WDSR: Welcome Kenny Thomas! It’s a pleasure to interview you. Let everyone know where you are from and how old you were when you first developed an interest in making music?
Alabama Kenny: Howdy and thanks… I was born by a river and raised by a cotton field in this place called Tuscaloosa, AL and that is where this thing called music started pursuing me around age 15 or even earlier.
WDSR: So tell us about Kenny Thomas. What was it like growing up as a kid in Alabama?
Alabama Kenny: As a young kid it was lovely…Family, Plum Trees, Hummingbirds, Honeysuckle, Great Music and Neighborhoods before they were called Hoods. I started appreciating life at an early age. I can remember always thinking of ways to be great. If I felt I couldn’t be great at something then I wouldn’t do it. On the other hand there is another Alabama…The Racism, Segregation, Lack of opportunities and more but it’s home…
WDSR: So I’m hearing that you not only spit rhymes but you also make the beats. That’s what’s up! So what’s easier for you and how did that come about?
Alabama Kenny: I’ve always been a writer because I started off writing poems in school so the rhyming came natural and I started making beats by playing around on my brother’s drum machines. I can’t say which is easier but I’m always doing one more than the other and it rotates.
WDSR: Let’s talk about the music. If you had to put a description on the type of music that Kenny Thomas makes, how would you describe it to someone who has never heard it before?
Alabama Kenny: It’s pure Hip-Hop with the perfect sprinkle of southern seasoning… It’s basically my thought process and my experiences mixed with music.
WDSR: So is Kenny Thomas your government and if so why not a stage name?
Alabama Kenny: It’s close to my government name but not exactly. Some people call me ‘Alabama Kenny’ so I’m kinda leaning in that direction. It’s been times when I was out of state and people would ask to see my license to prove that I was from Alabama after hearing my music so it started sticking. I just never sat down and tried to come up with a stage name or a typical so called rap name.
WDSR: Being that you live in the South is it easier to move between states to spread the word about your music?
Alabama Kenny: I can’t say that it’s easier. It’s all about what you want and how hard you are willing to work. How much will you put into your campaign? What and how much are you willing to sacrifice?
WDSR: Since the game is all about copying other styles instead of bringing quality lyrics that tell stories, what do you think needs to be brought to music to change that?
Alabama Kenny: It’s a lot of amazing music and artists out here that people will miss and look over because it’s not pushed or talked about in mainstream media. I just think artists need to work harder and build their own legacy. I’m sure Prince even had to perform in some shitty spots for a while.
WDSR: If you could put together the ultimate concert with Kenny Thomas headlining and other major artists, who would you choose?
Alabama Kenny: I really rock with the underground but as far as major artists I would have to say Nas, Outkast, Jill Scott, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg & Jay Z just to name a few.
WDSR: Walk us through a typical day of what it takes for Kenny Thomas in the studio making beats to laying the verse.
Alabama Kenny: I just need to be comfortable. I usually will sit outside for a minute and enjoy the weather before I go to work in the lab. Roll up some medicine and I’m off to see the Wizard.
WDSR: This music game can be cruel man! Tell me about any lessons you have learned so far?
Alabama Kenny: “Industry Rule # 4,080… Record Company People Are Shady” – A Tribe Called Quest (R.I.P Phife Dawg)
WDSR: What new projects can we expect from you in the near future?
Alabama Kenny: I’m working on a project called ‘Unkut Vol. 2’ which will be a full LP and I’ll be producing on a lot of up and coming projects by independent and major artists so stay tuned.
WDSR: How is the indie scene in Alabama? Do they give indies a fair shake when it comes to locking down venues?
Alabama Kenny: It’s not really a scene but there is a lot of talent. I can’t stress this enough… It should be called AlaTalent… Yeah… I like that… As far as venues I don’t think underground and independent artists get enough opportunities but at the same time I will always stress that we also have to work harder and everything else will fall in place.
WDSR: For everyone that doesn’t know, let them know where they can we find your music online?
Alabama Kenny: Your Usual Suspects… Soundcloud, Reverbnation, Bandcamp, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter Etc. Google – ‘Rapper Kenny Thomas’
WDSR: We ask everyone that we interview, what’s the best piece of advice that someone has ever given to you about this music game?
Alabama Kenny: I always remember being on the phone with David Banner and he kept saying “Get Your Mind Right Bruh… Get Your Mind Right… Get Your Mind Right”… Now I know why he kept saying it.
WDSR: Is there anything else that you would like to include in the closing of this interview?
Alabama Kenny: I just want to say thank you for your time and thank God for this opportunity… – The Inevitable
Good looking out on the interview! Keep making hits #salute
WDSR Radio – Flawless Interview provides a great insight on an artist that not only appreciates his craft but lives by it daily.
What’s up Flawless? So you’re a native of Rhode Island huh?
Hey what’s up! Yes I am originally from Providence, Rhode Island. Smallest state in the country with some of the biggest talent. Very proud of my home.
After reading about you, it says you started doing this at the age of 16. Going on the road on the tour bus with your stepfather inspired all of that?
I began writing poetry at a younger age, but started doing hip hop when I was 16. My step father at the time was a tour bus driver and would take me out on the road with him during school break. I was exposed to many aspects of the business and was able to study many artists in the music industry. He drove for Destiny’s Child, Nelly, Cash Money, Wu Tang, and many more artists. It was an amazing experience and inspired me to want to pursue a music career to the fullest.
What kind of obstacles did you experience by getting involved at such a young age?
