That's My "Cuzzin"
We had the pleasure of sitting down with one of Kansas City's up and coming Hip-Hop musicians, Cuzzin. Cuzzin has etched out a niche unlike others in the genre that has distinguished him in both style and grace. Besides the fact the he is active in his community, speaking to youths, coaching junior basketball leagues, and perfecting his craft, Cuzzin has also done work with the U.S. Consulate in the country of Kazakhstan, to promote Black History Month and African American cultural awareness by speaking about the impact of the recent Black Panther film. These are activities normally performed by mainstream artists but Cuzzin has naturally found a way to align his passions. We did a question and answer session with him and this is what he had to say.
Interviewer: How and when did you start making music?
Cuzzin: I started making music my sophomore year in college. After not making the basketball team, I found a need for another hobby so to speak. Something that I could do to just for peace and fun. Rap was sort of an accident in a way. It was me initially clowning with my roommate, but I wrote a rap that he thought was actually good. From there, another friend of mine had me play around on some recording equipment he had and we made my first original song Catastrophe. I look back now and laugh at it, but for my first song it wasn't half bad. But I was definitely inspired to continue.
Who were your early inspirations, and how have those inspirations changed since then?
Man my early inspirations...I've been inspired by many different styles. First there was the Drake phase and then Big Sean in my first couple of years. But one that I have continued to study is Tupac Shakur. As I matured in my own sound, his style can definitely be seen in what I do. He's been a huge influence on my music.
If you could work with anyone, who would it be?
If I could work with anyone...man...definitely have to have Dre producing with like SZA on the hooks and a verse from Dizzy Wright. That's a song that'll probably end up being a favorite of mine. I'm a make sure that happens.
What do you like most about the industry?
What I like most about the industry? It's open, you can be truly independent and create the art you love and share it with people all across the world.
What do you hate most about the industry?
Now, I also dislike this freedom because it creates an over saturation of content and you become lost in the shuffle very easily.
What message do you want to send with your music?
With my music, I just want people to feel a genuine connection. Be real with people, you know. That's why I go by the moniker Cuzzin. I want you, the listeners, to feel like you know me or can relate to me, even though you may have never even met me. I make music for the everyday person.
What's the biggest challenge you face as an independent artist?
As an independent artist, I find it challenging to appreciate the art I create. I'm my biggest critic, so a song may sound good to the listeners, but I'm listening and tearing it apart trying to find a way to make it better. In doing that, I sometimes lose that raw and natural feel it has and also stress myself out. Sometimes I have to tell myself to just sit back and enjoy the art.
How do you overcome those obstacles?
It's still a process, but I have become more comfortable in just listening to my music when I'm in the car for enjoyment. While I'm driving, I'm not usually able to be as critical...you know, traffic and all
What else would you like your listeners to know about you?
Things to know...I'm also into poetry as well as acting. Just be on the look out for me in different forms of entertainment.
You can check out more of Cuzzin and his music out on SoundCloud and he says he will soon have a website up and running.
On social media - @cuzzindecreo (SoundCloud, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook)
Follow Cuzzin and his story across all social media platforms, and be sure to check back with Tsunome for new information on new artists.