KS Tha Pharaoh
Allowing my spirit to travel abroad, I came across Brussels-based artist, KS Tha Pharaoh. He has been honing his skills in R&B and Rap since his teenage years. Originally writing bars and poetry in his room after school, KS quickly developed an interest in the beat-making process. A process that kickstarted more than a decade of self-produced content.
What’s everyday life like in Brussels?
It’s good, everybody seems to be running at their own pace you know. It’s a melting pot I’m still discovering as we speak. I see a lot of ambitious and creative people around me and that’s a great source of inspiration.
Do you guys have a big hip-hop scene, if so when did it begin and who are the key players in the Brussels hip hop scene?
I just completed my first year in town so I’m still kinda discovering the hip-hop scene in here but I would definitely say yes! it is big and expanding. if I had to give a few names to check out I would recommend Damso or Hamza, but again there are many talents in here. You can sense a real hunger in this particular area.
Do you compose your own beats?
Most of the time yes I do. I like building a song from the simple humming of an idea to a melody then words until I get a fully formed song. I really enjoy all those steps. however, I also love working with others. Challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone. I’m regularly impressed by other beatmakers and I’m always happy to jump on the opportunity to mix universes.
Which producers inspire you?
Ask me this question in 2009, and I would answer The Neptunes, Kanye, and Ryan Leslie. They were the ones that really made me want to paint the sound with music and to be original with it. Today, I wouldn’t say that no one inspires me but more that I see motivation everywhere. When I see a producer come up with their own unique sound, I can picture myself doing the same.
Word! Your music is full of emotion, where do you draw this passion from?
Thanks. I don’t really have an answer for that but I believe it might have something to do with me being an introvert. I guess I’m just trying to let my inner self speak. I grew up listening to R&B a lot, some songs are basically the soundtrack of my feelings. I suppose I’m just trying to replicate the process.
You recently had some issues with releasing your new album, can you tell us about that?
Oh that, well I do most of my communication via my social media like anybody else. On the release day at midnight GMT, I posted a SmartLink everywhere for my followers and others to go to so they could listen to my work on their favorite platforms. Upon waking up 6 hours later, I found that the SmartLink I was heavily promoting, was not working. I hoped I was able to change the link in time. People had found their way to my album. So, everything turned out well in the end. I got to admit I panicked for a minute though. LOL!
What advice could you give to a new artist who is about to release an album based on your recent experience?
Always expect your plan A to go wrong, and keep a solid plan B and C just in case. Also, relax.
How do you define success?
Being able to be yourself 100% in what you do and finding an audience that resonates with your true self.
Your style is very versatile, where does your inspiration come from and who would you say inspires you the most?
I could give you a long list of artists that inspired/inspires me but for the versatile aspect. I believe the starting point was the first time I listened to the Fugees album The Score. I remember this expanding my mind on what I thought I understood about music, that you don’t have to just sing or just rap or whatever, the way Laureen Hill and Wyclef switched with ease amazed me back then.
Being multilingual, do you plan on making multilingual music?
I’d say that I’m already doing it. I became more and more comfortable using both English and french in my songs and my projects. For example, in my late album titled “No.Us”, I used the word “nous”. In French that means “us” and the dot in the middle symbolizes the break up that leads to “No more Us” or should I say “No Us”. In my songs, I don’t limit myself to one language either, I let my inspiration guide me. I’m a bilingual artist and I don’t wanna hide it.
Right on, I love that, don’t stop. In a recent video, you mention the creative process of your new album being painful, can you explain this?
Well, it was painful in the sense that at first I was super excited, very very inspired, and then in the middle of the process, writer’s block. It lasted for several months. Being in a lockdown at the time, I wasn’t able to see a lot of people or do much outside. So it was like my creative mind had left me and I couldn’t find my way back to it, for like three months. Thank God, it slowly came back and after a period of doubts, confidence came along. Also due to the subject of certain songs I had to revisit some unpleasant memories to get the right tone for them.
What are the hardest obstacles in your life you’ve overcome?
