We had the good fortune of connecting with I-K-E | Inspiring Kings Everywhere and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi I-K-E | Inspiring Kings Everywhere, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve been passionate about music since I was a child. I gravitated towards hip hop ultimately, but have always loved music in general, whether it was old soul music, Spanish music, or 90’s boom bap. As a producer, I love sampling or playing chords that capture a specific emotion. For me, producing is like a therapeutic release. I love every aspect, from digging in the crates, to chopping the sample, to laying the drums, etc. As an emcee and songwriter, I love the power and freedom of being able to use my lyrics and voice to paint a picture, tell a story, stand up for or against something, and express what I’m feeling. Like many creatives, the end goal is to be able to make a sustainable living off of my art, so that I can prioritize creating and releasing that art to the world. I’m my truest self when I’m an artist and around other creatives, and that’s why I continue to pursue it as a career.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve found success in education, and in business, but I’ve never stopped being a creative. I used to think my corporate experience was deterring me from my dream of pursuing music as a career, but in reality, it helped open my eyes and gave me new perspective, diverse relationships, and knowledge and skills that now lend themselves to my work as an artist and creative. I think what sets me apart from other Hip Hop artists is just my diverse background. I’m a Latino from Texas who now lives in Los Angeles. I’ve lived in rural and urban environments. I was blessed to be able to pursue and finish higher education, when my parents and many others in my family weren’t. I’ve always been immersed in hip hop culture and community, while juggling a corporate 9 to 5. I’ve been without money, and then experienced success financially. It’s all these experiences at opposite ends of the spectrum that I believe make me well rounded as an artist and as a professional. Nothing worth having is easy, and pushing forward with a lot of different passions takes a lot of hard work, but I’ve definitely found blessings in every valley. The main lessons I’ve learned are to be true to who you are, work hard, be patient, and be present in the moment. We’re all working towards goals, but time flies, and if we’re not careful, we can miss out on what’s most important. In terms of what I want the world to know about my brand, it’s all about Inspiring Kings and Queens Everywhere. Tap into to see how!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take them to places where they would be in awe of God’s art, whether that’s Runyon, or Malibu. People who haven’t been around nature definitely got to experience that and soak that in. Venice Beach is always fun for visitors too. For my friends that love dope gear and dope kicks, I’d definitely take them to Fairfax and Melrose. For food, some of my favorite spots are Ramen Tatsu and Comfort LA. If they wanted to ball out some, probably dinner and drinks at Beauty and Essex. If there’s a hip hop show, we’d be there too. The last homie who came in town, we luckily got to catch Little Brother at El Rey. Real dope.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
God and my family get the shoutout most def. They are my motivation for creating and trying to take my craft to the next level. For me, the process of creating music is spiritual. The fact that we have notes, melodies, pitches, rhythms, lyrics, etc to express ourselves with is just a blessing to me, and mind boggling, to be honest. Because I see it and respect it as a gift, I try to do it with the highest excellence I can, and use it to empower myself and others. As far as my immediate family, that’s where my personal story and journey, my love for music, my work ethic, and so much more is born from. Whether it was seeing my parents persevere through hardships, watching my mom play the piano in church, or sharing my childhood with my brothers, they’ve shaped me as a man, and therefore as an artist. My wife and son have picked that torch up, and are my daily reminder to keep pushing, and to find ways to create a future for us through my art.