- Make It Go - Kanessa
Cousin of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Muddy Waters, who many know as portrayed by Jeffery Wright in the movie “Cadillac Records,” rising (female) hip-hop artists, Kanessa, establishes that not only talent, but also the love for a good time, just about anytime, with a little controversy, runs deep and mixes well within her with the appropriately titled two part debut “#TurnUpSeason.” Born in Kansas City, MO, raised in Kennett, MO and residing all over the Midwest and South in her adult years the 23 year olds unique voice and Midwest/Southern sound has garnered the attention of industry heavyweights like Pete Basset, producer K.E. On The Track, and Hip Hop Weekly magazine.
Welcome to the show, the encore, and backstage. The party and the after party. The suite and the walk of shame. Everything she says has a story and everything she does has a purpose. It’s time to take your seatbelt off and enjoy the rise. It is officially “#TurnUpSeason.“
What is your background? tell us where you grew up and some information about your upbringing/experiences as a youth:
I was born in Kansas City, MO and grew up in what is known as the “bootheel” or simply “the boot” of Missouri in a town of a little over 10K named Kennett where I’m more known for athletics, specifically basketball, than I am for music.
As a child I picked up on and fell in love with writing in daycare and by the time I hit preschool I was writing short stories. I even had one published in Kindergarten. My imagination is wild.
I first started writing country, pop, and rock styles of music. I was a product of my environment. We don’t have a (clear) hip-hop station in Kennett and internet radio hadn’t come about yet.
Growing up my brother Jeremy and my cousin Anton were my heroes. My brother is from Atlanta so I spent most of my childhood with my cousin, Anton. He is an all-star with everything in life and I wanted to be like that, but he always, even to this day, told me to be better, to be greater. He was the one who introduced me to Tupac and by that time Eminem was making his debut and I was hooked. The way those two artists could craft such intricate and clever stories within an limited time frame with the challenge of rhyming captivated me.
At what moment did you know that music was part of your life and what feelings did you have towards making an active impact with your music?
I’ve known that music would be part of my life since the late 90’s, but the defining moment for me came after a period of soul searching and enlightenment. Working at Dave Ward Walmart when I was living in Conway, AR I had a moment. I was breaking my back for pennies. That’s when I decided that if I was going to break my back it was going to be fore me and my label I will be founding. Around that period is when I was placed in Hip-Hop Weekly magazine’s “Artist Spotlight.” From there I up and quit my job and moved to Tallahassee, FL to be in the deep south where hip-hop is literally life, but not to a place where it’s over-saturated with artists. I spent two years, day in and day out, for at least 15 hours a day, solely studying the music business. That was the most difficult two year stretch of my life seeing all the new artists in that span coming out. But now I can say that was the best decision I ever made, especially since I will be founding my own label and more in the (near) future because I have the opportunity to build and nurture relationships directly.
What artists inspired/influences you and if you could collaborate with any artist (alive or passed) who would it be and why?
The artists that have truly impacted me musically are Tupac, Eminem, Aaliyah, Lil Wayne, Paul Wall, Drake and The Weeknd. I can’t choose just one artist to collaborate with because some I want to write with and others I want to be on tracks with. But right now, it would have to be Aaliyah (Rest In Peace) and YFN Lucci. I love that guy.
What do you think about the current state of hip hop/mainstream music?
To me the current state of (mainstream) hip-hop is definitely more so of who you know or who you can spark the attention of mixed with some of what you know and what you bring to the table. I think people tend to forget that at this level music is a business over everything. Also, the hip-hop genre has only been around now for about 50 years so a lot of individuals who were kids and young adults at it’s creation are still alive today and may see this generations style of hip-hop as something different. Things change. The coveted audience gets younger and younger each year. Nothing ever stays the same and in my opinion that a good thing in this situation. It’s the “#TurnUpSeason” era.
Currently, what projects do you have in the works that you are most excited about?
Right now I’m excited about the release of “#TurnUpSeason (Part I)” and the attention it’s garnering. I will be releasing a video for “Fuck This Club Up” from this project. In the coming weeks I’ll be releasing a bonus track with features from two artists named Don Shotta and Big Shard Money that I’m looking to sign to my label. After that I’ll release a single or two from “#TurnUpSeason (Part II)” before releasing the full project. I have an interlude on “#TurnUpSeason (Part II)” inspired by and titled “OBJ (Odell Beckham Jr.)“
What are your short term career goals within the next 6-10 months?
My short terms goal is to lay the foundation to build my long term goals upon. I’m releasing music, visuals, beginning my college radio campaign, and hitting the road to connect on an energized, personal level. I also have a couple of other musical ventures I’ll be starting up. As far as 2-5 years down the road I’m working to solidify my niche in the industry as an artist and business owner. I plan to be a philanthropist, especially within my community of Kennett, MO, and crossing over into silicon valley ( I went to school for avionics) and investments.
If you had one song out of the catalogue you have created to show a person what song would it be and why?
The song is titled “$$$ Down” (money down). It’s on “#TurnUpSeason (Part II)” That song is braggadocios and convers lyricism, puns, and punchlines in a manner that no song on part one does.
To the person who had never heard of you what is it about your music and story that you would tell them to entice them to be a supporter?
I’m no gangster, but I keep it that way. I don’t push the envelope…I open it all the way up and empty its contents for everyone to see. Some would call that being “controversial.”
If your music could be described in five words what would those five words be?
What do you bring to the game that is unique and different?
I have odd inspiration and on top of that I’m always trying to find a new way to talk about the same ol’ things. As I release more material you will be able to see this. For example, I have a song that I’d like to include on my first album that if’/when people read between the lines on it and all the contents of that envelope are opened and out on the table I want to see how they react. It’s a beautiful song that came from an odd, or even weird or disturbing, source of inspiration. Every song you hear is able to stand on its own with its own storyline, but when you’re able to put “#TurnUpSeason” parts one and two together and listen from beginning to end, you’ll see that other tracks reference each other, they foreshadow, and the overall project has the elements of a novel.
To the aspiring artist who is considering a career as a musician what lessons or advice would you give them to inspire them or to uplift them in the journey?
Learn the business! Everything you can. Every piece of literature over any and everything pertaining to the business you can get a hold of consume it! Take notes for future reference as well. Mr. Donald S. Passman’s book “All You Need To Know About The Music Business” and Budi Voogt’s courses have been priceless. Labels and others want you to be developed to a certain extent before they even approach you. Find the tastemakers to your particular sound whose content you’re truly a fan of and find a way to let them know that separates you from the others. Always try to be an asset to whomever. Know yourself and you’ll know your worth and where it lies.
What are your social media profiles and where can people purchase/download your music?
Free DL: www.soundcloud.com/thatdamnkanessa
What are your final words you would like to say to people that you have left out?
“#TurnUpSeason (Part I)” is out now on SoundCloud and will be coming to other (streaming and downloading) platforms soon! Be on the look out for the visuals and the bonus track “Whip Out” featuring Don Shotta and Big Shard Money. “#TurnUpSeason (Part II)” will be coming out on my birthday, February 15. Until then I will continue to occupy the space between your left and right ear with singles, videos, and features.