Without going into too many details about it, battling depressions a few years ago is definitely something that I would always remember as a major point in my life. The worst is I didn’t realize how deep that was at the time.
Do you find it important to reflect this in your lyrics?
I don’t have a rule about that when I write. However, I think sometimes I might do it subconsciously. There are so many things I try to reflect in my art and all I know is I don’t force it if I don’t feel it.
When you are not focused on music, what do you do that inspires your artistic endeavors?
Engaging with other people, having conversations with complete strangers on a night out… Hanging with friends, drawing, walking, watching anime… I have a large panel of activities that feeds my inspiration, I just have to be in the right mood.
Do you feel the impact of social media has helped the independent musician more so now than in the past?
Of course! Social media totally changed the game! It helped not only to showcase your talent but also to find an audience and create a relationship between you and your audience. We’ve all seen success stories through social media at this point. The work still has to be done of course, but it made the experience more accessible.
I personally would love to see more videos of your beat-making process, can we expect anything like that from you?
Yes, you can! I’m still tryna figure out the best way to show the process while keeping it interesting and fun. I’m definitely gonna make more videos like that. It’s also a great exercise for me on how I explain things and being more comfortable at it.
Musically, who is your biggest inspiration and how do they inspire you?
For years I’ve had several big inspirations. I tend less to focus on them lately and more on my vision and my own way of doing things. I’m more inspired now by the energy, the intention behind a song, a verse. I listen to a lot of different types of artists and they all inspire me in a way. But if I were to give one example again that stuck with me for years, it would be Kanye.
What is your view on “rap beef”, do you, or would you, engage in exchanging diss tracks when someone calls you out your name?
As entertaining it may be at times, I’m not really into it. Rap can be very competitive, and I understand why it’s often part of it. In such a situation I would probably engage in it, who knows?
Hip Hop has many facets and subgenres, do you feel these labels and distinctions matter? If so, in what sub-genre would you categorize your music?
I believe they do matter. It’s like Cinema. Some like a certain type of movie, others another type, and so on and so forth, they’re all movies for different audiences. Same here, there’s a large audience with people looking for very different things in the music they hear, from hard bars to mindless fun, to melodic rap, etc, and I think its cool people can identify themselves here and there. Me, I prefer letting others say in what subgenre they see me in because I feel like I switch a lot, lol.
What strengths do you have that you believe make you a great musician?
Adaptability, also I always want to move forward musically, there’s nothing scarier than being stuck in time without improving or advancing. I love it every time something or someone re-defines the way music is made or the way it sounds.
Tell us something about yourself that no one would guess.
I’m shy but I’ve learned how to manage it.
What future projects are you currently working on?
I will make an appearance on the next project of a friend of mine and rapper Criss Kayji, set to be released soon. Other than that, while I keep promoting my album “No.Us”, I have a few collaborative projects in the oven and ideas for my next step.
We will be looking out! How will this be different from your newly released album?
I might lean even more towards R&B and all its variants, but more on that later.
Great interview, I love your drive and your “I’m doing this for ME” attitude! Thank you for your time! Is there anything you wish to add?
Thank you for interviewing me, I had an excellent time! All I want to add is, I feel like this is the beginning of a new cycle and I know I got great things to accomplish in it, so follow me on my journey if you don’t wanna miss any of it. Like we say with my bros, “Tout est dans le script”.
Find KS Tha Pharaoh in the digital realm!
He’s out there on the web making himself known. There is great content developing in the Pharaoh’s realm. You can find KS Tha Pharaoh on Twitter – Instagram – Facebook – Spotify – Youtube – Soundcloud and every other major streaming network. My tip for you is to stay current on his youtube, I think he will be dropping gems on the process from an artist’s perspective. Peace KS Tha Pharaoh!
Go show KS Tha Pharaoh some love! Leave a comment here and let us know what you think! We also got plenty of videos dropping and in creation, as I type this, that fact still stands true as you read this. This is because Earworm Entertainment Artist Collective does not slack. We are creators born to create. We are consistently creating something new beyond the music! lookout for new shows, videos, art, and music from my Earworm Family! Also, never forget the Schezworm Sauce!