EPIC got the chance to connect with Kennedy Jones just in time for his appearance in Chico alongside Borgore on their #TurntLife Tour. Throwing down at the Senator Theater Saturday, May 11, Kennedy Jones is sure to have the place turnt up with everyone salsa twerking their booties off.
EPIC: What was your first thought when you saw you’d be playing a show in Chico, Calif.?
My first thought when I saw I would be playing in Chico is party party party. I heard you guys are a big party town and I am excited to see if that's true or not! It's always exciting when I'm going to play somewhere that people tell me in advance that my supporters are particularly wild in that specific city!
EPIC: You blew up as a trap artist relatively fast, in your personal opinion why do you think that is?
First of all I feel like I didn't even 'blow up' as a 'trap artist', which I am happy about. I feel like my true supporters know and expect ALL kinds of music from me, which is a fact that I love. I feel like this has all happened so quickly because of a combination of things. My Buygore family has supported me greatly, we all support eachother. Asaf has been really supportive of me and my music since the start, my management (Steve/Asaf) are always looking out for me, my booking agency is incredible (Circle Talent), friends of mine that are also producers (12th Planet, Borgore, EctEct, Carnage, Ookay, Diplo, Schoolboy, Brosafari, Brillz, GTA, Kill The Noise, Luminox to name only a few) have all supported my music from the start.
Also, my mom, my close best friends, my sisters, and extended family all cannot be any more loving and supportive of what I'm doing. There have been people next to me every step of the way. That had a HUGE impact on where I am today and I could not be more grateful and humbled by that fact. Last but not least my supporters are INCREDIBLE people. All of them are really unique in their own way and have really a passion to share and grow my music just as much as I do. I try to keep in close contact with them all by UStreaming frequently, giving them my phone number, and open email lines/Facebook messages and Twitter. I'm hoping that in the future, I can continue to support and be supported by my fans and other artists in the community, that's what it's all about.
EPIC: Who were your musical influences growing up, and which genres inspired you to start creating your own music?
To be quite honest, growing up I was pretty inspired by A LOT of musicians. I was never the type to say this ONE guy shaped my dream vision as a producer. If I had to chose one, George Clinton really has been an inspiration to me for a long time in my eyes as being a "super producer". I got the honor of meeting Mr. Clinton at the Red Bull Culture Clash here in Los Angeles recently and watched him actually perform a few songs such as "Atomic Dog". He has made so many iconic songs that will stay popular forever by having just the right formula for writing music and is still performing. That's amazing.
I had alot of different musical interests growing up, from jazz, swing, big band, hip hop, rock, metal, country, pop, house, oldies and more. Just the simple fact that I was 8 years old singing Freddy Fender tunes at school and people would look at me weird, I was inspired. I felt like I was different than other kids my age because I really, really felt such an appreciation for the old music and not just one genre. From that point on, I felt such a history attached to music and realized how much I valued it in my life.
EPIC: It comes to our understanding that you have "Irish Pride" tattooed on your toes, tell us a little more about why your heritage is so important to you.
My mother and father, although divorced since I was very young, were both very proud of our Irish heritage. The name 'Kennedy' comes from my grandfathers side (my father's father) and my mother's side was the Ryan family, from Ireland. I just always try to keep in mind what my ancestors believed and what they did to make their lives successful in the past. It's important, sacred, to me.
EPIC: You and Borgore came out with a unique remix somewhat recently – what’s it like collaborating with him musically and what in the world prompted you guys to remix the Macarena?
I love sitting down with Asaf (Borgore) anytime. Whether are are collaborating musically or just kickin it, he's such good people to be around. Such an original and genuine character and always has a good time. All around good person who cares for his family, fans, and team. I had joined Asaf on a few stops of the Bakery Tour last year and we were joking about remixing classic songs that were already a fad and long gone. Also, we talked about remixing songs that are pre programmed to make the crowd dance and get involved. It was kind of the same thought process I used while remixing Suavemente: What song is already in existence that will always make people move? It turned out to be a lot of fun and when we play it live it does it's job.
EPIC: Tell us some about your past as an emcee/rapper and how you like to incorporate that into your sets today.
I've always been a hip hop head, since day one. Hip hop is my home really. I've been a lyricist now, for well, over a decade and man I've watched it change so much. There was a point in my lyricist/rap career I realized not have I ever been 'just a rapper', why not live out my life as an all around musician. Best choice I ever made. Now, I throw in freestyles over my sets at times. It's so much fun to watch a crowd, who thinks you're just going to go up and play some songs, react to the DJ start rapping at 140 beats per minute. I try to keep my people involved with me and the music and experience it with them. I don't like being separated from the audience, I want to feel like I'm IN it, so MC'ing during my sets lets me vocalize energy I'm feeling to the crowd more personally.
EPIC: Do you think trap in ‘EDM’ is here to stay? Or do you just think it’s a fad?
I don't think anything is a 'fad' in EDM. It happens and gets popular because people like it. They like the energy and the vibe. I feel like I cannot really comment on if it's 'here to stay' simply because I'm not qualified to. I'm a musician but who am I to say when a genre will or won't fade. All I know is that it spiced up the bass music scene and was exactly what I feel that it needed, at exactly the right time. It has also opened SO many bass music fan's eyes and minds to more EDM styles. A whole crowd of people that I've once seen lose their minds to heavy dubstep, now loses their mind to what is essentially, house music (referring to big room house). It's an incredible thing to watch something pick up speed and influence and shape a community. I hope it stays but if it doesn't, I won't ever forget the impact it's had on bass music/EDM as a whole.
EPIC: If you could do a B2B set with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Ookay or Asaf. Whenever we play back to back our energy is ridiculous and we know each other's music like the back of our hands. We are brothers. I feel like I'm right where I need to be as far as who I'm working with, and that's a good feeling to have as a musician.
EPIC: In your Twitter bio, you mention that you’re a “non genre-specific producer”. What inspired you to branch out and produce several genres of music?
I've been a musician since I was a youngster. Really dove into music around age 10, playing percussion/piano. From there I decided to explore any musical instrument that I could. I feel it should be the same with genres. I grew up on classic country, rock, oldies, bands, merengue, folk, hip hop, metal, etc. so why not make whatever I feel? I think alot of people in EDM expect someone to stay within one genre, it's a part of establishing a brand. I want my brand to be the opposite. I want people to know that they can never be too sure what to expect from me, whether it be trap, dubstep, hip hop, moombah, mainstream pop, whatever. I'm a musician, not a genre specific marketing campaign, you dig?
EPIC: Tell us a little about some of your experiences working with the Buygore fam. What's been your most memorable moment with them so far?
Working with my Buygore family is amazing. We are all so close like brothers. Whenever we are together we are having fun wherever we are. Most memorable moment so far? I'd have to say B2B2B with KennedyXOokayXBorgore at SXSW in Austin. The vibe was mad real and the club was packed. Damn good times.
EPIC: What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
Within the next five years I would like to still be humble. That's an accomplishment all in its own to me. I want to still be there for my supporters and remain teachable. I hope to have done at least a world tour as well by that time and hopefully wake up in a new Bugatti.
Author: Caroline Cantrall | Chico, Calif. | PR Major, Music Minor