing—this is all kind of friendship-related and—is that I was supposed to have a song in NBA 2K21?

NK: Oh, snap!

Kelvin: Yeah, with this rapper I was working with. And so he just stopped hitting me up. One day he was like "Yeah, man, just signed a contract, blah-blah-blah, we're gonna get this song" and blah-blah-blah.

I was tellin' everybody, "Okay, everybody, I got this song in 2K21". He's like "Don't tell anybody until the deal's been finalized." It never happened!

NK: Ugh!

The Spookier EP (2020)

Kelvin: And he has like, ten of my beats with his voice on it! And I was like "Oh, okay". I just gotta take—what I ended up doing for my new EP was just me re-recording my own voice on those tracks that I used, and trying to copyright them and publish them from my own company.

NK: Genius!

Kelvin: And that's why I started my own publishing company because I was like "All right, dudes are trying to jack me so I must be doin' something right!"

NK: Yeah, they just kind of like, ghosted on you and then tried to repurpose your art without you! But in that, you found that you had your own voice.

Kelvin: Yeah! And that's why I started putting out more and more of my own tracks 'cause I was like "Okay, if—I can't be sleepin' on myself! I don't think I'm that type when people are clearly taking advantage of what I'm doing!"

So I was like "All right, that's fake, that's gotta go. You can no longer live beneath where you're at in life. You must come—you gotta elevate yourself."

NK: Yeah.

Kelvin: And at first, I was mad at that person but it's like "Are you really mad, or should be mad at yourself for not having enough wherewithal to have more value for yourself?" I shouldn't have been working with him in the first place.

NK: That's so true, yeah, looking back in hindsight you're realizing how much you're worth and I love to hear that, Kelvin. So cool. Rock on! Yo, this background is a mood by the way.

Kelvin: Oh [Laughs]! I was like, thought it was the same as yours! I was like "Aye, we have the same [backdrop]!"

NK: Yas, very Zodiac/haunted. I diiig.

Kelvin: Yeah! Wait, here, check out my blanket as a matter of fact!

NK: Oh, I love that post you made. You were like "This is what we do year-round, no posers." [Laughs] Alternative culture, education, it all combines beautifully in what you do. Right?


Kelvin: Yeah, that was the intention. So I did go to music school, and I went to—and I studied a lot of business, like the business aspect of music.

And we were very focused on building your own brand and selling your music that way, because you know, I went to school very technical.

So I'm like classically trained, all of that stuff. But it doesn't matter if you can't sell it. You know, if you don't have an audience you're like "Yes, I play guitar very well!" And? So?

NK: Yeah, they wanna get to know you. Why do they care about you as a musician? So you learned that aspect of how to market yourself in a really cool way!

Kelvin: Well, that I didn't learn! That, I invented because I tried the other way and I was, you know, a classical guitar player! The thing about that is it's [the classical guitar world] racist.

And I won't say it's an excuse because it's not, but I don't like to really harp on "Oh, that's racist" 'cause I still think you gotta get over...

Say, like, The Rock, right? The Rock was the first Black champion in the WWE. He also became a huge movie star and he's not a great actor.

NK: Yeah.

Kelvin: And I always thought this, I said "So yeah, we could say he sucks at acting but if Tom Cruise is a better actor and The Rock makes more money, who's winning?"

NK: I mean, that's a good point. Is it charisma? Is it that despite the barriers, he's more charismatic?

Kelvin: It's not even that, it's...I think of it as in the turn of your soul magic, like if you're fully activated at what you feel you deserve, then nothing else really matters.

NK: That's really cool, yo. That's very transcendental.

Kelvin: Like you can destroy all beliefs if somebody says "You're not supposed to do that!" And he's like "Oh, yeah? Now I'm the richest motherfucka on Earth. And what?" So [Laughs]

NK: That's so true.

Kelvin: And he came from like, toilet humor.

NK: He did! No one expected him to rise to those heights, you know, much in the way that you had naysayers, I'm sure as well.

Kelvin: Oh, yeah.

NK: And now look at where you are! That must be really surreal to experience.

Kelvin: Oh, yeah! Man, especially like—I had a lot of naysayers, a lot of people you're probably friends with, actually don't like me.

NK: No love.

Kelvin: [Laughs] Yeah. I was like—

NK: No love, I have much love for you but I can also see not everyone is going to see the vision! You know?

Kelvin: And I get that! Ah, I always look at things from what works. You know again, like, people hate Tekashi69 (6ix9ine). I was like "I wouldn't waste my time hating somebody that is more successful than me."

I would like to learn what he did and try to apply to myself. And I don't think there's too many things I could apply, I think that [laughs] again, he put himself out in a way that nobody else was willing to put themselves out and to—

NK: Yeah, that's so true! Yeah.

Kelvin: Yeah.

NK: You know, like, in the future you might not know much about him [Tekashi 69] except for how he marketed himself. He is part of that new media like "how do you put yourself out there?"

Kelvin: Yeah, and they took advantage of that! And you say this guy has no talent but I think that putting yourself out there is a talent.


NK: I gotta agree. Very subjective though, how do you put yourself out there in a way that's not too overeager and people can tell you're not faking it?

Kelvin: Oh, see, now that's my favorite question because for me, it's authenticity; if you authentically believe what you're doing, then you can put yourself out there as much as you want because it's like you're living in your own world like...

I have my own little world that I have created, that has just gotten so big. It's like if it's a, if it's a solar system, it starts to grow with influence because people are sharing it!

They're like "Hey, have you seen this nigga? He's crazy!" You know? [Laughs] "What's he doing? That's kinda cool, I like that!"

And it starts to get bigger and bigger, and it starts to engulf other ones or starts to be attached to other ones.

NK: Yeah, it's its own solar system and starts expanding!

Kelvin: Yeah, yeah, it starts to expand and eclipse. And that, again that's umm, that's from being authentic! And when you're not authentic, you can't do it frequently.

That's why a lot of people have mental issues or some of their issues are like "Oh man, I'm having a mental breakdown" is because they're not often living in what is a—say, the way that I create my content is all stuff that I would normally do.

I do this, what I'm doing everyday so when I turn the camera on, I was already doing that. It's like "Hey, let me document this real quick".

But if I'm going "I have to create this content that is me and I must be very controlling of my existence, and my experience and people experiencing me."

That's gonna stress you out 'cause it's not real, you know, or you're trying to control everything. You want to control how people see you.

You cannot control how people see you, you can only control yourself and what you're, I can write the music. I can, you know, create the content. I can send the e-mails.

After that, how people respond to me is entirely up to them and I have to leave it that way. And I have to respond to them, how I would respond to them authentically.

Watch the remaining interview:

Kelvin Kaoz has an official site, and is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter!





##BRUTalk with @kelvinkaoz “The Fresh Prince of Darkness”—L.A. rock star/AltKaoz founder: achieve da best by being ourselves! 🎸🤘🏾 ##rock

♬ original sound - Black Rockers United