"Who's Hot?" Interview
We talked with Florida rap duo, WaasiKeso, in an exclusive interview! Jiggy Keso and WAASI Shade make up this dynamic lyrical duo! Keso is originally From Queens, New York and WAASI Shade hails from Carol City, Florida otherwise known as Miami Gardens. Keso left New York to attend Florida Atlantic University where the group came together." I enjoy making music and going different places. I want to see as much as I can from this world. I never like to be in one spot or doing the same thing for too long" says Keso. WAASI Shade recently graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s in communication and besides writing and recording music, his hobbies include basketball, football and inner city youth outreach.
In a hip hop culture today where flows and style are ever changing, WASSIKeso brings an authentic approach to their music through their lyrics! Listening to their music, you can feel the passion and truth that this duo poors into their songs and it won't be long before you're hearing about this group on a regular basis!
We talked with WAASIKeso in an exclusive interview, check it out below!
Question: How long have you been making music and how did you get started?
WAASI Shade: I’ve been making music since I was about 12 years old, and I got started by stealing one of those school microphones from one of my classes. I took it home and download this recording program that I can’t remember the name of right now. I used to record in my crib with all of my homies, I believe some of the songs are still on my myspace.
Jiggy Keso: I’ve been writing music as long as I can remember. Since a young kid I would remix songs from commercials and eventually started writing to other famous artist’s beats. I learned to make beats in eleventh grade and started recording around 2015 after my uncle died. After his death I vowed to live out the best life I could.
Question: Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favorite musicians?
WAASI Shade: My biggest influences musically are Lauryn Hill, Tupac and old Lil Wayne. Reason being is they all played a huge role and my upbringing and represent different personalities that I have in myself. My favorite musicians at the moment are Terrance Martin, Daniel Caesar, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, SZA & The Sounds of Blackness.
Jiggy Keso: My biggest influence in terms of producing and overall musical intelligence is Kanye West. Lyrically I take a lot from Lil Wayne and Eminem. I like wordplay and I love using punchlines and interchanging phonetics within my verses. Within a verse I try to see how many flows I can fit in.
Question: What musician would you most like to collaborate with and why?
WAASI Shade: The artist that I would love to collaborate with is J. Cole, I feel like I would be able to feed off of the vibe that he would bring into the studio and the discussions we would have before we even record.
Jiggy Keso: I feel like I could make some dope music with Jhene Aiko. I like soft vibes and her tone when she makes her music is cool. She doesn’t hold her talent back and she always has different vibes between songs.
Question: What do you feel is your best song you've ever released and why?
WAASI Shade: The best song that I feel that I released as a solo artist is this song called “pages” off of my first project ever. Reason being is because of the honesty that I displayed and the way it flowed. Production wise it was trash but I didn’t care about all of that at that time. Ever since we made WAASIKeso our best song that we have released in my opinion is “Shawty’s Interlude”. I love the vibe of that song and the topic that we covered, which is “situationships”.
Jiggy Keso: My best song to me is Kick Back. It isn’t the best produced song that I have ever made but I love the vibe. It is an early song when I was really rough around the edges in terms of what I rapped about and how I sounded on the mic. But it definitely embodies the type of vibes that I love to listen to.
Question: What motivates you and how do you define success?
WAASI Shade: What motivates me is the vison that I have created for myself, which includes inspiring inner city youth through creative outlets such as music. Also I find motivation from my Lil Brother who I want to have a better life than I did growing up because we live in a drug and crime polluted area. I define success as doing something that you love and inspires you to get up every day without the thought that you are wasting your time, plus it gives you the opportunity to continue growing in your respective field of success.
Jiggy Keso: My motivation is my family. And I also love to be someone who always has something going on. I don’t ever want to be in the same place doing the same thing forever. So I work to stay ahead of that. I define success by how happy I am doing what I do and how it can support me and those around me.
Question: How do you generate new ideas?
WAASI Shade: It’s all about conversations and experience when it comes to generating new ideas for me. I believe that ideas are transferred through the day to experiences of life and allowing other people express their perspectives and thoughts to help your creative process.
