Sunday, April 17, 2011
UVB UNPLUGGED PRESENTS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH KITAMI SAFIYA
Wah gwan mi idrins, Urban vixenz unplugged presents exclusive Q&A session with Kitami Safiya. Kitami Safiya is a recording artist, singer and song writer from Queens village, New york. At age 5 wrote her first song "time" and at age 9 started an all girl RnB group Paradyce which toured the US and UK. Kitami gained critical acclaim as the songwriting force behind her group "Paradyce" and for co-writing the intro for DJ Jazzy Joyce Friday night radio show on Hot 97. And also in 2006 co-wrote the hook on DMX's song Dog love which was performed by Amelia. I think we both came in contact around 2009 on a facebook battle rap group. Men she was one hell of a contender, we use to go at each other - it was like watching 106&Park freestyle Fridays with blind fury & the #1 female MC lol. I can attest to her skills for real Kitami got talent and i definitely can say i am blessed to know her. Kitami aspires to be the female Ne-yo or the new generation Smokey Robinson. She recently released her EP album The Funeral "laying love to rest" which is getting a lot of buzz on the internet. And currently working on a new mixtape, a tour in the UK and her independent album. Stick around we just getting started...
UVB: You originally from Queens New york, tell us what was it like growing up in your neighborhood? And how has being a native of Queens shaped who you are?
Kitami: I was born and raised in Queens village. Its a pretty diverse neighborhood and has definitely played a part in shaping me as a person. I learned all my views and morals just watching things happen and seeing friends come and go. I also discovered my love for the arts there so it has also had a lot to do with the shaping of me as an artist and the support i have been getting from my home town has been out of this world.
UVB: Tell us how you got your start as a singer?
Kitami: Hmm, i was 5 years old when i remember writing my first song. Its crazy because i remember it like yesterday. The song was called "Time". I wrote it with my BFF Desiree in Jr high school, i had my very first recording session and i was HOOKED! Lol.
UVB: My best trait is...?
Kitami: My free way of thinking and creating. I try not to get locked into any boxes in life or with my music. I please me first and hope that people appreciate me for just what i am. Its the only way to be.
UVB: The biggest misconception about me is...?
Kitami: That i'm a control freak lol, its not that at all. I just reeeeally know what i want. Especially in the studio but i'm always up for some constructive criticism.
UVB: I think my best physical feature is...?
Kitami: I like my cheek bones, i think they are pretty cool.
UVB: Physical feature i like to show off is...?
Kitami: That would have to be my hair. I love shaking it on stage like a mad woman lol.
UVB: Nice tattoos, what do they mean?
Kitami: Ok the one on my leg says paradyce, its the name of the singing group i founded and was a part of for a very long time. And the one on my hand is a picture of Africa and its a representation of being black and proud.
UVB: People would be surprised to know that?
Kitami: There is a shy side of me. Lol
UVB: When you're not on the stage working a music gig...what do you do to keep busy?
Kitami: Movies and yoga.
UVB: Are you single or taken? And your ideal man should be...?
Kitami: I'm single, don't have much time for a relationship but if i was in one.. My ideal man would just be honest, respectful and he would treat me like a queen. Thats all, lol i don't ask for a lot
UVB: Do you think being a writer and an author gives you an edge over other artists when it comes to penning down lyrics and writing a song?
Kitami: A little bit. All artist have their stronger points and writing is definitely one of mine. I wouldn't be the same as an artist if i didn't write because my lyrics are the foundation of my art.
UVB: At age 9, you founded an all girl R&B group called paradyce. Can you tell us more about it and what led to the break up of the group?
Kitami: Yes, paradyce was my baby. We toured all over the US and UK. I learned a lot during my journey with the group.
UVB: Who were the other members of the group? Are they still committed to music like you are?
Kitami: The other members have gone on to do other great things with their lives and as long as they are happy, that's all that matters. We have chosen different paths. I wish them all the best.
UVB: How have you been able to progress as an individual soloist since the break up of paradyce?
