I met Joe Kappa in 6th grade, we used to call him C4. We were just two young black skater boys happy to finally have someone else to relate to (being young black skater boys). Even though we were very much alike, we were completely different and that was what was cool about our friendship. He was more hipster, I was more street. He was more abstract, I was more standardized. We were known to be two of the most creative people in our school, which led to people always wanting to partner up with us on group projects. Joe was always more artistic than me, he could draw and he got higher grades than me, but nonetheless it was my entrepreneurial spirit that drove my creativity in a different way. One day I'll have to write an article on our whole upbringing but today we are here to learn about a multi-talented artist who goes by Joe Kappa.
Artist Name: Joe Kappa
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas (Atlanta based now)
What first got you into music?
I grew up in a very Baptist Christian family. My grandpa was a fire & brimstone pastor and that reflected in the gospel music my parents played daily. Gospel was all I knew til 6th grade when I met my homie J Bentayga. I remember he had this flash drive with all this OG Lil Wayne and a little bit or Drake on it. This was like 2008 so he was just popping off. Plugging that thing into the computers at school was literally like plugging in an upgrade to my mind. The first time I heard A Milli I felt like I was gonna have a heart attack it hit so hard. From there I kept exploring all kinds of music.
Who inspired you to make music?
In 8th grade same homie J Bentayga got a mic. We first became friends from skateboarding but once he got that, skate sessions and studio sessions became one in the same. We'd record to instrumentals of our favorite songs (Clams Casino - I'm God, Drake - Lotto, etc.) and put em on SoundCloud. I was off music in highschool but my friend Jordan gave me a crack of FL studio in college and since then I've been hooked.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Wanna say alternative hip hop but that feels limited. I like everything from rap to folk so its all in there.
What is your creative process like?
Usually I'll start with a melody in my head and try to build it out in FL Studio. Its very open ended and experimental so often I'll end up with a beat that doesn't sound like what i started with, but I like it better. I'll try a thousand different instruments with the melody and see what sounds the most interesting. Hella theraputic 💯
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
It would be amazing to do something with Tyler the Creator or Toro y Moi. But there’s hella smaller artists I’d love to work with like Deaton Chris Anthony, Coco and Clair Clair, and TiaCorine to name a few.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Fuckin Doja Cat tbh. I feel like she’d have a fun crowd.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Thank yall wherever you are lol. Music is really personal for me. I’m not in it for money or fame so for yall to fuck with me for me is a dream. Tell ya friends about me if you like my stuff!
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Mannn in so many ways. Good and bad. The internet is the reason I was able to jump in so I’m thankful for the accessibility it provides. On the other hand I see my friends getting burnt out with always having to post stuff to stay relevant on Tik Tok, Insta, etc. so that parts buns. That kinda makes music less creative and more grind-y like an RPG or something.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
Gorillaz, Fleet Foxes, Rostam, Little Dragon, Tyler the Creator, JPEGMAFIA, Playboi Carti, Childish Gambino, Toro y Moi, and Her’s.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Have fun and be yourself. Nobody knows you like you and being true to yourself is the only true freedom we get. Also go to therapy.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
Less emphasis on content creation and more on quality. I think music as a whole is becoming less tethered to the “industry” but its costing quality in exchange for speed to be the first one to the top.
What’s next for you?
Album time! Dropping my singles “DARKO” this month and “4loor” in May, then dropping my album “Rumors of War” late summer. Also working on a tape with my band Testing that should be out later this year. Tap in with ya boy