Interview: Joe Kickass

Joe Kickass is a 25 year old producer/mc from the Netherlands (Zoetermeer), who loves hip hop and jazz. Especially hip hop from the 90s and jazz from the 60s and 70s, what you can definitely hear in his music. He’s someone who’s not paying attention to what he’s got or can buy, but on what he can do and wants to do. “Skill above shine, you know.”

For people who never heard of you before, can you tell something about Joe Kickass?

The name ‘Joe Kickass’ is based on the saying ‘the average Joe kicks ass. In other words, a regular dude who works hard and got skills in what he does, without having a big ego. That’s the ethic I love.

Your new EP is up as a download on a lot of blogs. What can people expect musically and textually?

Music-wise it’s old school with a fresh flavour. Old school hip hop always got a special place in my heart, definitely the ‘Golden Years of Hip Hop’ for me. I want to take listeners back to that time, when hip hop was taken seriously and when MCs took their skills serious. I often rap about that subject, or about the shallow life I can’t stand. People who are trying to profile themselves as unique, but end up exactly the same as everyone else. Just look at all profile pages nowadays, for example: everyone is trying to be funny and interesting, but all content at every page is the same…

Did you expect the EP to be as successful as it is?

Honestly, no. We made what we wanted to make, so I am really satisfied about the outcome. I’m realistic enough to know that the day I release an EP, 40 other artists also release one. But I’m really happy that people seem to like mine!

Are you planning to release the EP in other formats, after the success of the digital one? 7”/12” record or so?

This June I’ll release my full length debut ‘Mind Joe’, also on vinyl. And last month I appeared on the ‘Zeitgeist EP’, on a collaboration with Morlockk Dilemma. Lewis Parker, John Robinson also appeared on that EP.

What do you think of the Dutch scene nowadays?

It’s moving forward, but I’m not really paying much attention to the Netherlands. I always listened to English music and I rap in English because I prefer to express myself in English rather than in Dutch.

What makes you unique compared to other artists?

Every lover of hip hop acknowledges the fact that the 90s are the best years in the history of hip hop. Same for me, but I know how to translate it to my own style and maybe even to make it into something timeless. Eventhough I am an emcee, I choose music above lyrics. I think that’s a refreshing look on hip hop nowadays. I work hard to create good hip hop and I don’t get distracted by the shine and fame.

Preview: Joe Kickass – Let Me Introduce (Snippets)

You listened to jazz in your younger days. How did that influence you as an artist?

It gave me much respect for the music, it made me realize that even if your name is Miles Davis, you still gotta work hard every day to work on your sound and skills. Maybe it also gave me a more musical take on hip hop. The combination of rugged and raw boom bap mixed with the modest jazz sound, that’s how you can describe my style.

Is there a link between your designs and your music?

My designs are my ‘business cards’, just like my music. Those two together, that’s Joe Kickass. What I look like doesn’t matter, what my name is doesn’t matter either. What I do and what I create, that’s what is important.

Some characters return on a lot of your designs. Do you think you have more ‘personalities’, as a producer/mc/designer?

Several mindstates, several tastes and several wishes. But I am as real as can be, so it’s not like that I have different faces.

Can you tell me something about your upcoming debut?

The title is ‘Mind Joe’ and I’ll release it on June 4th on Project Mooncircle. It’s gonna be dope!

Is the style similar to your EP, or are there also other styles and influences?

There’s a more significant red line throughout the album than on the EP. Some musical songs, some fresh tracks and of course old school bangers. The album has got a wide variety.

If you wanna share something with our readers, go ahead!

Download my EP, stay tuned for the album and please check me out live on stage if you get a chance!

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More info: Joe Kickass
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