A visionary that’s ready to change the monotonous sonic landscape of the hyper-experimental-electronic-pop genre, “khamal.” is an upcoming artist looking to build a new world of music and sound design. A Los Angeles native “khamal.” grew up exploring the musical palettes of artists who blurred the lines of genre such as Marvin Gaye, Kanye West, Andre 3000, and Prince just to name a few. Developing a strong talent for writing, his development into music making started with poetry composition winning several awards for his poetry. We sat down with this artist and discussed his creative process and the obstacles young artists in Los Angeles face when attempting to break in and tackle the music industry in an equitable and mostly sustainable way.
What is ‘lovebomb’ about?
khamal.: Well, ‘lovebomb’ is actually a term within the realm of psychology that refers to the beginning stages of a relationship with someone who displays narcissistic tendencies, it’s the phase where you’re first meeting someone and it’s all sunshine and rainbows you feel valued essentially being put on a pedestal with an active effort to idealize you in that moment basically building you up for the fall so to speak. This track being the beginning track to my project it felt fitting to tell the story from the start.
This song has some underlying heartbreak to it, Is ‘lovebomb’ a personal experience?
khamal. : Oh yeah, absolutely I wouldn’t even call the heartbreak to be underlying rather than upfront even within the verse it’s intentionally written to say what’s going on in someone’s head or at least my head when experiencing this phase of a not so equitable relationship. And yes most of my music is an attempt to push through personal experience and even opinion through expression.
Is this a break-up song?
khamal. : No, not at all if anything songs that are closer to that archetype lie later within the album, in fact to explain a little more about the project, which lovebomb is featured on , the title is called “sorceress.” and acts as a cinematic sonic sound study to tell the story of what I felt was an abusive relationship it plays with the psychology of why people abuse others romantically. I’m always someone who wants to explore why something happens and that is sometimes to my detriment but serves as a great way to be inspired. I think the story of the toxic or hurtful relationship hasn’t been explored as intently from the male perspective in quite some time, as men especially men who present cis hetero-normative music has excluded that experience for men to be the targets of abuse and are usually painted as the abusers and frankly this is not always the case. So the project plays out like a movie chronologizing the beginning, the end and the in between of this relationship that inspired the music.
Given your execution, with tendencies of rap and singing, is this an international part of your process or something that just happens?
khamal. : I mean simply put I’m influenced by a lot of artists and music. I’m unique while being a culmination of those sonic palettes, so for me it just sorta happens particularly with “sorceress.” The project follows a non linear and traditional song structure which has its advantages and disadvantages.
What are some of those advantages and disadvantages?
khamal. : Well, most of the mainstream music we listen to top 40 hits aren’t particularly inventive or explorative but the follow a familiar song structure that cross all genre that verse to chorus or hook to verse to chorus etc. structure it’s so familiar to us that it’s easy to digest we subconsciously look for that structure in most our music there’s even an art to disrupting the structure which I have found really challenging but also really freeing. You know, striking the balance between digestible and just so avant garde that it can’t resonate with folks.
How have you been managing this attempt to gain fans and break into the industry?
khamal. : Well, it’s definitely not something that’s easy or that I can say I’ve accomplished the way I’d like but I think there is merit in delegation and working with people who treat marketing and social media like the art form it can be so what does that look like for myself hiring a social media manager, a manger to bounce ideas off of and build a network is key especially when you want to focus on creating the music or any art. Even connecting and building strong relationships with graphic designers and videographers is important as well as establishing a recording and video budget. I know these are the not so glamorous parts of the industry but I think investing in self whether it’s online class or really putting some serious money into shooting a music video, connecting with influencers for promo is so important and that is where the beauty of social media lies when you sift through all its pitfalls there’s the opportunity for effective promotion without the need for a label, you can create your own cult following all from the palm of your hand. I will say there is a balance to be had though just because you have a bunch of followers that doesn’t mean it’s translating to actual industry buzz or more importantly streams mindfulness is necessary in that aspect for sure.
The single track ‘lovebomb’ is currently available on all streaming platforms: Tidal, Spotify, Apple Music and my website is khamalperiod.com. Exclusive content will be posted on his Instagram and Soundcloud (@kha.m.al). Khamal and his team are excited to be dropping the music video next month. They are also looking to drop a new song “Sorceress” in the following weeks.