CONVERSATIONS: Feeding your love of life!

CONVERSATIONS: Feeding your love of life!

Conversations LIVE on WYAD 94.1 FM in Yazoo City, Mississippi!

Conversations LIVE on WYAD 94.1 FM in Yazoo City, Mississippi!
Click banner for details.

Conversations LIVE is on 106 Live Radio

Conversations LIVE is on 106 Live Radio
Monday through Fridays @ 11a.m. et (10a.m. ct/8a.m. pt)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Conversation with Recording Artist Kidd Russell

For the past decade the artist known to the world as Kidd Russell from Roverwoods, IL has been busy making serious moves as a recording artist. That is saying alot since he is only 28 years old. His music has found loyal followers from individuals of all backgrounds, and is getting the attention that so many in his field would love to enjoy. We caught up with Kidd in the middle of his crazy schedule to discuss his love of music, his own expectations of success and what advice he would give to those who are looking to follow in his steps.

This is our conversation.

First of all, Kidd, thanks for talking with us. What attracted you to music, especially hip hop?
I love the stories, the emotion and the feeling you get when you write a great song. I've always been inspired by the great song writers in hip hop Tupac, Biggie, Eminem and more legends. In general I always thought that’s what I could be great at the song writing! The rest of the music business is just fun and challenging. My generation was raised on hip hop so natural since my singing voice is amazing hip hop is where I found my voice! And it’s been a great ride so far!

As an artist, what inspires you?
Tragedy, Hope, human stories and raw basic human emotion and needs! I'm inspired by the artist before me like bob marley and tupac whose music helped change the conversation we had as a culture. To me that’s what inspires me to make people believe and understand different views and stories in life. I hoping that it can help bring us as a people together!

What has surprised you the most about the industry you chose?
I guess how much goes into actually making a song successful. A single song that an artist puts out is like its own business! When I was first getting into this business I was really green thinking that it was just make and album and people will come. Its way more work than that! But on the same note, surprisingly, that’s the part that excites me the most! I love when a great song comes together figuring out how on and indie artist budget how to get the entire world to listen!

When you look back at the challenges you have faced, what has been the most difficult and what did you learn from it?
Learning how to make money as an artist! It’s very hard without a good team, manager, lawyer, press, budget and more. It’s been a 10yr long journey for me to figure that out! Every aspect of this industry is insanely hard. First you have to learn how and what a great song sounds like, brand yourself, your style! Then you have to learn how to make a finished record, how to press up cds, how to distribute yourself. And then you have to learn how to market, promote, tour all that as an indie artist you have on your shoulders so if you don’t love all aspects of this business you should find something else to do or consider it a hobby. If your lucky you’ll be able to get a good team of people around you early in your career it makes everything so much easier!

Hip Hop has not had the best reputation when it comes to content. What separates you from the work of the artists that seem to be flooding the airwaves?
Just listen to “Dear Shooter,” “Paradise,” or “Be.Song.” If my music doesn’t inspire you, get an emotion out of you then I’m not doing my job. I feel I’m the alternative to 90% of what’s on hip hop radio station’s I’m the artist putting out the new “Dear Mommas,” “Stan’s” and Ice Cube records that actual have meaning and purpose!

"Dear Shooter" has gotten quite a bit of press. Are you surprised that the song has garnered the attention that it has?
Honestly and completely YES! I was scared to even release it I didn’t think people would want to hear a song as serious and real as “Dear Shooter!” The first day I put the record up on Myspace it reached 1,000 plays for almost a week straight it was amazing the outpour of letters, messages and more came flooding in! I’m extremely proud of that record it’s carried its self to international press and airplay. The video made it even more powerful and has given it even more exposure. It’s made my career and its still growing. A lady wrote me a thank you letter saying the played ‘Dear Shooter’ at her cousin’s funeral and wanted to thank me for the song! I to catch my breath I was amazed an honored that this song is so meaningful to so many people! I just hope it gives a voice to all the people lost to gun violence!

Radio time is sometimes hard to get for artists. How do you overcome that hurdle and what would you say are the advantages of calling the shots for yourself?
I’ve been fortunate to have my songs played on major radio and college radio and hopefully more as an indie artist! But they rarely ever or basically never put indie artist into rotation unless there’s some solid money or buzz coming from somewhere else! The cool part of being an indie artist is that you have to learn every aspect of the business there isn’t one hat I don’t wear so you have to learn how to be creative online, virally or just smarter and more efficient that major labels with radio money!

You are a member of Hip Hop and Books as well as Celebrealacy, both projects that support reading. Why is that cause so important to you?
Listen, my dad always jokes that in high school I could barely put a sentence together (laughs)! Having bad grades and the inability to read and write well before college almost destroyed my future. The smartest things a young kid can do are become articulate, well read, and worldly and get good grades. It’s a better hustle then the drug trade. Students with great grades get scholarships even if they aren’t athletes and have 100% more opportunity in life. I was lucky to go to military school after high school which gave me a second chance at education now I write for a living and read in one day probably more than human on the planet because knowledge is truly POWER! It gives you mental weapons at any stage in your life.

Artists define success in different ways. What does success look like for Kidd Russell?
Success is doing what you love and making a living while become the best person you can possibly be no matter the obstacles. If I do a show and only get paid $1 dollar that one dollar is more important to me than $50,000 would be working for some else or working a job I hated!

What is next for you?
Too much to type, new EP THE DASH is out September 1st, new music video for “ROCK RUSH REMIX” is now out, working on THE DASH EP 2. “RUSH” will be on this year's soundtrack to MTV’s Americas Best Dance Crew, more music licensing, building my team, I have a new touring live band, I’m in the documentary “The Bridge” being released by, started label and we have about 3 other young artist we are grooming I hope to be the next RhymeSayers and doing more and more of what I love. Hopefully tour this spring. I could go on and on!

If readers and fans want to contact you or get more information, where should they go online?
You can find me at ,,, and a host of other sites.

Thanks again for your time, Kidd. Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring recording artists?
Be smart, go to school and get an education while pursuing your career. Read and learn as much as possible as you can as young as you can about your dreams! Do it for the right reasons. I’ve seen over 100 artists come and go in Chicago alone when things didn’t go how they planned. You’re not going to make any money from this when you first start out. Build your team as early in your career as you can manager, lawyer, publicist, booking even if they are only your friends. Ask questions take risk and be 100% committed. The music business is insane and very hard... Most importantly, keep dreaming.