Take A Chance & Roll The Dice: King Gamble (Q&A)
The Prelude (listen/download)
“I would probably be in an office somewhere working with computers. I graduated from Business School and I have my certificate in Computer Technology and Computer Information. So yeah I probably would be doing something in that field.” – King Gamble (On If He Wasn’t Rapping) / King Gamble was first introduced to readers via his creative videos to songs by Red Cafe and Teairra Mari. The response to the videos was good and his free-spirited persona makes one want to learn a little bit more about him. So he was kind enough to take a break from promoting his new project to allow The Illixer to pick his brain for an exclusive Q&A. See what he revealed after the jump.
The Illixer: How was your stage moniker generated?
King Gamble: My stage name stems from numerous things in my life growing up as a child into the man I am today. One of the definitions to the term “gamble” is to play at any game of chance for money or any other high stakes; to risk or wager money or something valuable on the outcome of something involving chance. I take my music very serious and play it kind of balls to the wall. I don’t gamble money or anything. I gamble my talent trying to make it in this industry one way or another.
TI: What is King Gamble’s story?
KG: My story: I’m 23 years old and I grew up in Brooklyn New York. Coming up I lived in a two bed room apartment with five people in it so it was kind of a rough thing at times. Battling the pressure of a Black male growing up in the late 80s and the 90s was tough. You name it from falling into the wrong crowd of friends to messing up in school; it was a lot to go through. Losing my grandmother definitely got my priorities straight because I promised her that I would be the man that she was raising me to be. The rest is history from there.
TI: What was it that made you fall in love with Hip-Hop?
KG: I have always been a prodigy of Hip-Hop because my dad used to DJ as a side gig. So I would go with him and hand him the 12’ records and stuff. Also, I would watch him fade the next song in or blend the instrumentals, so it was dope. When I got to the age where I started to really understand lyrics and what they meant it was a different chapter opened in my love for Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop is an art form, it’s not just music. I respect anyone that has a deep passion for something and let’s it show no matter what. It’s always a respect thing.
TI: Describe your first live performance or show.
KG: My first live performance I will never forget it. It was at Bowery Poetry Club out here in New York City. I had about 15 tickets for my show that night and I had about 55 people in attendance for me. It was overwhelming for a bit or two because it was my first performance but I loved every minute of it. The venue was crowded because every artist had people in attendance so it was packed. I went on and did my thing for my eight minute set. When I came off so many people were coming to me telling me how great I was and where can they hear more. I handed out so many business cards that night it wasn’t funny. That night was very humbling.
TI: What do you feel are some of your strengths and weaknesses as an artist?
KG: My strengths I can go on and on about. I feel that I’m strongly business minded when it comes to this and that’s what a lot of artists lack. It’s more than writing a verse and a few hooks in the music industry. I know things outside of song making that help in a lot of ways because I can do it myself like: promo, beat selection, copy rights, other legal procedures, etc. My weakness I would have to say is being too loyal. I was put in a situation about two years ago where I was being too loyal to someone that didn’t give two craps about me. Then I was pissed but now I laugh about it. Ultimately it was an experience I had to go through to become the man and the artist I am today. You live and you learn.
TI: Your bio states that you define music via this quote from Plato: “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” How does your music fit into that description?
KG: That quote means a lot to me because it’s such a strong statement. Music is not what it used to be 10 years ago that’s obvious. Music is supposed to make you feel like you’re connected to that artist on whatever song you’re listening too. When you hear “Juicy” from Biggie I can picture myself saying: “to all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of that called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter.” I want my music to take people back to that spot in music where you can relate or if you can’t relate you can sit back and be like “yo this is good”. When I hear an epic verse I can never get through the whole verse on the first take. I always bring it back to soak it in. So when I write music I make sure you always have to rewind it to soak in the quality verse.
TI: What do fans have to look forward to from your new project, The Prelude?
KG: The Prelude is my introduction basically. It’s a well-rounded, well-crafted project I put everything into. It has different varieties of music levels on it from the smooth R&B/Hip-Hop collaborations, to the club bangers, to the deep songs where I paint pictures for you to view vividly. I’m hearing it’s an awesome project from the people that heard it so far. So that’s a blessing right there. I know that it will get the shine its due down the line, once it sets into people’s minds. It’s no one hit wonder songs or feeling about this project and it will get the credit it deserves.
TI: Name three tracks on The Prelude that you would recommend to a listener and explain why you chose them.
KG: “The Intro” is one of them for sure. “The Intro” is just basically my route to making the project in a nutshell. “Take A Flick” is another dope collaboration I have on the tape. It takes me to the vintage rapper/singer collaboration with a modern twist to it. And lastly I would say “Never Change.” This song is just crafted with such emotion I had to put it last for people to soak that one in. Every song I make comes from the heart but this song breaks into the more personal side of things.
TI: What’s next in the cards for King Gamble?
KG: The mixtape! I am going to be all over the web with this mixtape. I’m definitely lining up some collaborations with some dope artists so expect to hear some songs coming soon. I’m shooting videos almost every month for the mixtape so expect to see a bunch of those hitting my channel on YouTube. I got my hands in a kitchen full of pots right now so I’m excited to see everything come together. Thank you for the Q&A, your awesome!
**My Two Cents: I enjoyed this interview. Gamble shared some interesting stuff. For example, I love the fact that he has a background in business and computers. Those are both good fields to fall back on if needed. And like he said it makes him more self sufficient as an artist too. Also, love how he got into Hip-Hop. That was a great story. If readers want to keep up with Gamble, they may do so via Twitter. A review of The Prelude is coming soon to the site. So be sure to keep an eye out. -MinM