Krizz Kaliko lost his father Samuel W. Watson at the tender age of 15. Since then he had never returned to the site of his burial. But when Krizz shot the music video for “Stay Alive” from his album Kickin’ & Screamin’, he knew there was one thing that he had to do.
We talked to Krizz to find out more about his father and the circumstances surrounding Krizz’s first return to his father’s grave for 23 years.
Let’s talk about the “Stay Alive” video. You visited a grave with the name Watson as the last name, who’s grave was that?
That’s my father’s grave.
I suppose the date is on the the tombstone in the video, but when did he pass?
So you were pretty young then.
Yeah, I was a little kid. It really really bothered me. I actually hadn’t been there since his funeral in ’89. I went a week before I actually shot that video. I felt like I needed to break that ice because I knew I wanted to do that and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it unless I had gone in there first. It took me forever to find it. I actually live a few blocks from the cemetary and I have for years but I never went in there and then one week I just decided I was going to go. I broke the ice, took my wife with me, had my cry you know what I’m saying? I talked to my Dad and then I went back and shot that video and I think you can really feel that emotion that I wanted to get across the song in that video.
What does that song mean to you? I take different meanings from it as to why you want to stay alive.
I think there’s great success coming to myself. I know some of the fans are probably like “You’re already successful” but it’s like, to me, I’m at the tip of the iceberg. I’m nowhere near where I think I should be as far as success goes. Tech and I always say “All we got to do is stay alive.” So I talk about that: travelling around the world, Tech and I, how we’re just making all of these fans and how we have to live, take medicine just to be on stage and eat terrible food and be halfway unhealthy. Success is coming but I just hope I’m still alive so I pray for that. I pray that we stay alive so that’s why I brought in my pastor and my family to say prayers at the end of it. The symbolization of being there with my father’s grave and being at that cemetery is the fact that he wasn’t alive to see me become an adult. So that’s why I went there because I wish he could see at least me become Krizz Kaliko. That was me in my own weird way to say to him “Hey” and to make him part of my musical success.
How did he pass?
He had cancer.
What do you remember about your father?
My father made me be a good person. What he instilled in me as a kid made me be a good man. When I was a little kid he was kind of strict but my most fond memories are how close we were even up until he passed. We were really, really close. My Dad is the reason why I am and have been a responsible person all these years and not just super reckless, even though I party and have my times but he’s a person that gave me the foundation to become a for-real man. My definition of a man I feel like is different from some people’s–I feel like you’re supposed to be responsible, a protector, a provider, things like that and that’s what my father instilled in me.
WATCH “Stay Alive”
– Interview conducted by Jeff Nelson (@JeffreyPNelson)
In loving memory of Samuel W. Watson
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