Intercontinental Hotel. 22nd of December 2014. The 4th consecutive DRB Concert. Kash arrives for a sound check much earlier than most but due to the stage not being finalized, that sound check never happened. Performance time comes and it turns out, the DJ with Kash’s music, DJ Bristar is absent as he’s gone home to change. When Bristar returns, they want the big shots to start their performances. Nobody regards Kash as a big shot so they say to him, “your performance is going to be cut from 3 songs to 1.” He’s unhappy. Who wouldn’t? He channels the unhappiness into one of the more impressive performances on the night alongside SV.
It didn’t stop there. The love continued when he released a new song, Christmas Miracle a couple of days later, the reception is one of a kind.
In July 2015, I’m speaking to some friends and they tell me they are at UP, Kash’s event. They confirm that there’s a sizeable number of people there. That’s when I start to look at Kash as someone who has his movement. The rationale being that at DRB, he’s an opening act so not high on the priority list. For them to be attending UP, it means they actually ride for this guy..
What have your different stage names been and what influences your changes in name?
Haha! This one brings memories. Growing up in Atlanta I started off being called Kash Money by one of my uncles, then I saw an album with Birdman’s Cash Money on the cover and knew I had to change it. I was like 10, when I started calling myself K-Money and it stuck up until when I was 16 and I hated the name. Then everyone just started calling me Kash in Atlanta and I liked it.
When did you start making music and why did you decide that was the path you wanted to go?
My older cousins made me freestyle for them when I was like 8 to entertain themselves. I wrote my first actual rap at 10. Used to freestyle everyday in Greensprings Lekki, Year 7 and then I finally did a proper song with my group STATIC in like year 8 at Day Waterman College.
Who and what do you feel influences your music?
Kanye West. That’s my idol. But right now the sound is real trap so I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t get influenced by it. But then I’m also a huge fan of Nigerian music. So I’m still trying to figure out how I can incorporate a little bit of everything. It’ll come to me soon enough.
In your opinion, what type of music are you making?
Right now, it’s decent music. This is just to let you all know I can rap. The real music will drop soon and you’ll see the difference. I know what I want to be in terms of a musician and due to my resources I haven’t been able to get there yet. An EP I’m dropping in Spring, called Traplanta 4eva will be a better look at where I’m heading. It’s coming together quite well. My roommate @ZaarBeats been creating some heat for me in terms of production.
You’ve diversified and started Traplanta Clothing, why have you chosen to also go the fashion route?
Haha, Traplanta started off as something I’d always say in songs and then I just thought it’d be cool to have a shirt my boys and I could wear. Didn’t expect it to becoming somewhat of a fashion line. I prefer the term merch though. Because I’m not really a fashion dude, I just got lucky. But with the cosigns I’ve been getting as of late, I’m seeing just how big this thing could be.
How have you combined being a student at Lynn University with trying to become a mainstream musician?
Due to the exchange rate I’m focusing more on these books. But during the holidays I put in work in terms of music. The balance is honestly just knowing your priorities.
Have there been any moments that you felt like quitting music?
Almost everyday. Sometimes I’m like, “What if none of this works out?” Like imagine I’m wasting the best years of my life. It’s scary. But I immediately ignore it. I know I’m going to make it in the next couple of years and Imma put everyone on. I got a passion and love for the game that I know will continue to flourish and show in my sound. I only give it a few more years, most likely less before it happens. And this isn’t to sound naive, cocky or any of that. I got the vision. You can choose to see it and join me on this journey or turn a blind eye and regret it in a couple of years; but just know I got the vision.
How supportive have your parents been of your music?
They’re really supportive now. My mom has always had my back 100 percent and my dad is finally seeing the vision as well. So hopefully they’ll continue supporting me financially and emotionally till I make it and beyond.
I’ve seen you perform at two DRB Concerts and it’s obvious the younger crowd ride for you. I recall when I was younger and loving certain musicians but now, I have outgrown those guys. Do you ever fear that the teenagers who vibe to your music now will outgrow your music?
No not at all. My music is going to grow with them. As I said before, y’all haven’t even really heard half of what I’m capable of. My sound will improve and even the older crowds will start respecting the craft, in due time.
You held your first event, UP last summer, what was the motivation behind that and how did it turn out?
I contacted SV & Cece immediately after watching Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 1 Fashion Show in February 2015. I was just inspired by everything he was doing at the time. I wanted to give the youth a voice in Lagos. We don’t get a chance to perform at these Christmas concerts or display their fashion lines yet. So this was for them. It was a way bigger turn out than we expected, the venue was overcrowded and a bit messy but the whole thing was amazing to be a part of. It went well. UP 2 will be happening. Just not sure when. But look out for that, bigger and better.
Financially, what is it like with your career, I’m guessing through Traplanta Clothing you’ve started making some money here and there. Do you charge for shows and before Traplanta Clothing, how are you making ends meet?
If I’m asked to do a show I’ll charge. But I haven’t really proven anything or dropped anything worth charging so I’m just really making this money from Traplanta and whatever holiday jobs I might do.
We’re barely into 2016, What can your Kash’s fans expect this year?
Expect the Trap Gidi line dropping anytime from March to June. It’s going to be really special, for our culture. No freebies though, support your friends 2016!! Also expect new music starting from March. I’m really working on quality. quality sounds #Traplanta4eva
Where do you see yourself, 5 years from now?
Hopefully a star here in America. I want to make it here and help with getting the Nigerian scene worldwide. Also, if I haven’t made it by then I’ll probably become a Music Executive. Either way we gon be straight. Shout out to the Traplanta team: Timi Gazal, Dede Jemide & Ireti Zaccheus. Also shout out my brothers Osadee & Ikenna. More music soon. Follow @Kashlanta & @TraplantaMerch