It's rare to stumble upon artists who embody the balance of artistic integrity and good music. It's even more rare when artists are able to unearth the roots of their music abilities, beginnings and evolution in a concise and insightful manner such as LA native and rising MC Kamal Smith. With the release of his intoxicating new album No Vacations, a 14- track project which features stellar production and vocal prowess, Kamal is living his truth. Since the release of his How We get Here EP in March, Kamal's versatility has enhanced to a new height that sets him apart from new artists. From tracks like "Money Callin," and "No Vacations" to more chill tracks like "To the Face," "Come and Go," and "The Feeling (Freestyle), Kamal Smith is headed for the apex of the industry with a fervent duality and vocal presence that is undeniably genius.
We were able to sit down with the wordsmith himself to delve into everything from his upbringing, No Vacations and the future of his music.
Q: To start, tell me a bit about your background.
A: I’m an 22 year old artist by the name of Kamal Smith. Born and Raised in Los Angeles , CA. Now I’m currently living out in Riverside County. Murrieta, CA to be exact. very small town with little opportunity but I don’t let that stop me from achieving what needs to be accomplished.
Q: How did you gravitate towards music? A: when I was younger I always had a thing for Music, idk what it was. I was a skateboarder for the longest time but always would rap in the mirror as a kid. My mom was actually a singer herself in her younger days. and Fun Fact, I actually wrote my first song in the 5th grade called “dreams” It was to that “hate it or love it” by 50 cent and the game. It really inspired me at the time haha. So it was something I always had instilled in me.
Q: What are some of your strongest music-related memories?
A: Hmm.. some of my strongest music related memories would have to be my first time performing with my best friend/brother Redd at our high school talent show. It was a great experience and from there we started doing shows back to back and getting great responses from the audience. I was so nervous but we did what we had to do.. and that was execute!
Q: How would you describe your music?
A: The way I would describe my music is to be a vibe. something you can turn on and feel different emotions and really listen to a message or even just music to have fun to.
I’m very versatile and never limit myself to anything, especially with the amazing producers I have on my side which are also my very close friends : reddvisionbeats, Astro, and TrapHouseRyan. The sound we have built together is very different and the chemistry we share with each other is just amazing and they all push me to go harder! and they know whenever I get a beat I'm going to send it right back with some fire on the vocals. The main thing is chemistry. It makes everything flow better and nothing is forced. So that’s how I would describe my sound.
Q: When did you feel like you went from playing around to seeing yourself as a musician?
A: When I first seen myself as a musician is when I decided to pick up that pen and paper in the 5th grade, At the time I was watching a lot of music videos, MTV cribs, And I actually met Xzibit outside of the barber shop one day and these guys asked me to be the kid in the Music video holding the money. so then is when I felt that it had my most interest and I knew that this life would later on be for me. Just the life style and the passion I had for it at such a young age always stuck with me no matter what hobbies I did in between
Q: What's the concept behind No Vacations?
A: So the Concept behind “No Vacations” was that I first dropped the single off the album which was first, along with the music video. and built a whole idea and vision behind it. At the time a lot was going on.. and still it. It’s just that I’m always working.. sounds pretty simple but I just feel like I have so much to look forward to and so much to achieve in this life we are given that I have no room for breaks or slacking. Even on a vacation im still going to be working towards my craft and getting better within myself every day thinking of new ways I can take over and be the best I can be. I’ve came to far to turn back now. And still have a long ways to go. So I can’t slow down or wait on no man. Cause no one wants it more then MYSELF
Q: What was your process for creating the album?
A: The process of creating the album was cool. a lot of good vibes and good people around during the process of the album. I was recording out in LA, Atlanta, and In my home studio that I recently bought and put together as well. So 14 tracks that I’m proud about. Whole album produced by Reddvisionbeats, Astro, and TrapHouseRyan all of my in-house producers so I couldn’t have asked for a better vibe and chemistry for creating the album with people I’m close with
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of creating music?
A:The most challenging aspect of creating music would be not really making it. Well at least for me now that I have my own studio, but getting it out there to the public. Everyone makes it sound easy once they make it, but people really have to accept it and show love and actually want to support you and not fake it just Incase you do make it. But me personally I like to be in an peaceful environment when I’m recording, not a lot of people. I just like to be in my zone.
Q: If someone were to stumble upon your music in the future, how would you like it to be received?
A: If anyone was to stumble upon my music I just want it to be recognized and received as longevity. and know that I really have a message that I can incorporate into any sound I make or do and that I’m not just in this for the money or shut run. I’m in it to be here for 10-15 years +. I want my music to leave a legacy behind. that not can I only make a hit record But I can make you feel everything I saw in my music.
10. Any tips to other artists looking to navigate the industry?A: Tips to other artists trying to make it would be just to build your own team. remain humble, and don’t let anyone get in the way of YOUR VISION and what YOU want to do. cause everyone has an opinion. Don’t let it alter your sound and the way you put things together. People will like you for you. And if they don’t, who cares.
Special Thank You to Kamal for allowing us to pick his brain! For more on Kamal Smith, experience No Vacations here.