Cover Photo by FlexFocus
We're in awe of rapper and poet Ky El's divine presence, so it's no surprise that her well-known catch phrase is "I Am Divine." She is a female rapper hailing from New York whose love for poetry bloomed into a talent for spitting bars. She said goodbye to her 9-5 job to explore her creative side and never looked back. Last year she wrote her first song, and last week she released her much anticipated music video for her empowering single "Kick It Wit You". Read our interview with Ky El to learn more about her influential messages behind her music and to watch "Kick It Wit You".
Photo by FlexFocus
How many years have you been rapping?
I have been a poet my entire life but I just started rapping this January!
What was the first song you ever wrote?
The first song I ever wrote was last year in Jamaica called “You Just Don’t Love Yourself.” I went to Jamaica for a yoga retreat and for whatever reason I felt inspired to write a song on the beach. I spent hours writing the song! I was so proud in that moment but look back and see that the song was absolutely terrible hahaha.
What has your experience been as a rising rapper in Georgia?
My experience in Atlanta has been a time of solitude for me. As a former corporate employee I was used to clocking into work 50hrs a week, and talking and interacting with 100s of people a day. This year in Atlanta I have used this time to pull back from the fast life and truly get to know myself while also falling in love with my craft.
What does your hashtag phrase #IAmDivine mean to you?
I Am Divine is an affirmation that I state everyday, it is truly the code I live by. We ALL have the ability to create and live the life that we have always dreamed of, but many of us lack the belief in ourselves. I Am Divine means that we are all divine creators of our reality and through positive affirmation and positive thoughts of yourself that dream can come to fruition.
What has your experience been as a female rapper in a male-dominated field?
I have found that as a woman there are many people who will constantly tell you what and how they think things should be done. I know all advice comes with positive intentions but it is teaching me to hold strong to my belief in who I am and not allow the opinions of others to cloud my opinion of myself.
What music artists inspire you?
As a child I grew up without hip hop in the house, my mother was extremely religious. As a child believe it or not my musical inspiration was Britney Spears. I believe she has inspired a lot of my melodies. But as an adult I am greatly inspired by artists like Rakim, Nas, Lauryn Hill and SZA. These are all artists who are honest and vulnerable in their music which I greatly respect!
What is your new single, KIWY, about?
“KIWY” is a song that details what I expect, bring, and will not tolerate in a relationship. The goal of the song is for women to raise their standards and perception of themselves while embracing their inner goddess.
What gets you pumped up before you perform your music?
As a new artist I have spent the entire year creating and finding my sound. KIWY is my first official single so I have yet to perform, but I am actually not afraid or nervous. I’m ready to show my music to the world!
Do you prefer freestyle or written rap?
I guess you can say a combination of the two. I don’t write my lyrics down, anytime I write a song I connect the dots in my head and then record. I actually have never written down one word for the song “KIWY.”
What do you love about rapping? What is difficult?
What I love most about rapping is being able to express myself openly and honestly and for it to truly resonate with listeners. I love just sitting and “writing” for hours, it truly is a release for whatever it is that I’m going through. The most difficult part for me is actually finding a beat that I like, I am very selective and specific when it comes to my sound.
Now that your music video is out, what’s next for you?
My goal is to promote this video until it goes viral on the internet. My goal is to be known as one of the greatest entertainers of all time and in order to get to that level I will definitely need a machine behind me. I hope that this video puts me in the position to get signed by a top record label.
What song do you have on repeat right now?
KIWY is currently on repeat. I am a HUGE perfectionist, I listen to myself more than any other artist because I am constantly critiquing myself to see how I can be better. I can listen to one of my verses for 2+ hours straight! However, before KIWY SZA’s album was on repeat daily!!
What messages are important for you to share through your music?
The most important message is love. I believe the problem with society today is that the majority of people are absolutely miserable. When a person is miserable it makes it very difficult for them to be loving and kind to others. The goal of my music is to help people peel back their layers to find what is truly hurting them in order to let it go. Through vulnerability comes healing and through healing comes love.
Watch Ky El's music video for her newest single, "Kick It Wit You" (AKA "KIWY"). If you love what Ky El is doing and you want to support her, visit her Go Fund Me page and donate to help her single reach a wider audience. Let us know what you think about Ky El's single in the comments below.