Check out I2G’s exclusive interview with Kiyoshi Shelton.
Tell me a little bit about how you got your start in music and who are some of your musical influences out there coming up.
My father was a music teacher for many years. I started playing guitar at the age of 8, writing songs as a teen…then moved onto bass guitar as a teenager. I started writing poetry at 14 years of age then rapping at age 15. I was involved in the poetry slam scene and local music scene in and around Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan in college and then got more and more serious.
Musical influences growing up: J-Dilla, Slum Village, Mos Def, The Roots, Busta Rhymes, Eminem, BlackStar, D’Angelo, Gospel Gangsters, Tunnel Rats, Cross Movement, Saul Williams, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Tonex. A lot of Detroit Rappers and East Coast rappers.
You just recently dropped your new single and video for Get Up. Tell me a little bit about the single and how it came together for you.
The video for Kiyoshi’s “Get Up” is inspired by current events created to help spread positive change in the world and hope in the world. In the midst of social upheaval, economic despair, hardships, job loss, pipeline protest chaos, racism, warfare etc, Kiyoshi powerfully commands our attention with this must-see visual . Through intricate rhyme patterning, charismatic personality and deep passion, Kiyoshi provides hope for the new guard, combining golden era hip-hop with the new school flavor to create a fresh sound.
I was really pumped to get the music video out because of the intensity in the news and social media so I decided to film and edit it myself using some stock pictures I found online to create what I envisioned. It took me a little less than a week to put it all together.
Do you have any more upcoming videos?
I am filming my music video for my song “I am Healthy” later this month in October. I will be featuring a lot of the San Diego community and health community. It will be awesome 🙂
What’s up next for you? Any full length LP’s in the works?
I will be performing at the One Love Movement Event in Standing Rock, North Dakota to aid the Native Americans and to bring my musical gifts and conscious vibes during October 20-23rd. I raised enough funds via my gofund me and am excited to go.
I am currently working on my new “Sensation EP.” I plan on releasing it early 2017.
What are your current thoughts on the state of hip hop in 2016?
I think the current state of hiphop is definitely different from where it used to be…particularly in the mainstream world. There are amazing underground emcees and artists who go unnoticed by many, however many of the mainstream rappers are what we call “Mumbling rappers:…they don’t represent hiphop well as many of them have no respect for the true art and history/culture of hiphop.
Do you have any shows or tour dates?
I am performing October 20-23rd at Standing Rock, North Dakota and I am performing at Dance Medicine Festival in La Jolla, California on Friday, November 11th at 9:00pm.
What is your website information?
Appreciate the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Thank you very much for this opportunity/interview.
I’d like to give a big shoutout to Buddha Music Group, my family & friends in Michigan and San Diego, and to everyone inspiring to make the world a better place through art & music.