Marking 2023 with his brand new single, Brooklyn's alternative R&B artist Kenneth Cash transports us to the Highest realms with "Call That Heaven." With cementing piano chords to carry the delicacy of his tones, reveals an enchanting ensemble, transcending genre boundaries while provoking listeners to embark on the journey of their authentic selves and conquer their doubts, no matter their challenges.
Tell us a bit about your story: who are you and what has your journey looked like so far?
I’m a mix of many things. Being born on an army base in Washington, moving to New York, Texas, and then Atlanta, all of these places make up who I am today. It’s a big reason why I describe my style and music as all-encompassing. I really grew up around all walks of life. Now how I got here is interesting. When I decided to pursue a music career at 15, I had no intention of being an artist. I just wanted to stick to producing. That was my escape at the time. I’d go straight home after the school bell and lock myself in my room for hours working on beats. I’d sometimes stay up the next morning and go to school without sleep. It was only until around 19 that I took the idea of being a solo artist seriously. I say solo because I was in a pseudo-boy band at 17. At 19, I was back in New York with zero social skills and a hard drive full of solid music. At some point, I was lucky enough to run into a manager at an event in the city, and we started working together. He introduced me to AK the Savior, a talented rapper out of Brooklyn who wanted to manage me. Two years later, with new management and a small solid fan base, I’m pretty content with where I am. I know this is only the beginning of a long beautiful journey.
Who inspires you musically and creatively?
I’d have to break that down into music inspos and visual inspos. For music, it would have to be Radiohead, Frank Ocean, NWTS Drake, Jessica Pratt, Tame Impala, Roy Ayers, and Kanye (musically speaking). At face value, my music sounds nothing like those artists, but when you isolate each element, you see what I cherry-picked. The punchy drums of Kanye mixed in with the vocal layering of Frank Ocean, the simplicity of Jessica Pratt, and the occasional eeriness of Radiohead. This doesn’t apply to all of my songs, as there are many other inspirations that I pick from, but it certainly applies to my most recent single. I don’t watch movies often, but when I do, it’s usually from the late ’90s. The best era in cinema, in my opinion. In terms of visual style, I admire The Matrix, Fallen Angels, and Fight Club. Dark but beautiful. David Fincher is a genius.
What is the creative process behind your music?
Similar to what I did for my most recent single, I draw inspiration from everything. I can start with soft classical strings and then juxtapose that with very punchy drums. I like the idea of putting soft things over something intense. If the beat calls for a louder, more expressive voice, I do the opposite, whispering a bit with an ounce of carelessness. It makes me feel something new. It speaks to the in-between. The grey areas of emotion. Either that, or I’m just a bit nuts. One of the two. In most cases, the beat tells me what to say and how to say it. I don’t rely on pre-written lyrics or an overall theme. Sometimes I’ll finish a song and not know what it means until afterwards. That’s when I realize that it’s bigger than me. I’m simply a vessel.
What is the creative process behind your music?
“No matter your doubts, just know that you’re a genius. Never forget that.” AK actually told me that. I don’t think I’m a genius, but when I feel doubtful, I remind myself that I have a gift. Beyond just the music, the world has a way of convincing us that we aren’t capable or able to create a meaningful life. Many times it’s convinced me that I can’t create meaningful music. In those moments, I have to realize that it’s false and continue to believe that this is bigger than just me. There has to be an unshakeable belief in the process, something I’m still working on.
How do you nurture your creativity?
For me, this goes back to allowing myself to be a vessel. I find that when I try to control everything, that’s when nothing happens. My creativity and my ideas aren’t something that I own. It’s a collaborative effort. So I try not to stress it when I can’t get something going or when I make a wack rough draft. It’s all part of the process. The key word is try, though it can be hard to keep my composure when the creative well runs dry. So I find that in those moments, I end up striking gold soon after.
What do you hope your music will reveal to your listeners?
(Alternatively, what do you hope your new music will reveal to your listeners?)
This last single reveals the never-ending loop we all go through in pursuit of a temporary escape. Narrowly focusing on the high without taking into account the lows we often feel afterwards. Those highs are what we call heaven. Our incredibly deceitful personal heaven. Alas, there is a glimmer of hope. Those of us in this dark tunnel will eventually see the light far off in the distance.
Are there any upcoming shows or projects we can look forward to?
EP is coming out in December. I’m thinking about calling it Pariah. Stay tuned.
Is there any advice you want to give to new artists?
What’s for you is for you. It will come. All you have to do is meet it halfway, continue to show up and not allow your doubts to get in the way of your win. Everything you need, you already have. Claim it. Own it. Cherish It. I’ve hit deep lows off the strength of getting in my own way. It happens. Try your best to get up and control what you can control. Let the rest flow to you. You got this. Go get the bag. Just not my bag, haha.
Since the emergence of his first single, 'Stickyola' (2020), Cash consistently creates trailblazing compositions resulting in unique adventures. Check out the mesmerizing new visualizer below and immerse yourself in the spellbinding world of Kenneth Cash.