HCM. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Komplex Kai. My name is Komplex Kai, I’m a Native American artist from the Pacific Northwest a half hour north of Seattle. I’ve produced projects in my time that have all meant a lot to me. I incorporate my life and its struggles as well as the good times with my music. I feel like my music can connect with people of all ages, races, etc. because it is just sharing my experiences and I’ve found a lot of people can connect with some of those thoughts, events, or concerns I share in my music. I really enjoy what I do, making music.
HCM. How did you come to know that rapping would be a career for you?
Komplex Kai. I fell in love with the music when I was quite young, from a listening aspect it was the stuff in the late 80’s and through the nineties that had the biggest influence on me. I had a turbulent life, I was born to teenage parents, growing up on a ‘Rez’ (a reservation) and some of the things that come with that (drugs, alcohol, depression, etc.) single parent home. Whatever it was, music was an escape for me. It was the feeling I got when I started to write rhymes when I was a kid. It’s all I could think about, it’s all I wanted to do. Every moment I had I was writing rhymes and writing songs, I knew I would be doing it for a long time after the first album or two. It felt like my calling, it felt like what I was supposed to be doing.
HCM. Your latest single “Rise Up” is beginning to catch waves across the nation, what inspired you to write it?
Komplex Kai. First, thanks up to the creator for looking over the water protectors and anyone fighting or standing up for all of our rights across the nation. “Rise Up” was from seeing and being exposed to what was happening on a daily basis over there and getting the feeling that history was just repeating itself. The frustration that came from that thought, is what fueled the creation of “Rise Up.” We have been taught generation to generation to stand up for our beliefs and way of life, and that is why we continue to do it. “Rise Up” started with Standing Rock, but it can be applied to so many things going on in our country right now. Whether you’re native, black, Mexican, Asian, Muslim, Christian, HUMAN, we have to rise up and we have to stand as one for this place to become better. I feel like I had to say my piece, I’m constantly seeing the stuff the song addressed online, everyday. In my way I feel like I had to contribute something and share my views on it and address it on a personal level as well.
HCM. Aside from being a talented hip hop artist, you seem to have strong views on social unjust, in reference to the “Standing Rock” matter. What was the “tipping point” for you that lead you to write a song expressing your point of view and feelings?
Komplex Kai. The violence used against some of the protectors, being sprayed with water in freezing temperatures and hit with rubber bullets, was just too much to not say something in regards to it. There’re a couple spots in the video that actually pays condolence to some of the victims of police brutality, or murders would be a better term, as well. I feel like it was a bad all around year for the victims who lost loved ones in regards to police brutality from any background, color, or creed and those things need to be addressed. It’s a continuous thing if you were take some of these lyrics in this song and play it twenty years ago, or even fifty years ago, I feel like it would be relevant to a lot of injustices that exist in both time periods. Standing Rock, Flint, travel bans, I mean the list goes on really. I felt like my place in this world is in the booth making good music, but also using my voice from time to time on concerns such as these in songs like “Rise Up”.
HCM. What’s next for Komplex Kai? Any tours or appearances scheduled to further support your views and music?
Komplex Kai. Yes i am on the move to actively promote my views and my music, and I’m working on new material with plans to hit the road, starting on the west coast, in the near future.
HCM. Before we go, anything you’d like to leave with our readers?
Komplex Kai. Yes, thank you for taking time and allowing me to share my story. Check out my music on Facebook , Youtube, and all other social sites under Komplex Kai.
Facebook is a good place to start: https://www.facebook.com/komplexkai
Thanks for joining us and best of luck.