For those who don’t know you, how would you describe yourself?
Kwame Nsiah is an ambitious and creative young man with a talent to make music aside other creative and productive things.
How long have you been rapping and which artistes inspired you to pick up the mic?
I’ve been rapping since 2012 but only actively in that year, 2013 and this year 2016. Honestly, Jay-Z was my inspiration to rap. I was a big fan for the longest time and observing his success made me feel I also could achieve success in my own way rapping or making music.
How has Jay Z’s music influenced your own style?
In my earlier work (The Application; my first mix-tape) there’s definitely a huge Jay-Z influence with subject matter and the style of the music. The mix-tape which I released in 2012 had a very obvious Roca-fella feel to it.
First time I heard of you was on Rumor’s ‘Can’t Go Wrong’. How did the feature and stint with JaySo and the Skillions in general impacted your creativity?
Well, at the time I worked for Jayso as his personal assistant. I was there really to learn the in’s and out of the music business from an artist who had managed to build himself up independently and build a business doing it. Before I came to work for Jay, I wasn’t on Skillions music.
The feature happened because Rumor and I were good friends and he felt I was a good rapper. He was really giving me a shot, a chance to show case my ability.
Being around the Skillions camp at the time; when it was really a camp of musical genius helped me appreciate all kinds of creative directions. At most, that was the peak of the impact on my creativity.
Back To Business. How has the response been thus far?
“Back To Business” isn’t really doing as well as I imagined but I’ve come to realise these things take time to pick up. Everyone who listened properly loves it, for me that’s enough, having a handful of people who understand the art. That way you know you achieved what you set out to do as an artist.
You are readying to put forth an album. What insights can you share about it?
(tracks, producers, title of album & producers).
I can’t confirm anything for now but before an album, there’s another mix-tape “Letters To My Peers” coming this year.
What is motivating you to put a mixtape out at this time? Is it to introduce Kwame Nsiah to the world?
Not really, I’m not even on the scale to be considering a global audience. The truth of the matter is, I’m a very ambitious guy and I try to make money however I can.
The dynamics of putting out music in these times is different. With the availability of digital market places, musician don’t really require major label backing to make money of their art. Once you make it available for purchase it’s really up to you to advertise it the best way you can to encourage consumption and digital marketing has also made that quite easy. The goal of the album is to put out good undeniable music and make money of it.
Most of us listen to music seeking to find an escape or even refuge, I’d rather provide truth to my listeners.
One observable thing about your music is the lyrics and how relatable they are to everyday situations. What do you consider when you sit down to write your songs?
Thank you for noticing that. That’s been my creative goal from the beginning, to make music that’s easily relatable to the listener. Humans don’t care much to spend time on things that don’t interest them so it’s hard to find fans who truly care about the music enough to understand the content. When I make music, I chose a crowd of listeners I know would understand it instantly. That way they easily gain a likeness for the music. I try to share wisdom also, lessons I’ve learnt in life that could help whoever is listening. Most of us listen to music seeking to find an escape or even refuge, I’d rather provide truth to my listeners.
Not too long ago, you took to twitter to vent your frustrations with the music industry and you wanting to quit. What warranted those sentiments?
Shamefully true. I guess at the time I wanted too much and I wasn’t getting results. The environment in which we’re operating tends to make one very frustrated because most things don’t go according to plan due to barriers that shouldn’t exist.
Does the industry suffocate the efforts of up and coming artistes like yourself?
Yes it does because you aren’t given any attention when you’re on the come up and some media personalities (unlike a few I’ve met and dealt with) actually demand payola (payment) to play a song they actually believe is good. As an independent act, you could decide to pay these guys but for how long can you survive in such a climate? How far could you possibly get in your career?
How do you intend to navigate the challenges you’ve identified that don’t allow indie artistes like yourself to break into mainstream?
I intend to keep putting out music, widening my social network and building a rapport with more stand-up guys who will help you out just because or for mutual gain. I’m not eager to go mainstream just yet though. I don’t mind being underground for now, as long as I can make money off my music.
What will you describe as your greatest asset as an artist and person?
I would say my relationship with God and how he designed me. I have an interesting ability of identifying beauty, I’ve come to find. And I’m also quite adaptable to change not so much that I just go with the flow but I gradually learn to comfortably fit in where I belong within all that’s around me. I’m a mercurial.
Which artistes are you listening to now?
I don’t really listen to artists lately- more albums than specific artists. I love music so I always need to feed my ears. Right now, I’m listening to ANTI by Rihana, He Has Risen by Smoke DZA, Phase by Jack Garratt, UNI by Copta, 25 by Adele, a lot of Sade, Jessie Ware, Erykah Badu, some Hillsong, some Travis Scott, some Pappy Kojo, some Mr. Eazi, Losing My Religion by Kirk Franklin and constantly The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill.
Which artistes amongst your generation inspires you and you won’t hesitate working with?
Well for now I’m really feeling Copta and we have a very good chemistry. I also like Worlasi, Eli, Lady J, Mr. Eazi, Rumor, No Drumz, Epidemix, Liquidbeats, Pappy Kojo, Kuvie, that’s all that comes to mind right now.
Five years from today, where will Kwame Nsiah the rapper be?
5 years from now, I’ll be married, hopefully be a father and hopefully work for a creative agency alongside being a musician and an entrepreneur. That’s my vision.