Kitami: It wasn't easy i'll tell you, when you get so used to being in a group you are kind of spoiled. Its so much work being on your and you have to get used to doing EVERYTHING on your own from all the recording to all the planning and organizing. However, its the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have so much more freedom musically now and i can just be me. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
UVB: In hip-hop its almost a crime to have someone else write your lyrics whereas in R&B, some of our greatest singers have had songs written for them. How important do you think it is to write your own song? And why do you think it is more accepted in R&B than hip-hop?
Kitami: Well hip hop is based on lyrical talent, R&B is more based on the voice. Having the lyrics as a singer is like icing on the cake. Also singers that don't write give opportunity to writers who don't have vocal skill. Writing is important to me because its the foundation of my art and its also my outlet.
UVB: Being a mix of British and Jamaican would i be right to say you add
a mix of dance hall, reggae and grimes in your music?
Kitami: Oh yes, my music is many things. I was raised on reggae and i am inspired by it so i do try to incorporate it to my music.
UVB: What are your major genres of music?
Kitami: Hip-hop, RnB, Soul.
UVB: You worked with Bosh records before, what was your experience like? And what cause the break up between you and bosh records?
Kitami: Yes, working with Bosh was cool. I'm always trying to learn from every situation and that was another learning experience. Compatibility is an important thing.
UVB: Your EP album the funeral "laying love to rest" is getting a lot of buzz on the internet. Can you explain the album title, where did you get your inspiration for the name from?
Kitami: In the process of putting this project together i noticed i was wearing black a lot and my mood seemed to fit right into where the songs were going so i took it and used it.
UVB: Whats the hit single for the album? Though personally i love shady most featuring Mic Matayo, what was the experience like working together with Mic Matayo? And what direction do you see this going towards?
Kitami: Working with Mic is always a pleasure. He is very talented. The project is the tool i'm using to take things to the next level. Its ground breaking also personal.
UVB: What other artists would you like to work with in the near feature?
Kitami: Whoever is dope at what they do and is willing to work with me. There are so many great artist out here. Especially coming out of queens.
UVB: Are there any plans to tour? If so what cities, states or countries will you be performing in?
Kitami: Yes, i am working on hitting the UK very soon to solidify some venues once everything is set in stone you will be me of the first to know. Its going to be NUTS!!
UVB: smiles, that's awesome...i'm keeping my fingers crossed and wish you success
UVB: Music has changed a lot over the years, whats your opinion about the current state of the music culture?
Kitami: Music is always evolving. There is always room for something, i do think at times that the culture of music is compromised because of the focus on appearance more than the art. But i guess that all a part of evolution.
UVB: Are you satisfied with your career? Are you completely happy now as an artist?
Kitami: I'm happy with myself as an artist. I've been through a lot, As far as my career things are great but could always be better. I'm just scraping the surface right now.
UVB: Feeling it Chronicles Vol. 1 mixtape could you tell us more about it. And can you tell the readers how they can get your new album The Funeral "laying love to rest" ?
Kitami: FIC volume 1 is my very first solo mixtape. I remade all old hip-hop classics. Its awesome! Any hip-hop love would eat it up. You can find The Funeral for FREE download on Datpiff.com. Just type in my name and i'll be there.
UVB: What other projects have you been a part of? And what projects do you have in the works that the readers should be on a look out for?
Kitami: Well I'm doing a lot of writing for some up and coming artist that I can't talk too much about because I don't want to jinx anything. Just keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm also working on my next mixtape and my independent album that I plan on releasing overseas in the UK. I'm doing collaborations with more artist than I can count all over the US. I have a lot on my plate right now. I can handle it though. Lol
UVB: Where can the readers find you online?
Kitami: Readers can check out my blog: www.kitamisafiya.blogspot.com
Follow me on Twitter: @kitamisafiya_
NOTE: I ANSWER MY MESSAGES!
Be my friend on Facebook: search Kitami Safiya
The website is under construction. Soon. They will be able to get all Kitami Safiya merchandise there as well.
UVB: Final words to fans.
Kitami: THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT. I APPRECIATE EVERY ONE OF YOU. KEEP FOLLOWING ME!! I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL VERY SOON. STAY BEAUTIFUL!!
PEACE and LOVE!
KITAMI SAFIYA... ;-)
Urban Vixenz, Thanks for having me!!
UVB: Your welcome it was a pleasure!!!
Interview was done by Dani Reid
Photography by Candace Thompson
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