2014 Indie Music Awards Winner ~ YK

YK performing 1 - head shot


I enjoyed interviewing Lipstick Radio’s 2014 Indie Music Awards Best Rap Artist Male ~ YK. Actually, YK is a double-winner, because his Trunk Muzik won for Best Rap Song. So, YK is smiling and counting his blessings: “It’s an honor to be included with such an awards show. There’s so much support, and I just appreciate everything you guys are doing.”

YK has been involved with Khymberlee Carlyle and Lipstick Radio for almost a year: “There’s been nothing but support, since the first day. I definitely encourage all the independent artists with good material, and make sure it’s good material, to send their music into Lipstick Radio to be heard.”

As you know, this year’s Indie Music Awards winners were selected by their fans. The youngest of 16 children, YK gives most of the credit to his family for getting fans engaged and voting. “A lot of artists don’t get support from their immediate circle, but I get a lot of support from my family, my friends and my team. They believe in me more than I believe in myself. Losing was not an option.” Anyone who wanted to be around them and hang out heard, “first things first, you’ve got to cast this vote!” In addition to family support, YK posted about the awards show every day on Twitter, Facebook and all his social networks.

YK uses social media as both a fan and an artist. “Most artists are: let’s talk about me, let’s talk more about me.” Instead, YK believes you should interact with the people follow you. “If they say, ‘can you check out my song?’ Why not take out 2-3 minutes and listen to it? Interaction, it goes a longer way than selfishness.”

YK with ladiesYK credits a long list of influences. For rap music, he credits Ice Cube, 2Pac, Nas, E-40, Busta Rhymes, Brotha Lynch Hung and Tech N9ne. “I’m into rap artists that establish dominance when they’re rapping. You know that it’s them when they are on a track and they grab all your attention. That’s what I want my style to be like.”

For Production, he credits DJ Quik, Dr. Dre, Battlecat, Daz Dillinger, Beats By The Pound, Fredwreck, Rick Rock, Bosko, E-A-Ski, Mannie Fresh, J.U.S.T.I.CE. League, Kanye West and Just Blaze. His all-around influences are Marvin Gaye, George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelics, Gap Band, Roger & Zapp, Rolls Royce and Raphael Saadiq.

YK collaborates with other artists to expand his reach into new markets. He collaborates with any artist who is looking to collaborate, “especially if they have a grind about them to help push whatever song we work on.” YK continues, “I understand that I’m an indie artist and if no one outside of my region has heard of me, then it wouldn’t make any sense to reach out to artists and let them know that I charge this for a feature and I charge this to be on a song. My only objective right now is collaboration.”

YK has been indie since before it was cool to be indie. He co-owns a label, G.R.I.M Muzik, originally founded by his brothers in 1998. My brother is the businessman and I’m the artist and producer. Their skills complement each other. “We’ve been through a whole lot of trial-and-error when it comes to marketing, promotion, mixing and mastering. You live and you learn. If I’d signed contracts with people who said they were interested, I’d probably be in a state of regret right now.”

YK performing 2 This summer, YK plans to release a couple of singles. The first one is called Beautiful, “It’s for all the ladies. I tried to not narrow it down to a certain type or a certain person. I want to end the age of calling the ladies to B’s and H’s on every song. We need to cut that out. It’s time for our kings to step up and treat our queens like queens.”

The other song is called Hip Hop is Back. “It’s got an Eric B. and Rakim, Big Daddy Kane kind of feel.” This song is going to be on the Nick Cannon’s School Dance soundtrack.

YK also plans to release a mix tape with 10-12 tracks. Some other projects for YK include: songs on the soundtracks for Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor and Single Mom’s Club; the EPs Boss Ballin 4: The Next Line of Hitters, Tum Tum: The Return of O-Tumma and Young Bleed: Preserved; and the video DC feat Gucci Mane: Get Money.

According to YK, “If you’re not working and releasing stuff, it’s like you don’t exist. As an indie artist, if you go missing for three months, they just say you fell off.”

I love YK’s attitude and work ethic. That’s why he’s a winner!

Watch the complete video interview on the Amused Now YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/k_224OiAKwE

2014 Indie Music Award Winners Series

YK Hip Hop is Back cover artYK

Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now    

If you missed the awards show, you can watch the 2014 Indie Music Awards Show anytime on the Amused Now YouTube Channel: http://youtu.be/bC1eXdqoaZA

Read about the 2014 Indie Music Awards Show on Amused Now:

Read the Khymberlee Carlyle’s back story behind the 2014 Indie Music Awards show: