Kayo Genesis is a music artist, director, graphic designer, and animator, whose main goal is to create music to his fullest potential. Splitting his time between his hometown of Palmdale and North Hollywood where the studios are, real name Kalik Osborne creates his own wave, intertwining his wit and intelligence with his own personal life experiences. Read more…
Coming up on SoundCloud and garnering a buzz with the politically-charged “Woke,” Kayo went on to unleash his Bad Sushi EP, featuring standout singles “Distance” and “Rich Lives Matter.” Currently, he’s on the road opening for Aminé on his Tour Point 5ive alongside Buddy, creating long-lasting memories while soaking up the game from his elders.
Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
That’s an interesting question, hopefully in my own space. That’s where I feel like I’m at, I’m trying to create something new for tomorrow.
You’re from Palmdale, how does that play into your life and career?
It’s great because I’m close enough to LA where I’m flooded with entertainment stuff and I’m a media guru, but it’s just enough out the way for me to focus on my own thing. That’s what Palmdale was to me.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
I’ve never done this before or so I can’t really say if LA is the best place or how important it is. It’s definitely been instrumental in my life. I appreciate being out here so for other artists, yeah come visit LA.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Wow. I started taking music seriously when all of the right elements that I’ve been trying to manifest came into my life. Meeting my producer Trakmatik and my small label 2020 Gold, that took it to another level for me. Also the immense amount of great, positive feedback and outcomes that I’ve received from putting out my own music.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
Kayo is my abbreviation of Kalik Osborne. KO like knock out, and my real name actually has Ali in the middle, which is funny. It’s just the origin of my first brink into the industry. I feel like it will change, but it couldn’t just be Kayo because there’s another Kayo out there. I had to spice it and make it my own, so Kayo Genesis.
You released your EP Bad Sushi.
I feel like 10 is borderline.
EP, album, it can be either one.
Talk about the creative process and how long it took you.
It took just about as long as it takes to make a baby for this album, about 9 to 10 months. [chuckles] Me and Trak have been working closely with a few different artists. Mainly just us in the studio grinding out, doing what feels right. Having fun and trying to create something refreshingly new that they haven’t heard before. The process has been really cool and challenging.
“Rich Lives Matter” is a statement. Why is it important for you to speak on political/social issues?
That’s up to the individual. I feel like I have solutions for problems that might be good if implemented, in terms of systems or inventions. In this culture, we tend to focus on the problems more than the solutions. It’s just a little taste of what the future holds for Kayo Genesis.
“Hometown” is super personal. What do your parents think of your music career?
Funny you ask that question, they love that song. My father and my stepfather were actually at show last night in Santa Ana. I got a chance to hear from them that that was their favorite record. I mentioned my stepmother and the person I grew up with… it’s probably the most personal song. It was important to talk about, especially coming out as a new artist.
Was it hard for you to be so personal?
No, I got comfortable with it. It is hard to be vulnerable and open with your life with other people, but I’ve just been living in that world for a while now.
I know artists tend to have their own favorites on the album. What are some of yours?
The last song I make tends to be my favorite song. “Hometown” happened to be the last song we made, right before the release. I’m still marinating on that and some new stuff we’re starting.
“Distance” was a big record for you. Talk about bringing it to life.
I wrote the song, came up with the melody. It’s produced by some other producers I used to work with, Twin Towers. It just came naturally. There was no one else really involved other than the Twins and myself. At that time, we were just in a consistent flow of making songs. The idea came from a real place.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I want fans to get whatever they need from the album. I can’t really put one subject on it because there’s a lot of diversity in the album. Someone who might be going through something serious might take something from “Sashimi.”Someone who is very headstrong in what’s going on in the world, in the black community, might take something from “Rich Lives Matter.” Whatever was intended for the person to get, is what I hope they get from it.
Talk about the name ‘Bad Sushi’.
It was a funny name that fell in my lap and stuck with me. I think about stuff too much sometimes. Bad Sushi was basically representative of, and contrary to the album, all the music around me and the generation of time that I live right now. I feel like hip-hop, even just being a rapper, is just a negative name attached to it. To the point where you listen to the music and it’s like eating bad food. You listen to it and now, divorce rates are higher in the black community. There’s just different things that we consume: lean and drugs. Just all the things that are cool, all of that is Bad Sushi. It’s a way to bring up this conversation.
What is your take on the music industry?
I hate it. [laughs] No I’m just playing. The music industry is vast. There’s a lot of beauty in it. There’s a lot of systematic problems in it. There’s a lot of uncertainty, but there’s so much to be aware of, and take and learn from it. It’s good to just have an open with it and not feel like there’s one way to be in the music industry. I’d like to be instrumental in the entertainment field in that you see things, you observe things, but you still create your own pathway from it.
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
I want to create some great stuff for people. I want to create music that lives past 10 years, that’s a big goal for me. I want to create music that reaches millions of people, that’s an immediate goal for me. I also want to create some new products.
Talk about opening for Aminé on tour. What’s been the best memory on tour?
It’s been such an experience, it feels like a movie. Buddy is super tight, I was a Buddy fan before I met him. Aminé has just been making wonders happen. He’s such a great person. He’s super calm, he has his head on straight. I’ve just been soaking it up. This is my first tour, my first album release. I’ve just been kind of sitting back and enjoying myself.
What’s been the best memory on tour?
It’s not over yet! But so far, I had my first crowd surf. That was really crazy. To see a group of strangers hold me in the air because they liked the very first 2 or 3 songs they heard from me, that was really cool. Overall experience has been great, but that was a peak moment for me.
How important is social media for your career?
Social media is big. Social media my biggest outlet of communication right now for people. Me being such a computer geek, it’s been perfect because I can express myself beyond music, visually, for people to see. I love it. I know there’s a lot of negative outlooks on social media. It comes down to the user and how you use any tool that is presented. A lot of people are still getting used to it but I feel like I’m a pro, at least right now in this generation. In terms of like how it affects us, it’s a tool. I love using it like I love using cameras.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
There’s not one. Every day I try to reinvent myself, do something that pushes me out of my comfort zone. The tour is everything I’ve been asking for. Before I got on the tour, I wanted to travel and have new experiences all the time. Something’s wrong with me, I can’t stick to a schedule. I can’t stick to “sleep this many hours, eat this, and do this” at the same time, for the rest of the year. I can’t. I don’t operate like that. I have my core things I stay consistent with, and then every day is like a wildcard. [laughs]
3 things you need in the studio?
My shoes off, good energy, and that sense of freedom. No judgment or pressure. Just loosen up, I need that energy.
Favorite song to perform in a set?
I actually like doing “Distance.” Maybe it’s because a lot of people already know that record. I just jump into my own little place with it. It comes from a real place and I still deal with it. I feel it.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
This girl wanted me to film her Snapchat story while I was performing, so I grabbed her phone and I did the story while I was still doing my verse. Gave it back to her and she had a blast. That was really cool. Just to see the different ethnicities and people that have come up to me and have been serious about my music has been beautiful.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Travis Scott just because Astroworld came out.
I feel like that was a while ago.
It was, and music goes pretty fast. My little brother put me on with that. He’s 19, so he’s right in it. He’s in there.
Lauryn Hill would be crazy. I just want to do a laid, kickback song with her and just have fun with it. Or maybe Erykah Badu.
Anything else you want to let us know?
I definitely want people to go to my website and social media, because I have a lot to offer.