Empowering, eloquent and unifying, VALNTNA conveys the world around her with considered hard-hitting lines and soulful softness in new single ‘Black Kingz’.
Premiered on BBC Radio 1Xtra with DJ Ace, the record made its poignant debut during Black History month ahead of the striking visuals, which are set to release in the last week of October. Lyrically dissecting the obstacles, the pain and suppression of black men, VALNTNA creates an uplifting message of unity, strength and power that can be accessed universally via her soulful and complex singing ability.
“I deliver a powerful message to shine a light on these issues, empowering all Black Kingz to come together, uplift themselves and each other & embrace the change that is distinctly upon us. Projecting Love, Healing & Unity” says the singer and songwriter from South London.
Produced by music duo, PINK87, who also helped curate VALNTNA’s previous single ‘CCW (Confidently Constantly Wrong)’, ’Black Kingz‘ flows with melodic variances guided by her R&B and soul influences, yet her customs and South London upbringing infiltrate her style making the product nostalgic but current.
Citing Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill as some of her influences, VALNTNA is an artist of technique, growth, and emotion, and ‘Black Kingz‘ displays each quality exceptionally. Her ability to openly challenge important topics and call for unity within the black communities is bold, impactful and necessary. Check out this gem below…
He gave us Still Dreaming (which is the most popular track on NEW LEASE MUSIC), It’s All About The Money and more recently, the hard-hitting What About. Philly hip-hop artist KASTILANO is now in the interview seat, pouring out his passion and love for music. So if you heard his tracks through NEW LEASE MUSIC but don’t know nothing about the guy, well this is your perfect chance to get to know him!
NLM: Hey what’s up? When you first appeared on NEW LEASE MUSIC, you said you wanted to make a dent in the hip-hop game – so what’s the reception been like on your music?
K: Aw man the reception has been great so far only getting better and better. I mean I get so much love from my city of Philly all the way to London. It keeps me going daily and motivates me to go harder on each and every track. I have concord having my very own unique sound and am blessed to be able to touch strangers who never met me to where they say they can really feel my music and that’s a beautiful feeling. A few people don’t get it yet but they soon will.
NLM: So what do you think is wrong with the hip-hop game today?
K: Well a year ago I would have said its not enough music with substance not enough artist being original (which I still agree with to an extent) but now I feel people are too worried about what others are doing instead of sticking to what it is that they do. I mean it’s ok to use different sounds and methods to make music, we all steal from each other at some point. The most important thing to me is staying true to self making the best quality music possible, that’s what I focus on. Times will change and the music will constantly change with it that’s just the facts.
NLM: How would you describe your music and what make you different from the rappers today?
K: My music is what I like to call quality music! I actually give you me, my life, what’s real in my life. I don’t base my music off of what sound is catchy or in at the moment but instead I try to do the opposite of that automatically separating myself from the competition. I’m so different because I’m not afraid to touch on different subject that need to be spoke on or not just make music for the clubs but music for your brain and for ya soul touching the heart of people crossing boundaries going places I shouldn’t almost forcing others to do the same to keep up hahaha.
NLM: You have a catalogue of REAL dope music. What’s your proudest track and why?
K: Thank you very much I truly appreciate that. My proudest track is a track from my 1st mixtape entitled The City’s Hero called Still Dreaming which is a song dedicated to my mother who passed away when I was a baby. I originally just did the song to get out my feeling for her but didn’t think it would get such the response that it did. I mean people said it actually made them cry feeling sad for me and others who could relate really feeling my pain. Best feeling is to be felt.
NLM: Who do you listen to and who are your musical influences?
K: Honestly i listen to everybody from rap to R&B because I love music. I alway get handed cds in the streets and I always try to give them a listen at least once to see if it’s hot or not (I know the feeling of wanting people to give you a play).
I like lots of the 90’s early 2000’s Hip-Hop and Rap from Big L, Nas, Notorious B.I.G, Wu-Tang, L.O.X, Jay-Z, DMX, Beanie Segal, Mobb Deep, CNN, Snoop Dogg, Fugees, Big Pun, Diplomats just to give you an idea. On the softer side of things Isley Brothers, Whispers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rick James, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, R. Kelly, Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Sade, Tina Marie, Chaka Khan, etc, etc I really can go on and on as you can see.
Little kids 5, 6 ,7 8 years old inspire me. The drug addict on the corner with talent you would not believe inspires me. Of course the greats like Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Run DMC, 2Pac, Eminem and many other greats inspire me. I’m just musically influenced.
NLM: Let’s take a step back for a moment: at what point did you want become a hip-hop artist?
Ok I wanted to be a rap since like middle school and really saw the light of it happening about 16 or 17 years old but with the streets taking a serious toll on my life music became last on my list of things to do. Now being a real live artist came into play about two years ago when I realized I really had what it takes with a sound like no other.
NLM: Were you in a group before you venture out as a solo artist?
K: Yes I was in a group called DB which stood for Da Buls (a Philadelphia word used to describe a boy, guy or man” which was me and my right hand man at the time who is also my blood cousin Da Bul Joe aka Superstar J aka Young Ca$h. His incarceration is what originally led me to go solo until he returned.”
NLM: If you were granted three wishes, what would it be?
K: Hmmmm these questions just get better huh? This is a great interview by the way but to answer your question I would wish for everybody to be equal to where color or race did not matter any longer nor would money everyone would be equal having the same ability to receive the same education, living circumstances and all. eliminating a lot of the problems we have here on planet earth as we know it. My second wish would be for it to be only 1 religion eliminating separation of people with just 1 GOD to pray to. The third and final wish of mine would be for it to be no diseases like aids, cancer and etc. We would all like better and healthier lives but still would have to be responsible with those dangers and worries no longer being around. Yeah I know I’m on my Nas /ft Lauren Hill-If I Ruled The World tip huh
NLM: So you have any upcoming project?
K: Yes after release of my latest mixtape Best Of KillEm Kastilano, my official self titled album Kastilano will be released on iTunes and every other major music outlet September 23rd of this year. Featuring my best work to date really taking it to the next level with 8 classic songs followed by 2 skits (somethings albums are missing lately) trust me you will not this quality music like nothing you hear now.
NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?
“Contact on Twitter & IG @215KKastilano like my page Facebook.com/KillEmKastilano also like my page Reverbnation.com/KillEmKastilano and subscribe to my channel Youtube.com/OneHalfadb for latest update of my vlog KillEmTv. Oh yeah search Kastilano on Youtube and Google Kill Em Kastilano for easiest and fastest ways to find me.”
NLM: Before you sign off, there’s one I’ve been dying to ask… it’s a silly question but I’m gonna put it out there…what’s your real name!
K: Wow haha my birth name is Kahseem! I actually say it in a few of my songs but yeah that’s me so until next time it was a pleasure talking to you and thanks for such a amazing interview I enjoyed every minutes of it! Signing out The City’s Hero, it’s KillEmmmmm!!! PEACE”