Blonde girls can rap! The female MC Kellee Maize definitely proves it on her new album « Aligned Archetype ». This talented artist from Pittsburgh mixes hip hop/electro music with spirituality and activism. Add on it a tight flow and deep lyrics and you’ll obtain a unique style in the rap game.
- How would you describe your music and your style?
The lyrics are born out of a sort of neo-hippie spiritual movement that I am really engrossed in that has altered the way I see myself and the world. I also use my lyrics as a chance to bring up issues that I feel are important to keep in the front of mind. My music has always been a form of activism for me although I am starting to try to also just have fun and make people dance and smile. The music or beats are chosen based on how I am feeling that day! I like so many different kinds of music so I haven’t really settled on one particular type of beat, and I don’t think I will, it’s just too limiting.
You will hear electro, reggae, r&b, hindi, hip hop, reggaeton, and more … sometimes all mixed together!
- From your lyrics we can say you’re an engaged artist with a positive energy to spread. From where come your motivation and your will to go this way?
I have been through a lot of trauma and loss in my life and I often felt like I would never be a happy and fulfilled person. I spent so much time seeing the world as corrupt and hopeless. When I started understanding the power that we each have to change the course of our life by applying things I learned and talk about in my music, such as the law of attraction, I finally felt like this was what I am here to do.
Prior to my self-exploration, I only talked about the things I felt were wrong and now I recognize that I am responsible for the energy I put out into the world.
I think that it is important to be aware of what is going on but it is equally as important to recognize that you really can help shift the entire world with your own thoughts, intentions and actions. More-over you give power to whatever it is that you focus on. I want to see a world of compassion, cooperation, and love so I am trying to use my music as a vehicle to describe what I think is necessary to achieve this goal. I am sure it may come off as an idealist to some but, when I see the transformation in my life from being a “dead woman walking” to a powerful creator, I have to believe that it is worth at least attempting to share this information with others.
As Ghandi put it, "I am trying to be the change I wish to see".
- Who made the beats of “Aligned Archetype”? Do you have producers in charge of it?
The album features a lot of different producers including King Tutt, Sean Caesar and Scottie B of Unruly Records, Cynik Lethal, a Pittsburgh Emcee and producer who just recently won a beat battle in Pgh. Ricky Skullcrusha produced two tracks on the album, he produces and spins Dubstep, Hip Hop and various other kinds of music. Diezel and DJ Huggy, (the Bobo's) two hard core producers, musicians, engineers or better said jack-of-all trades when it comes to making music. They helped co-produce almost every beat on the album and Huggy has been my mixing and recording engineer for almost all of my career.
I also work with James Brown from Pgh, who is an incredibly talented producer, musician and teacher. You will hear Classik on "Third Eye", he is a sick beat maker from New York. Since the beginning of my career I have worked with Detonate, a phenominal DJ and producers who is currently in Boston. Last but not least I am working with another Baltimore producer D-Lake who is 1/3 of Claire Hux, a hip hop/electro group that has been making a lot of noise over the last two years.
- What makes you decide to put ‘Aligned Archetype’ under Creative Commons? How did you come to it?
Well, like I said above, I want people to have the opportunity to hear things that I think are helpful to living a better life. I also just want to help people have fun and dance. By giving it away for free, there is a greater chance that a listener will be open and willing. From a marketing perspective, I want to do this forever so I hope that if folks get a taste of what I have to offer and like what they hear, see its value or maybe just feel it makes them wanna move or smile, they will support my growth in the future and ultimately the growth of like-minded music.
- You have your own company Nakturnal Records. Are you at the head of the organization? Do you plan to become some kind of label and develop other artists?
Nakturnal is actually a marketing company that I started a few years ago. We do marketing and promotions for many clients in the Pittsburgh area. My two business partners at Nakturnal are supporting my music venture with the help of many friends, volunteers, and fans. It is a long term goal that we can support like-minded artists by sharing the various ideas and tactics that we are exploring while promoting my music. I am a guinea-pig of sorts. If we can make turn my music career into a sustainable one, we will do it for other artists as well. It starts with making good music and working with sites such as Jamendo to spread the word.
- What about your next project?
I have several single releases in the works, various music videos and a funk/soul project I am working on. I plan to release music on a very regular basis.
One of my next song is actually a pretty special one. I was given permission by the makers of the films Zeitgeist and Zeitgeist Addendum (they are the most viral videos of all time) to use their music for my next song. It will be called Zeitgeist as well. I’ve already started recording it.
- A word to finish?
Thank you so much for your interest in me and my music.
It means a lot to me to have support from a powerhouse such as Jamendo!
Jamendo is the future of music!