Nottinghasm met-up with local rap sensation K Classic!
* How long have you been doing what you do?
I've been rapping for a while now. I started writing poetry early-on after finding out I was good at it during primary school at age 8. I only really started writing raps at about 14 years old.
* How would you describe your music?
My music is feel good music. I like making people feel good and most of my lyrics are positive. I lived in Zimbabwe, a country surrounded by a lot of negativity. The only thing you can do is be positive.
* Who inspires you?
I've always loved music. I used to listen to my dad's old records, Michael Jackson, Sammie Davies Junior and Motown compilations. I'm inspired by all forms of music, but Nas was my major influence when it came to rap. I listened to all the other conscious rappers such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Ludacris, Tupac as well as old skool rappers to form my hiphop base. I liked how they talked about issues they faced, turning that negative imagery into something positive. I would say my flow is inspired by the old skool rappers but my lyrical content is inspired by what I see everyday and what I've been through.
* What made you take the step from being a listener to making the music?
I've always listened to a lot of music and fell in love with hiphop from an early age. I never listened to contemporary R&B that much. I guess hiphop felt like another world where everything was possible. You could express yourself in any topic. From an early age, I've been writing I guess but only decided to write rhymes seriously after hearing Nas' song "Ether", a diss song to Jay-Z. The clever word play and effective imagery used in the verses and chorus made me wonder how the hell he did that and so I began to teach myself how to rap.
* At the start, did you ever think about not carrying on? What persuaded you to continue?
I used to get really frustrated and did not receive positive feedback when I started at around 14. I used to make lyric tapes on cassettes from written material from my rap book. I played them to my friends and they didnt like them. They were just acapella but gave me the practice I needed to learn how to control my vocals. It also taught me that I needed to rap with a flow, about something instead of just putting words on paper. I got better and did a couple of rough songs at 16 in Zimbabwe then stopped rapping when I came to the UK. I only started rapping again when my 6th form friend and singer, Sahand, advised me to carry on.
* Is your music a solo effort or a collaboration? If it's collaborative, who do we need to know about?
I am a solo artist but collaborate with other artists in Nottingham. I have mainly worked with Marvin Brown, a Nottingham reggae and R&B artist who recorded the material that you can hear on my website. He also provided vocals for a few of my songs. I am currently working with Project S2dio, a community based recording studio who is recording and mixing my debut mixtape.
* What's your favourite track to date, and why?
My favourite track to date is "We Can Make Love". I spent a lot of time and effort on that song, from the writing stage to the recording and eventually the music video. It's my favourite because it's my first attempt at making a commercial-like single but still trying to maintain my lyrical technique. I received and still receive a lot of positive feedback for the song but I still feel I can improve.
* How can people stay in touch with what you're doing?
People can go to my website, www.kclassicmusic.com where all my social media links are available or you can follow me on twitter, www.twitter.com/K_Classic
* What's next?
Hopefully, my mixtape will be completed by the end of this summer, entitled "#ZoneTheMixtape" featuring beat production from Vans Beats, a german producer; his group The Cratez; Warren Xclnce, who I met at university; and Freek Van Workum, a Dutch producer. Also, vocals will come from local artists in Nottingham as well some from Africa and the US. I want to show the world what I can do musically as a rapper and God-wiiling, move on to bigger things.