Jiggy Keso: I generate new ideas by chilling around creatives like myself. Deven and I spend a lot of time around people who have different ways of thinking and it pushes us to expand how we see things.
Question: How do you describe your music to people?
WAASI Shade: I would describe our music as real and relatable because we are vulnerable with things such as relationships, depression, our personality and what we think. One song might feel like a nighttime ride by yourself, the next might feel like a summer day drive to the get some food with the homies. We try to capture different with every song.
Jiggy Keso: I describe my music as really chill. I like low tones and hard bass so I try to have those vibes in my music as well. Even if im on a feature I try to make my part a little different whether its messing with the pitch or adding a deep voice behind my verse.
Question: Do you believe there is a formula to being a successful artist?
WAASI Shade: Nope! We’ve seen a variety of ways towards success with artist, music knows no bounds. It’s an energy with no structure so you never know what type of sound might take off next.
Jiggy Keso: Not really. I think you have to find a fan base and stick to them. Just show love to who shows love to you and people will support you for the most part.
Question: Who is your greatest inspiration?
WAASI Shade: My Grandma, the strength that she has showed raising our whole family and the sacrifice she has made for us is something that can’t be matched.
Jiggy Keso: My mom and dad. Nothing phases them it seems and they always let me know that they got me. I try to emulate them when Im out in public.
Question: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
WAASI Shade: The most influential artist in today’s genre is Kanye West, regardless of whatever comes out of his mouth, it goes without question that he sound carries weight in the industry. The most successful artist to me is J. Cole because he has gotten to a position where his artistry is respected, yet he controls and creates every project that he puts out. He has full on creative freedom to do what he pleases.
Jiggy Keso: I would have to say it’s a tie between Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole. They seem to shut the industry down when they drop any new music and people are always aligned with one of those three.
Question: Which emotion more than any other, currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or passion etc. , and why?
WAASI Shade: Passion by far, I move off of passion and when you can hear the passion in somebody within their songs, it touches you in a different way. You ever listen to Fantasia and be like “damn, I feel that” that’s the feeling that dominates the music I listen to.
Jiggy Keso: Ambition and reflection. Ive been through a lot mentally as has Waasi and we try to let people know that its going to be ok. You got to keep pushing forward when life hits you.
Question: What sacrifices have you had to make, to make your dream a reality?
WAASI Shade: Well me and Keso made a sacrifice by coming together and leaving our solo ambitions to the side in order to make better music together. We could have let our pride get the best of us and continue our Solo Careers but we understand that our chemistry together in something that can take us far.
Jiggy Keso: My sanity. Temporarily. I was in a really dark place for a while and I had to obsess over a certain dream night in and night out. I had to indulge myself into fantasies that I created to keep me at a stable state for a while.
Question: What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
WAASI Shade: When I finally release a project or a song and receive positive reactions from the people that listen. They would text me, call me, or find me person to tell me how much they love our music. It lets me know that we are going in the right direction and that people are excited to hear our music.
Jiggy Keso: Im always excited to record a track. I love rapping over a beat and hearing it back and editing. The possibilities are endless and you get to exercise your creativity.
Question: Where do you see yourself and your music in 10 years?
WAASI Shade: I see us touring across the world not only performing music but helping urban communities with every stop that we make. Our music will touch millions of people in a positive way.
Jiggy Keso: Owning and successfully operating a record label.
Question: What advice would you give to other up and coming artists or people looking to break into the music industry?
WAASI Shade: Patience is Key! But having patience doesn’t mean sit on your ass and wait for an opportunity, you have to go out and work until you create multiple opportunities for yourself.
Jiggy Keso: Love the competition. Don’t beef with any other artists around your city. Work with them. Work together and put your city on. There’s enough money for everybody.
Question: Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or your music?
WAASI Shade: Our Music will get to your ears somehow, someway. Plus we are working on more music so stay tuned! WAASIKeso is here to stay, Believe That!!
Jiggy Keso: That it will always improve. The End.