From The Basketball Court To The Booth: K. Mitch (Q&A)
“True Testimony was crazy cause it was never supposed to happen. I was the second artist in line to drop on the label but the lead artist decided to up and leave the label unannounced, so we had a deadline to meet and I came through in the clutch. I put some tracks together and tried to make it as personable as possible for the short amount of time I had to work with. It’s cool though cause it’s my first project ever where physical copies were released and even sold in stores!” – K. Mitch (On his debut LP) / K. Mitch is a promising talent who crossed over from the world of basketball to the world of Hip-Hop (no pun intended, lol). He started off on the college ball fast-track in Denver, CO but ran into a bit of a road block. His rap career began to take flight around the same time, so he decided to switch gears. Since trading in his ball for a microphone full time, he has gone on to do some impressive things. He signed with a record label, had an album sold in stores, traveled & performed across the map, and even smoked with a major name in the indie/underground scene. Read about these ventures and more via his exclusive one on one with The Illixer after the jump.
The Illixer: What is K. Mitch’s story?
K. Mitch: My story is basically like a lot of people in the world who weren’t born with a silver spoon. My mom was in and outta jail my whole life. My pops did five years in the Feds. So I was raised by my grandmother. My neighborhood was a sell dope or play sports type of environment, so I chose basketball as a way out. It eventually led me to the University of Denver on a basketball scholarship where I was also introduced to my current label Waydown Records.
TI: Why did you decide to give up your basketball career to pursue music?
KM: I really didn’t decide to give it up I was forced to. I got into some trouble at UD and I was forced to transfer after that year. So I went to ECU (a school in Oklahoma) to play ball but after the first semester I couldn’t re-enroll because UD wouldn’t release my transcripts. So unless I paid for my transcripts I wouldn’t be allowed to do a second semester and at the time the music was picking up steam. My single was playing on the local radio station so I felt my time with basketball and school had come to an end! I still don’t have my transcripts til this day (lol)!!
TI: Who are some of the artists that have made an impact on you over the years?
KM: Definitely a lot of Southern rappers being that’s where I’m from. So artists like: Scarface, Outkast, UGK, Swisha House, SUC, Z-Ro, T.I., and the list goes on. But my influences also go as far as the East Coast with artists such as: Jay Z, Fabolous, Dipset, Nas, and of course the greats Biggie and Tupac. Music was my escape.
TI: How did you link up with Waydown Records?
KM: Like I said when I was offered a scholarship to play ball at UD I was introduced to them because one of my teammates who was originally from Denver was already signed to the label. We use to freestyle together all the time in the dorm. He invited me to a session, we laid a track, Waydown liked it, and the rest is history.
TI: Explain your creative process for putting a song together from start to finish.
KM: First, it’s all about production. I pick a beat I like and I listen to it over and over and usually a specific instrument or sound reminds me of something specific and I automatically catch a melody and that’s how I draw my idea for the hook. I make sure it matches the beat and it’s short and sweet. Then, I write my verses according to the hook making sure it’s relatable and it all ties in together to make sense. I change rhyme schemes up mid-verse, drop my highlights & ad-libs, and it’s a wrap!
TI: How did your single “WDGAF” come about?
KM: My executive producer had this beat and sent me a hook he had come up with and told me to see if I can make it work. So I tweaked it up a little bit, changed some words, wrote the verses to it, and laid it down! Turned out DOPE!!
TI: Share one of your most memorable experiences in music thus far and explain why you chose it.
KM: There are so many to choose from cause these past two years have been crazy. But if I had to choose I would say performing at SXSW before Smoke DZA and them complimenting me on my set. A guy threw me a joint on stage and lit it for me while I was performing and after my set I got to chief with Curren$y that was DOPE!!
TI: Where would you like your music career to be five years from now?
KM: I would like to have a solid brand established, a few Grammys, some platinum albums, maybe even a label of my own, and be mentioned in conversations as one of the GOATs (greatest of all times)!
TI: What are some projects or future ventures you have going on that people can keep an eye out for?
KM: Keep a look out for my album The Detour, set to drop under Altavoz Distribution. My EP which is still untitled. I’m collabing with Folkland on a mixtape. They’re a dope group outta Pittsburgh so keep ya eye out for that. And some major headline tours. So stay tuned, we working!!
**My Two Cents: K. Mitch is a well spoken, down to earth cat. He has some interesting stories to share which made for an entertaining interview. Also, he definitely has some talent when it comes to rhyming. “WDGAF” goes pretty hard. It’s a sure fire banger, in my opinion. For those who want to keep up with K. Mitch beyond the interview, they can find him on Reverb Nation and Twitter. -MinM