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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Kaz-well
Monday, June 22, 2009

When I received my copy of Kaz-well’s Fish Outta Water last month it didn’t take more than a couple songs to get me feeling the vibe of it. The album was dope and I put “Krazy Glue” into rotation on my podcast. I didn’t, however, know anything, and I mean anything, about the man who made it. With Kaz-well being a fresh new face on the scene I did a little research on him and this week I caught up with him to find out more about his life, his music, and what his restaurateur parents think of his career path as an emcee.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with the Kaz-well story. Who is Kaz-well? Where is he from and how did he get into Hip-Hop?
Kaz-well: I was born and raised in San Francisco. Fell in love with Hip-Hop in ’86 and was introduced to graffiti and break dancing in ‘91 by way of the film Beat Street. I used to lose it when I watched the battle at the Roxy where Crazy Legs takes off his shoes at the end. From there it was a natural progression towards rapping. Freestyling on a Tascam four track, jacking beats… rapping was a platform for us to tell our stories and be heard. Even if it was just for our friends we could express all the awkward and funny things that teenagers go through and be understood. Sometimes we’d just try to say the most outrageous things to get a rise out of each other

Adam Bernard: Why is Kaz-well someone people should want to listen to?
Kaz-well: I think people should listen to me if they want something fresh and original. I try not to be influenced by the contemporaries out there. I try to stick to my own style and voice. Sometimes I rap from the perspective of present day Kaz-well, sometimes future Kaz-well speaks, and at other times you’ll hear Kaz-well the four year old spit a verse. As I began to discover myself through music I realized that all these different sides of me exist.

Adam Bernard: With so many different sides to yourself, how would you describe your style as an emcee?
Kaz-well: Innovative, unfiltered, imperfect. I used to try to say things that I thought would make me sound cool but now I just sort of speak naturally and let it go.

Adam Bernard: Your album, Fish Outta Water, drops June 30th. If possible, can you encapsulate what this album means to you?
Kaz-well: Fish Outta Water is about exploration and discovery from the eyes and mind of Kaz-well. My stories interweave through the psyche and the physical world, sometimes through the voice of a child and at other times an adult man. It is a self-realization in music form. This album is the most honest I’ve ever been with myself and others.

Adam Bernard: Many of the songs deal with love in some way, shape, or form. How difficult is it to write about love without sounding corny, and why was love on your mind during the writing phase of this album?
Kaz-well: Love was fresh in my mind because I had just met my fiancé (now wife), Ivanka, and we had been in the honeymoon phase for the latter portion of my album. I guess I don’t think about “not sounding corny” and I just write how I think and feel about love. But you can ask my boys, some of ‘em make fun of me for saying certain things cuz it sounds corny to them, but they know that’s how I really talk.

Adam Bernard: What do you hope people get out of a Kaz-well listening experience?
Kaz-well: I hope they become more in tune with themselves and the people around them. I hope my album makes them feel good and weird at the same time. I hope people get in touch with their eccentric self and accept it.

Adam Bernard: You’re from Frisco. A LOT of great Hip-Hop has been coming out of the Bay recently. Tell me all about how exciting your scene is right now and how you’ve seen it grow over the years.
Kaz-well: I’m very excited about Hip-Hop in the Bay. Since the days of Hiero, RBL, Get Low, Nonce, the B.U.M.S and Living Legends the Bay has always had a dynamic and style unlike any other area. Our designs and blueprints are unmatched. We may not be the most commercially viable, but you could bet that 14 year old kids in Denmark are up on Quannum Project and Andre Nickatina. Right now I’m very excited about Melina Jones, Deedot, Hopie Spitshard, Keelay and Zaire, Da Evangellist, Barnone, Lansky and IcePick, J-Billions and P-Funk, Alexander Spits, all very original and very BAY artists telling stories from their own view and doing it well.

Adam Bernard: Your parents are Japanese-American restaurateurs. How did they react when you told them your plans to be an emcee… or will they not be finding out until the album drops?
Kaz-well: They love it. They are self-builders, making something out of nothing, so they can appreciate my endeavors. They’re my biggest fans.

Adam Bernard: That’s awesome. Finally, define success.
Kaz-well: Success is waking up in the morning and realizing that your dreams and your job are the exact same thing.

Related Links

Website: kaz-well.com
MySpace: myspace.com/kazwellmusic


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:42 AM  
  • At 6:02 AM, Blogger Turtle said…

    This album is dope and fresh.. Something different and stands out from all that water down hip-hop that is out there.. I'm glad his name is getting out there... I been following him since his Krush Ellington days..

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