Why was NOW the right time to finally drop "Songs For Listening?"
Why was now the right time? Because it was finished. (Haha). Actually, I started working on this late last year. I wanted to do another solo project or two before I do my solo album. Kind of add to my solo catalogue and familiarize listeners with Kwalified as a solo act so my solo album won't completely be coming out of left field, you know? Don't get it twisted though, you know Ill Hill is still the crew and my affiliation. We've got some surprises for y'all in the near future as well.
Does the album title have any specific meaning we should know about?
I chose that title for a specific reason. This EP, while short, does contain a pretty wide range of styles. You have a laid back joint like "Chillin ft. Melodie Soul" on there with the dubstep craziness of "Rage Face". This EP is different from "The Kevin Arnold EP" because that was pretty concept heavy. This was just me making music. The songs themselves aren't really connected. This is kind of a sampler of my versatility as an emcee, I guess. Just a taste. Haha. These songs are just so you can listen, enjoy, and kinda get into my style (hopefully, either that or you'll decide you hate me haha). These songs are for listening. Thus the title.
From a supportive standpoint, many artists have a good idea of who will download, purchase and big up a new project. That being said, is that type of support why you do what you do?
I really appreciate the support I get. I love support. I'm a slut for support (Haha) Seriously though, support is great. It's not the main motivating factor in why I do what I do though. I love music. I love making it, writing it, being around it. I can't not do it, you know? I've tried quitting before, and couldn't. Legit. Haha. So I guess I can't quit because I'm addicted. No interventions either. F**k rehab for this (Hahaha). The support is like....I guess a reward. It's like you put all your hard work in and you're rewarded with people liking what you did. It's a great feeling actually seeing people vibe with what you did. For me personally, I love that. Especially when people tell me about a specific song they really liked and that meant something to them. I feel like I communicated my message, it was understood, and it affected them and meant something. That's super powerful to me. Having what you say understood and mean something to people is dope.
How do you further reach out to listeners even further so the content of your album infects as many ears as humanly possible?
Currently the way I reach out is doing as many shows as I can, I'm on twitter acting a fool and promoting the music as well (@KwaliIsILL). Besides that there's some things in the works to take these shows to some of the outer islands, got a couple music videos on the way, also trying to work on having more merchandise to have for y'all at these shows too. Stepping the hustle up.
Talk about the creative individuals featured on SFL and a story or two on how they became a part of SFL.
First person I talked to about doing a collab for this project was Melodie Soul. I know her because she came in and worked with us when we still had R-U-N up and running (no pun intended). I had a beat from Jerzey Ric that I felt like was begging for a female vocalist. So we got to work. The bonus cut with Dice and Jim Hurdle (PRO) came about because Cody Keyz produced a smooth joint and assembled his team of Supa Spittaz. Hahaha! Omega Cix being on here was awesome. He was actually the last one I talked to. I hit him up over Facebook and he was down. I was really stoked to work with him. I’m a fan and I also have mad respect for dude. Plus he’s an OG. Legendary in these parts, so I was just stoked he said yes. Cozy is my brother, so there’s no way I’m making a project without him. Haha. Gotta get RockZa in there for the next one. Lucho was the homie for a minute and we were trying to link and figure out some music stuff for a while. Finally got him on Rage Face. That was fun. Can’t forget Christian aka CTLGD killin that beat. We’ve been trying to work on something for at least a year. So that was a long time coming. He also did the Anchors beat. Big S/O to homie Nate L (@natelapero) dude gave me the Bouncin beat and will be having alotta production on my upcoming stuff along with Jerz. So that’s what’s up. Also Sub over at Primaphonix is that dude. Knows what he’s doing in the lab and made it really easy and comfortable for me and the other artists on this project to do our thing. Big S/O to Sub. I owe him big time.
Going into the lab, did you have a certain direction in mind or did you just let the concepts come together to “organically” create the final product.
Going into the lab, I usually had the songs planned out before I went in. So all I had to do was lay it down and move on. Palm Trees and Plastic Cups was all written in the studio, Prie and K-Luv showed up kinda unexpectedly and since we were all there, we had to knock something out. Most of Chillin was written in studio too. It was cool to vibe with her like that and writing with her helped the song come out better I believe.