In a special edition of our artist spotlight, we cover Chicago rapper KenYadda. KenYadda and his trusted colleague Scotty Rose are the founders of the independent label IV$E.
"I think my sound is a mash up of all my favorite influences in life and some aren't even musical," said KenYadda. "I started off as a singer so at a young age I was inspired by "The Temptations". As I got older one of the first rap songs I memorised was E.I. by Nelly."
KenYadda first performed in front of a large crowd in fifth grade as he performed in front of his entire elementary school. After that performance, he knew that creating and performing music for other people to enjoy was his life's calling. In every song he writes, KenYadda tries to write the most authentic and honest story for a listener to relate to.
"I want my music to always be honest," said KenYadda. "When I listen to some of my favorite artist I like to hear the struggle or pain in the music so its only right I deliver the same. I know its kind of cliche but I try to express to everyone the world to Know Your Worth and follow your dreams."
KenYadda takes a multifaceted approach when it comes to creating his music. Not only is he a talented writer, but he is also capable of producing the instrumentals he raps on.
Sometimes the rapper will begin writing a song by analyzing a melody or specific samples he wants to incorporate into a song before constructing his words. Other times, KenYadda will find inspiration while hard at work with his trusted friends.
"Usually just living life spark ideas of new songs," said KenYadda. "So far my music career has landed me more shows and a bigger audience. I'm getting good feedback from my new release "Homage", and by the time I release the other singles I feel big opportunies coming my way."
KenYadda's music career has seen him performing in front of soldout crowds alongside Odd Future rapper and LA native Taco. To this point, he has also released a pair of mixtapes in addition to his many performances.
His most recent project, entitled "Homage," was released through his Soundcloud channel, which can be found by following the embedded playlist at the top of the article. KenYadda also recently released the video the project's lead single "The Goods."
"I've been able to perform in front of sold out crowds thanks to my homie Taco," said KenYadda. "I know its going to be a long journey. I've been ready, but seeing my videos go from 500 views to 10,000 views means somebody is watching me and knows I'm coming."
KenYadda is putting together a new project that he hopes to release later in the year. While he didn't share many details, he did promise that it will be an artistic project that is also soulful, fun, and witty.
His next performance will be this Friday, February 2nd at the House Cafe in DeKalb, IL. KenYadda is also working to put together acoustic shows with more details forthcoming.
"I want to be able to sell out my own show by this time next year," said KenYadda "I know I've got to get on my grind to make that happen. I plan to release an original project within the next year and work with other dope musicians. I want to gain a core fan base that will last forever."
While I previously announced that this would be my final article, I will still have one more artist spotlight next week. Upcoming rapper Chicago rapper D-Zoe will be the final artist spotlight in our blog series. There will be new videos that will be release over the course few weeks, as well.
Rapper and Chicago native KenYadda. photo provided by KenYadda.
KenYadda poses for a photo in his home city. photo provided by KenYadda.
KenYadda performing his music. photo provided by KenYadda.
KenYadda posing for a photo while in studio. photo taken by Finesser Photography.
KenYadda makes a gesture towards the crowd during one of his performances. photo provided by KenYadda.