We had the good fortune of connecting with KAI XO and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi KAI XO, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is often seen as something scary and unpredictable…and it is haha. But more often than not it is the catalyst to take something from mediocre to great. There are all those famous quotes about not being able to cross a chasm with just small steps and believing in yourself and I do believe it is true. I think what is most scary about risk and why most people avoid it is out of fear of failure, and as a human being that fear is always a part of life. But you can’t be ruled by it. When you don’t take a risk out of fear of failure, you do just that–solidify failure. Taking risks pushes you to your limits and forces you to have to figure things out and that can be uncomfortable as it has been in many moments in my life–from sleeping in my car for a year to invest in my studio equipment to creating relationships and also ending them. Even deciding to pursue music. Risk is scary, but it is necessary to evolve and magnify your capabilities, and the only thing anyone should be truly afraid of is getting in their own way. The only thing anyone has to lose in life IS their life…everything else can be fixed and rebuilt. 

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Everyday I’m trying to grow more and more and achieve more and more. I’m proud that when I moved here to LA, after going to college here, I literally came with nothing and I built my studio in my apartment from scratch. The process was definitely not overnight and was extremely hard and as I mentioned earlier, required a year of living in my car to invest in all of it. When things get hard, you have to always keep looking to the other side. Focus on the endgame and working to be the best you can be. I think many people underestimate the amount of sheer work that goes into music making—the singing technique, the musicality, the hours of practice and constantly honing your craft. The work never ends. As long as where I am today is closer to where I want to be than yesterday, that is the measure of success for me…but it takes discipline and diligence which I try to incorporate into all facets of my life. At the end of the day, I just want my music to make people fall in love with music the way that I am. Every moment in life has a song that can be made out of it and that is a powerful thing–those are the moments I want to share with people.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well when we aren’t dancing in West Hollywood we’d definitely be doing brunch….in West Hollywood haha. No honestly, I’d for sure play tourist with them and go to the Santa Monica pier, and Venice, and the grove and all that, but one of my favorite things to do with people who have never been is to go to the Museum of Death in Hollywood. I’ve always had a love for the macabre and that place is amazing. One of my favorite food spots is Quarters Korean BBQ in K-town so we’d definitely be making a pit stop there and for some meditation time, definitely have to walk around Lake Shrine up in the palisades…its beautiful and the turtles know me haha.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My grandmother is literally the reason I sing. I remember trying to mimic her vibrato when I was young by putting my finger on my throat haha. I’d like to think I’ve come a long way since then! But honestly, after growing up listening to and watching her perform on stage and sing gospel music most of my life, I don’t think anyone else has had such a significant impact on my love for music and for the love for music all my family has.

Website: iamkaixo.com
Instagram: @iamkai.xo
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2ntp8illnV6D4kOd18vXVG?si=Y8KnhFQ7RSe1RwxJR0m6xw

Image Credits
Jorge Barragan Lisandra Vazquez

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