24: Introduce yourself to everyone that doesn’t already know who you are.
Klaww: What’s good? I’m Klaww – artist, songwriter, producer – just opened for Method Man in Chicago to celebrate the release of my new mixtape “The Moment.” We’re bringing a whole new spin to Hip-Hop. We infuse upbeat Hip-Hop with club music and house, but also produce inspirational music that makes people want to get up and march.
24: Before we get into your music, can you describe your history, specifically how you got into music and what inspired you?
Klaww: I’ve always loved music. From making drum beats on my kitchen table, to rapping on my porch, to making beats with my keyboard. Music is everywhere and in everything. It’s my job as an artist to learn the art of sound and bring those elements together in ways that capture the moment.
24: What makes you unique as an artist and different from other rappers out now?
Klaww: I live to rage. Rage isn’t anger; it’s a passion for living. Sounds cliché, but there are few better feelings than living in the heat of the moment – from spraying champagne after a hard-earned win, to fist pumping (or what we call “fighting the air”) in moments of pure euphoria, to standing on the field victorious with arms raised high. Partying’s part of it – the journey to get there’s the other. We rage by leaving it all on the table – by facing adversity head on and reaching deep inside to fuel the fire that drives each one of us. Life’s full of peaks and valleys and winning’s hard work, but honestly what’s worth having that isn’t? My music is all about capturing the essence of those moments and bringing out the emotions that make them special.
24: Tell us about what you are working on.
Klaww: My new mixtape “The Moment” just came out. It’s got 12 tracks, each an attempt to freeze time and let you live in a moment. Some of the tracks capture feelings of elation: You’ll raise your drinks and toast to “It’s the Weekend,” or join “The New School Movement” and rage with the “Night Ridas.” Others will make you stand up and face adversity head on. You’ll march to the “Rebel Anthem,” “Fight the Air” and sacrifice it all to achieve “Victory.” You’ll also reflect on the tougher times with “My Release” and “Through the Rain.” Life’s a roller coaster; music should reflect the good and the bad. It hurts, but sometimes we need that hurt more than we know…
24: In today’s free download age, what do you need to do to make yourself a household name?
Klaww: I know who likes my music, and I’m passionately loyal to those fans. It starts with that type of bond. It took me a long time to figure out my style, and I’m learning more each day. But I know who I am, and I’m true to that – staying real’s the only thing that ever mattered to me from the start. My fans appreciate the honestly. I’m not hood, and I don’t pretend to be. I’m no OG and my wheels don’t have spinning rims. That’s just not me. My raps are about real moments that we all can relate to – listen to “The Moment,” and you’ll see what I mean.
24: Are you happy with the feedback you have been getting from people on material you have released?
Klaww: I invite feedback whenever possible – we can’t improve and grow without it. But music is art. It’s our job as artists to filter through the feedback and decide whether or not to make a change. That’s the fun part. I do listen to every piece of feedback, especially from my fans. If they want more of something, I provide it. That’s why we did the house infused hip-hop tracks. The fans went crazy for those – they said they’d never heard anything like it. Those tracks (“New School Movement,” “Fight the Air,” and “Ragin’ Tonight,” among others) are damn fun to make – pure shots of adrenaline!
24: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene?
Klaww: It’s an exciting time – we’re in a transition period, and artists are thinking outside the box. The walls isolating genres of music are breaking down, allowing creativity to run wild. I’m making my mark by infusing other genres with Hip-Hop to create a type of new school movement. House and hip-hop? Why not? It’s the era of the independent artist. Now is the time to push the limits and take risks. Hip-hop is evolving. We’re in open waters, and it’s our job as artists to steer the ship.
24: Outside of the music what else are you currently working on?
Klaww: I’m a business man by day and an artist by night. I adamantly believe that education opens doors and lays the foundation for success. I studied hard and worked my ass off in school. Most rappers shy away from formal education. I’m not most rappers. I graduated second in my class from an Ivy League university and recently completed a top 5 graduate business school program. Those experiences have helped me become a better businessman and a better artist. I work just as hard on my music as I do in business, and I’m proud of both. It’s not about what you know – it’s about your capacity to understand, learn, and evolve. And I honed that skill by putting myself in uncomfortable situations and relentlessly reaching beyond my limits. Music is the product of my experiences. I just package it in songs to make it easier to digest.
24: What producers have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
Klaww: I’ve been fortunate to work with producers in Chicago, Boston, NYC and overseas – The Arcitype, Alex Kresovich, EliteProducers – to name a few. My dream has always been to work with Dr. Dre. I’m told Dre demands perfection in the booth and pushes artists harder than anyone in the game. That’s exactly what I need. I can always improve, and to do that I need to push my limits and take risks. The best concert I’ve ever been to was the Up in Smoke Tour back in the day. Dre – if you read this, hit me up, and let’s do some work (worth a shot, right?).
24: Where do you see yourself going in 2013 and how do you plan to separate yourself from the other artist out today to get the recognition you feel you deserve?
Klaww: Some of my fans are typical Hip-Hop listeners. Others are converted listeners from different genres of music. My goal is to attract more listeners to Hip-Hop by making something unique for today’s day and age. The new school movement is underway, and anyone who listens to our music knows that we sound different and that we’re already separating ourselves from other artists.
24: How can fans go about contacting you?
Klaww: Like us on Facebook
- Follow us on Twitter
- Subscribe to our channel on YouTube
- Watch Klaww perform and listen to the latest tracks on Klaww’s Website
- Email us at [email protected]
Check out the Live Performance Video: