Krukid Talks Integrity, Creativity and Business

Posted by Justin Boland on Sep 22, 2009 | 0 Comments

Krukid press portrait

JB: With two solo albums under your belt, what are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned about planning a project?

Krukid: All of them, but I’ll try to boil them down to a few things. First, know your playing field. Everything is levels, no one has the same resources and some artists just have to take more responsibility than others. This includes doing your own beat making, engineering, writing, performing, recording, design the list is endless. Regardless of levels though, you can’t have a proper project without all these elements so if you cant execute all these things your project is not worth putting out.

Secondly, know your part. You might have to do more, but you CAN”T do everything, so if you have to, you need to assemble a team to help do either what you are not available to do or just plain not suited for.

And third: just know your possibilities. Know you can plan everything down to the letter and execute beautifully only to be hit by a recession, a trend change, a Katrina, SOMETHING. Just work as smart AND as hard as you can and expect the worst.

JB: What kind of team is working behind the scenes for Krukid?  Are you mostly flying solo or do you have a core group you’re working with?

Krukid: I work with a team of multi-talented musicians who bounce back and forth between the creative and business aspects. Some of my fellow artists are great promoters, some of my producers are great with business planning and numbers, some of the singers and engineers are talented web developers, I happen to dabble in design, and so on and so forth. I’ve met some brilliant people and artists since the last two projects saw fruition, and the only thing we don’t have yet is an umbrella labeling to build the brand off of so right now we’re working on just that. Deciding on a name.

Krukid Rawkus 50

JB: How has your approach to songwriting changed in the past 4 years?

Krukid: I do me. I think at one point I wanted to make music my idols would be proud of, even on my last album AFRiCAN. On this album Lifelines, it’s simply more so that, lines about my life. I’m trying to make ME proud. I have orchestrated what i feel is a timeless art piece showcasing where I am as a man, faults and all, as an African living on foreign soil, as a poet and musician, and as a creative but human being overall. On this album I play with words and flow structures, but more than that I sing my niece a lullaby, drunkenly propose to beautiful strangers, fight with my love interest, beg for forgiveness, tell a few true or not so true stories, ask what is wrong with the system, ingest all the wrong things into my own system, hover over my own burial and eulogy and still manage to have bulkload of fun and enjoy my blessings along the way. Because that’s life, and that’s what all these lines are about.

Krukid in the Studio

What kind of tools are you using to keep your career organized in 2009?

Krukid: Other people. I’m trying to organise myself too, but honestly I’m the more messy creative type, i leave stuff everywhere, my boys probably think my phone chargers are remember-me-bys. The beauty of a team, give me work that requires my strengths, and my boys will help cover my weaknesses. I definitely pull my own weight, but thank God for talent in good friends and the people around me in general. I’d advise Gmail and multiple external hard drives. Document everything and learn Microsoft Excel, and don’t let me organize a damn thing for you.

Do you sell verses and design work, or do you work on mostly on the basis of trading favors and bartering services?

Krukid: I’d have to say both and it depends. On one hand some of the services I’m blessed to have access to I cant afford, but I know all my people, just like like to get paid for our talent and hard work, so I’ll have to say a hopefully fair balance of both.

Krukid live onstage sugargliders

What advice would you give readers who are just getting started as hip hop artists themselves?

Krukid: Love this or finish school and get a job. That’s integral, these days hip hop isn’t the meal ticket it was a year and a half ago thank God. Secondly talent is nothing without hard work. If you let someone do the work for you don’t get mad when they take your money too. And lastly learn from every experience, every tribulation and every mistake because this grind doesn’t work the same for any two artists, so learn your lane and cruise that son of a gun till the transmission dies. Oh yeah, do music like you have no back up plan, but especially doing music try to have two or three. This ish’ll leave you broke, alone, wrought with self loathing and suicidal. Know what you’re getting into, and have a way to get out if it comes down to it

What are your long-term goals? Once your foundation is finished and you’re a known artist, what larger changes do you want to make, in the industry and the world at large?

Have a family, settle down, hopefully dabble in movies, theatre and community work, and help jumpstart the career of the next incredible artist when my time has come and gone. I could care for the fame, just give me the legacy and I’ll be happy just to get by….

African Rebel Movement

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Music by Justin Boland