Well due to some family issues, I was on my own for a period of time. My mother was going through a lot while in the middle of a divorce. Things kind of fell apart and I had no choice but to grow up from that moment on. I was in the streets making a lot of bad decisions, I had a baby on the way, and technically no where to live. After bouncing around for a while, I began to put my emotions and pain on paper. I had no idea what I was creating. I just knew I had to get it off my chest. Hip Hop found me again. It motivated me to get my life together and get back on that tour bus only this time as the artist.
Now that you’ve been doing this for quite some time, have you learned any lessons and if so, what are they?
I’ve learned to never forget this is a business first. I put a lot of trust in people early in my career and found out the hard way. I have to protect the brand that I have built with everything I have and always remember that it’s never personal. Just business.
Do you find it easier writing to original beats and working with a producer or using industry beats from major producers (like for mixtapes and such)?
I prefer original beats. Even my mixtapes rarely have any industry beats. I like to create from scratch and be as original as possible. I can rap all day on an industry beat, but I’d much rather create an original masterpiece such as “Doctor” that is going to solidify me as an artist.
Sometimes it can be hard trying to attract the type of attention you’d want to from your fan base. What type of feedback are you getting from fans within your area and around the globe?
The support has been amazing! Not only locally but globally. We are reaching fans from all over the world and it’s a great feeling. The main reason I think they are gravitating to me is the authenticity. The realness we bring with everything we do, everything we say, and everything we represent. It’s genuine, gimmick-less, REAL.
Moving from Rhode Island to ATL, what was the difference in the indie scene that you noticed?
There definitely was a difference in style. With Atlanta obviously being a bigger market for music, the opportunities were more accessible. We were able to capitalize off of those opportunities and create a market for ourselves.
About the birthday bash, how did you get involved with something so huge?
Well the local station, Hot 107.9, and Wendy’s partnered up for the Birthday Bash 15 Competition. The grand prize was the opening slot for a sold out concert in Philips Arena with Ludacris, Rick Ross, and many other major artists. The contest was held in 5 locations where artists had to purchase a meal and write their name on the back of the receipt to be placed in a jar. The chances were slim to none! God was on our side and our name was called. We auditioned, made the cut, won the online voting, and killed the show!
Okay all indies like this question. You have the opportunity to create a concert with you and 3 majors artists, what three do you pick?
I don’t like this question just for the record haha. Jokes! Ok 3 major artists. With holograms being out I guess I can choose some of the greats that have passed? Well I would say 2Pac, J.Cole, and the last slot would be given to Eminem! What a show!
If you had to put yourself into a genre or create your own, what would it be called?
I would create a Genre called “Mood Music”. Inspired by a great artist named Joe Budden. For me that name represents my music. Whatever mood you’re in, we got something for you!
With all of your accomplishments, has any majors stepped to you about signing with them? And if so would you?
There has definitely been some conversations along the way. The way I see it, it’s like love. When you know, you know. The right situation comes along, we will consider it.
If someone wanted to get their hands on your music, where can they find it online and offline?
My music is available on almost all digital outlets. Itunes, Spotify, Google Play, Tidal, Xbox Music, Pandora, Amazon Music, and more! You can also find everything Flawless on FlawlessRi.Com.
This is a crazy Hip Hop game. What change would you make if you could change one thing about the music industry?
I would make it about the art again. It is very difficult for talented artists to get major exposure in today’s industry. I feel like the standards of lyricism have been lowered. I would make it about the music again. The talent.
So with opening up with Rick Ross, Ludacris and Tech N9ne, what’s next for Flawless on a performance level?
Just taking the stage show to another level. We take pride in our live show. I feel like it’s second to none. Listening to my music is one thing, experiencing it is a totally different monster!
We ask all the artists we interview, what’s the best piece of advice someone’s ever given to you?
I can’t really give away too many secrets but what I can say is that you never know how close you are. Never giving up is the smartest thing you can do. Work as hard as you can at all times because you never know how close you really are. Things can happen overnight, life can change instantly, the question is will you be ready?
Thanks Flawless! It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview artists such as this WDSR Radio – Flawless interview!
Michael McClelland, professionally known as Microphone, grew up in Freeport, Long Island. He grew up in a single-parent home, got into trouble and was even expelled from college. These struggles led him to explore the art of rapping with his friends in 2009. Soon after, it became his passion and he decided to pursue it professionally. Using music as an outlet was a blessing for him, because he was able to express his feelings/views in his rhymes.
Microphone dreamt about being in the music industry and standing on the shoulders of past and present lyricists. Many artists are talented, but Microphone is gifted.
Through his influences and accomplishments, he has learned so much more about style and creativity, while excelling and progressing his writing skills and rhyming technique. His dream is what he’s been chasing and believes he will accomplish it by being the Voice for the Voiceless. He uses music to grow by expressing his pain, love and many other types of emotions. Microphone is also releasing 3 consecutive mixed tapes in 3 volumes, of NU ERA while at the same time in the studio making an album. NU ERA Vol.1 (Microism) hosted by DJ Voltron (Defender of Hip Hop), NU ERA Vol. 2 (The Warm Up) is being hosted by DJ Big Mike, Vol. 3 (The Workout) hosted by various MC’s and DJ’s. It’s NU ERA so be on the lookout for him, because he’s coming to bring back good music with feelings and will soon enough climb the charts.
Tandy Arthur aka TMA aka Guerrilla Labs is no stranger to the EDM scene. Having traveled across the globe while experiencing several different cultures of music, Guerrilla Labs prides himself on being able to connect with many different forms of the Electronic Digital Music craze.