Fans have had a week to digest Krizz Kaliko’s humongous album GO. In our last interview with Krizz, he went into details about “Talk Up On It” and filming in Kansas City. This time around, Krizz breaks down the inspiration behind “Happyish”, “More”, “Outta Line”.
With “Happyish”, it’s at the end of the album. Is that something you did on purpose?
Yeah, it flowed the best. It actually flowed really good. I didn’t necessarily want it to end on a “down” note, but it just feels like it would be at the end of a movie – like the credits should be rolling. My album feels like a movie. “Happyish” kind of sums up what I feel like. I seem like a pretty jolly guy. I’m not necessarily happy, but I’m happyish. I do wanna get everybody on some happy shit. You know? It makes me happy to see other people joyous. Love is better than hate any day.
Was there any specific event that helped you write that song or just your life in general?
It’s a funny story actually. I’ve talked about being depressed and was looking out my bedroom window. I was like, “I should just jump out of this window right now”, then I thought to myself, “well, it’s only about twelve feet off the ground, so I’ll probably just sprain my ankle”. I kinda laughed to myself and then thought, “dang man, at this moment I was kinda depressed, but now I’m laughing”. So, I’m not really happy, but I’m happyish. That album just took its own life. I felt like it wrote itself because everything just fell into place.
I just write what I feel at the time. There’s a producer in LA, a guy named Brian Kennedy, and he sent me some beats. I wrote the “More” song to try to pitch it to Rihanna. He didn’t want to pitch it to her, or he did and she didn’t take it – something like that. That song, I was just having fun. I was thinking about how great it is to travel, eat all these different foods, and see all these different women. Just different lands, period. I took myself there mentally. I thought, “dang, this is how I felt when I was out partying in Stockholm, Sweden.” I just wrote it from that aspect.
With “Outta Line”, it’s probably one of the catchiest songs on the album. Going into a song like that, do you know how big it’s going to turn out? Or do you just go with it?
Both. I come up with a melody, and just thought to myself, “that sounds like that would be huge”, then I just came up with the beat and told Seven. He knows how to bring my ideas to life.
When I first heard it, I got an Earth, Wind, and Fire kind of feel to it.
Everybody says a different artist when they hear it, man (laughs). It’s definitely retro. It’s definitely a retro sound with my 2016 spin on it.
Were there any bands or artists that you drew inspiration from for this album?
Just 80’s music period. I just really like 80’s music. That was my inspiration for the production.
Your wife sang background vocals on the album.
Yep. She sang on pretty much everything. There’s three ladies that sing with my most of the time and I used to call them Kali’s Angels but now I mixed up Strange and angels so now they’re just Strangels. It’s Delinea Janelle, my wife Crystal Watson, and Gina McFadden, whose father is actually an entertainer. He used to be on the tonight show all the time in a group called the McFadden Brothers. They tap-dance, play the trumpets, they do everything. As a matter of fact, I go visit her dad on my birthday. I usually go watch him perform because he’s a great entertainer.
What’s that like being able to make music with your wife? Does that bring you two closer?
We argue a lot while I’m doing it because I’m a perfectionist. Her saying is, “I’m just trying to stay in the group”. I’m hard on everybody though. I’m hard on the band, everybody. Working with my wife, it’s good and it’s bad.
Anything else you want to say to the fans?
I can talk about this all day, but the proof is in the pudding. If you come see me perform or buy my album, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Just give it a test. If you like what you hear, buy it! If you like what you hear, come see us! Kali baby!
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