Keyz is only 20 years old and he just released his first album. ‘The Seed’ has, in his own words, now been planted. The lyrics indicate empathy and compassion one would expect to see in an older individual. This is a young individual, who realizes that his voice, no matter how small or unsigned, can have an impact. Especially if the rest of us listen and follow his plea to make an impact in a unified way.
From ‘You and Me’ (prod. Yondo)
“to anybody hearing this track
understand that it’s more than a lyric in a rap
i’m tryna uplift your spirits in fact
together we’ll make a bigger impact”
Halldór contacted Keyz and learned about the process of his debut album, his message and upcoming projects for this brilliant young artist.
For those not familiar with your work, who is Keyz?
I’m a 20-year old from Sudan that would like to become the voice for all ‘third culture kids’, as well as all marginalized and underrepresented social classes. Through music and media I want to unify like-minded people and build a global community dedicated to bring about systematic changes in society, economy, and politics.
According to your Bandcamp page you turned 20 years old this year. How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music since I was 11 or 12 years old – but back then, my stuff was trash. Even my stage-name was corny – I called myself ‘Dizeaze’ because I thought I was ‘sick with the flow’ (God, I hope people don’t find that stuff lol). I still have a long way to go but it’s been great learning the basics of how to write and record my own songs… and how to come up with a better stage name..
‘The Seed’ is your first album. How was the process behind the album?
I loved making my first album. I learned a lot about the recording process and zoned in on it to make sure my sound quality was decent. The masterminds behind the beats blessed me with the opportunity to use their sounds and it was awesome reaching out to the lovely ladies who let me use their artwork for the album cover, as well as cover art for each song.
I was also happy with the roll out – I figured out how to get my music on Spotify/iTunes & most major streaming services – and I have great friends & family who helped with marketing & planning.
And the response was great! I’m humbled by & super grateful for the support I’m receiving for the album and flattered when I have opportunities like these – interviews, performances, etc.
How important is it for you to have a political or activist message in your songs and what is your inspiration for making conscious music?
Not to sound cliche, but, I believe my purpose in life is to be an activist for the benefit of my community, for the third culture. and for the world. And I know that music shaped my character, so, when I make music, I try my best to help other listeners better themselves. My inspiration comes from a lot of places, but when I watch my favorite artists perform live, with thousands of like-minded people chanting their lyrics – I want to be on that stage. With thousands of people united for social change.
Do you feel there is a like-minded scene around you or do you feel lonely making your music?
I feel like there are artists, even mainstream artists like Kendrick, Cole, & Joey Bada$$, who make conscious music & have even paved the lane for conscious music to resurface for our generation – but there still isn’t a voice for the GLOBALLY underrepresented people of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and all indigenous people who have had their cultures and histories rewritten by imperials… so I’m going to have to fill that void.
What are some of your favorite political or conscious musicians/bands out there?
I have loads of favorites to be honest – everyone from Lauryn Hill and Tupac to Joey Bada$$ and Ab-Soul to Mick Jenkins and Joyner Lucas and of course Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Well, since I released ‘The Seed’, I’ve been working on new music, some collaborations, and will start performing more and networking – hopefully within the next 6 months I’ll be able to throw my own concert. Pray for me!
Thank you so much for participating and for making the music you make! Anything you want to add to wrap this up?