Kid Ink in the UAE – interview

Rapper behind ‘Show Me’ chats ahead of back to back shows in Dubai and Abu Dhabi


Welcome to the UAE, how are you finding it so far?
Fun you know, hot though – very hot. I went to [Abu Dhabi’s] Monte Carlo Beach Club yesterday – it was great to chill very peaceful. Hopefully we get to do some fun stuff – I’d like to do Ferrari World and maybe some shopping. I haven’t done any shopping yet. I always like to experience the shopping out of town – I feel like it’s a great way to experience a country and get things you can’t get anywhere else.

You started out producing music – and then shifted into performing. Do you have any plans to return to producing?
Yeah, I think that I’ve been a little more involved in it lately – just with all the new music I’ve been doing. I want music to sound really… perfect and how it should sound. Sometimes I’ll get a beat and write a song to it and everyone will think it’s a hit song, but from there, sometimes the beat won’t be where it needs to be – or where I want it to be to be for a hit song too.

Sometimes people will just get stuck on the lyrical side of things or with a catchy hook, and I’m like, the production is just as important. From there I’ve been a little more hands on, trying to get the sound that I want. Sometimes when you can’t explain it to the producers – and producers have a vision – and that’s all they can really hear. And I think it’s dope sometimes when two producers get together and work to make some bigger sounds.

Do you think having a background in production affects how you make music now?
Definitely, with the simple fact that producing and growing up – and having so many different melodies and sounds that I have tried out myself, and played and subconsciously, it’s kind of embedded in my brain. I am able to apply that when I go and record and make melodies. I can tweak my voice to sound like different sounds and little stuff like that that opens my ear – even just the quality of my sound. When I’m producing I want my sounds to sound just as good as Timbaland’s drums and from there, I’m putting quality standards on the rapping, that other rappers aren’t necessarily putting on their own – sometimes they just want something they can rap to.

You’ve performed in massive venues to tens of thousands, how do you feel about performing in an intimate venue like People by Crystal, with such a small capacity?
For me, it’s all the same mentally – I think you’re going to each situation whether it be, the biggest crowd I’ve ever done was a Summer Jam where it was 40,000 people, and then I’ve done 350 people, and I have to give the same performance no matter what because those 350 people are just as excited. It’s not about me, with the crowd – it’s about the people and the fans that came. 350 people is more intimate and fun – you get to be more accessible to the people – to where it’s a bigger audience I am further away, and there’s a barricade, too.

Do you have a favourite song to perform?
Not really – I think its all different moments in the shows that all react different ways and bring different emotions to it. I have about five songs that I really enjoy performing. I think in the club setting, and the smaller, intimate setting – the ‘Show Me’ record is always more so, it’s more of a party record – that’s always the fun one.

You’ve worked with huge names like Chris Brown, 2Chainz, Tyga, French Montana – is there anyone in particular you would like to work with in the future?
There are a lot of artists I want to work with. Definitely not just hip hop artists or producers, all the way from wanting to get artists like Sia on the hook – just trying different things and different sounds… Sometimes bringing certain genres onto my genre without them feeling like they’re switching their vibe. You know, just having fun and making sounds.

What’s the last album you downloaded?
Schoolboy Q’s album, Oxymoron.

Kid Ink performs back-to-back shows at People by Crystal in both Abu Dhabi (Thursday August 28) and Dubai (Friday August 29). Call 050 826 9698 or 050 297 2097 for reservations or more information.

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