Kendall Joshua AKA KJ The Revolution is a fresh face on the music scene who’s molding his inspirations into one, blurring the line between multiple genres into the atmosphere. At the tender age of 17, The Long Island, NY native is the ultimate DIY – a singer/rapper, a songwriter, a producer and also a music video director.
KJ! Tell us a bit about your journey?
My journey began when I was an infant. I say that because my parents played classical music for me when I was in the crib. Mozart in particular, that was the first music i’m positive i’ve ever heard. My mom said she’d play classical because it’s supposed to help strengthen cognitive abilities or whatever, lol. Then it progressed to songs like ‘Starchild’ by Level 42, Kraftwerk songs, (one of my favorite bands). I was highly influenced by the music my parents were playing in the house, in the car, etc.
At the time i wasn’t aware that these songs were from decades before either, I just soaked up everything that was around me. This included hip hop too. My dad had a plethora of records and we’d watch music videos on his computer and my interest grew. I was exposed to so much music and genres it’s too much to talk about. From American pop stars to foreign techno, to underground rappers, I was familiar with it.
So at around 6 years old I was gifted with a MIDI keyboard and I began making tracks on garageband. Just instrumentals because I liked messing around with synths and never thought of being a rapper or singer, I liked producing.
The rapping started when I was 11/12 and my friend Trill from school needed a producer cause he was rapping so we made songs together, he called the group “Phenom Society,” and eventually I picked up rapping cause I thought to myself ‘I want to be able to make full songs, that I can actually publish.’ I knew I was a good writer and could pull off lyrics.
I was the kid in class that got my poems displayed by the teacher in like 3rd grade because they were impressed by it. So from there we just stated grinding on soundcloud and youtube. We would collab here and there but worked on our separate stuff. I’ve performed in coffee shops, rap showcases, and in Queens at a Power1051 showcase. Just a few places on Long Island and in the city, I was also the smallest and youngest there so my dad would be there mostly.
At first I would get nervous but since i’m doing it more it’s getting smoother. I would also shoot my own videos at times too and edit them. I’m still a teen but from when I first started putting my stuff out on the internet to now things have changed. Soundcloud is a big thing now, I got my music on all the streaming platforms, i’ve met a few A&R’s thanks to an NYU program I attended recently. But what’s changed the most is my producing style i could say.
I’m so immersed in sounds and sampling, I may switch it up, my songs could be full or short, repetitive or not. I just love messing around on my MPK and then writing after the beat is done. I can say i’ve come a long way, but I’m still here, creating new stuff.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
When i’m not making music I got a few hobbies. I’m watching The Twilight Zone, riding my bike, solving a rubik’s cube out of boredom, listening to Alan Watts, watching Buzzfeed Unsolved, and last but certainly not least, hanging out with my family. We go alot of cool places.
What is your creative process?
I would say that my creative process is fairly simple. About 95% of the time the instrumental track is always created first. What happens is I’m just exploring with the instruments on my software till i come up with a beat that I like and then write to it, or I’m listening to a song or watching a movie/video and I hear something I like. I save it and then soon will go to my computer and start working on the sample. I can draw inspiration from almost anything.
Tell us about your latest release?
I made this song called “Aamon’s Lane.” Aamon is the name of a devil and the lyrics are about fighting off evil and being in chaos. The sample comes from Pink Floyd’s “Arnold Layne.” A videographer that I work with, his name’s Collin Storke, shot the video. He’s great at motion picture as well as photography and practically brought to life the exact idea I had in my head of what the video was going to look like. That joint is my most streamed/heard and that’s dope to me!
Watch KJ’s Latest release “Aamon’s Lane” below: