Tune in to this week’s COREnered as we take you to a seemingly far off place; a musical place void of “autotune and skinny jeans,” at least so says featured artist K. Sparks, a rapper who hails from Queens and has a serious love-affair with hip-hop. Kick back, relax and enjoy yourself while reading what K. Sparks had to say about his flair for smooth lyrical flows over bop-tastic, jazzy beats.
- What is your first musical memory?My first musical memory was listening to 2Pac when I was younger. When I heard 2Pac rap, it automatically inspired me to start creating music. The amount of passion he placed into his music is amazing. I remember hearing his music and thinking, this guy is putting everything I feel into words. The way that he was able to put his words together with passion made me feel every word he was saying. I used to play the tape over and over again in my tape deck until it eventually broke. I remember when I was younger asking my mother to buy me another 2Pac tape because I was devastated when that tape broke.
- What was the first concert you ever went to? The first concert I ever went to was an LL Cool J concert. I remember it like it was yesterday. The concert was sold out, and the entire venue was packed wall to wall. I remember hearing him rock the crowd and thinking to myself “I want to do that”. As LL would chant his lyrics the energy in the concert was amazing. He really didn’t have to rap his songs because every fan in the concert knew every song word for word. After I left that concert, it gave me a new appreciation for hip-hop music.
- What or whom do you go to for musical inspiration?
I go to life for musical inspiration. Everyday I draw inspiration from things that happen. If I have a great day, that will be reflected in my writing. If I have a negative day, that will be reflected as well. After I get that inspiration the next part is finding a beat that will help me convey the message. At that point I listen to a lot of different production from various producers, and then pick a beat that will be a perfect marriage with that song.
- Without using the words “alternative,” “pop,” or “rock,” describe your sound. My sound is “eclectic”. I don’t create one type of music. I do all kinds of Hip Hop from Party Hip Hop, Back Pack Hip Hop, to Jazz Hip Hop. I pride myself on being diverse and pushing the edge with my sound. In this industry, the artists that are able to have longevity are the artists that have the ability to not limit themselves. Therefore my sound is a reflection of whatever direction I’m inspired to take creatively at the moment. I’m never afraid to come out of left field and do something different because that is truly a reflection of my sound.
- Stones or Beatles?The Beatles hands down. When I was growing up I didn’t really listen to the Beatles, but a few of my friends used to listen to a lot of their music. One day they played a few songs for me and after that I was hooked. The way the Beatles structured their songs is amazing. In my opinion the Beatles have timeless music, and ultimately that’s what every artist strives to create, what’s doper than that?
- What’s your dream collaboration?
Unfortunately my dream collaboration will never happen. The recording artist I’ve always wanted to work with is 2Pac. When I was younger, 2Pac played a big inspiration in regards to music. Once I heard he passed away that dream was no longer possible. The only other artist aside from 2Pac that I would be interested in working with is Lauryn Hill. I think that she is a talented artist that is very diverse. Lauryn Hill is able to create timeless music and that’s what my goal is musically.
- Do you find the song or does the song find you?
The song always finds me. When I listen to beats, the song is always already in the beat. It’s up to me as the artist to pull that song out of the beat. It’s like an artist that makes a statue out of stone; the statue is already in there, but it’s up to the artist to bring it out of the stone. Every beat I have ever written a song to has found me through the beat. If a beat does not convey a song to me then I don’t mess with it. At that point, that means the song is being forced and it’s no longer an organic process. I think the fans can feel if a song is truly organic or if it is being forced. That’s why I feel it’s very important that artists let the song find them and never force it. It will always come natural.
- How do you discover new music
Nowadays I discover new music by always searching. I’m like a scavenger when it comes to finding new music. I normally log on to various web sites or listen to various Underground College Radio or Internet stations to get a different variety of music to choose from. Unfortunately, mainstream radio normally only plays a certain type of music over and over again. In order to find inspiration and new content we are living in a day where we have to search if we want to find new quality music. I also utilize word of mouth a lot to find new music. I’ll ask other artist at venues I perform what’s new on their scene. Most of the time they’ll give me a large list of artists to check out, and most of them are always pretty dope.