Happy Who Dat Wednesday! Today's featured artist is a testament to practicing patience. I reached out to Kris many months ago after following a series of his tweets on the current state of the music game. If you can't tell I'm all about artists that are passionate about the music AND everything surrounding it. I made a strong assumption that his passion for the game spilled over into his music and I was right.
Last Monday Kris dropped his latest project, Truly Yours. Join us as we discuss tough experiences, the importance of paying your producers, and many more hidden gems laced throughout this conversation.
Q: What triggered your name change [Kris Tru to KVII]?
Kris: I've gone through a lot in the past year. The name change and the project ultimately gave me a chance to make a bold change in my music. I wanted to start fresh and push myself to be more personal in my music. The Roman numeral VII is symbolic of two things for me: seeking the truth (in numerology) and the number of completion (biblical reference).
Q: I hope you don't mind me getting a little personal. Would you mind sharing some of your experiences in the past year that contributed to making this album?
Kris: Of course. I won't get too deep or name any names but the story goes like this: I have a childhood friend that I've known for 14 years. In 2016, we reconnected in a way that was more than friendly. This was a new situation for me because I've never been in a serious relationship before. If you couple that with a continuous struggle with mental health it gets a pretty messy. We did the whole back and forth for a while until we realized it wasn't going to work out. Currently we're not speaking. Living through this whole situation provided inspiration for this project. It made me realize I'd rather be helpful instead of hurtful because I've hurt too many of the people that I love.
Q: Thanks for being so honest. It sounds like your creative process is natural and authentic. How exactly did Truly Yours come to be?
Kris: All I did was sit and create. The notebook I bought was influential in helping me sorts out the chaos in my head during my bouts with depression. From there I listened to beats from one of my favorite producers, Big Boy Traks and let the lyrics pace themselves in front of my eyes.
Q: After listening to the project a few times I noticed multiple biblical references. How did the past year change your relationship with God?
Kris: Like most young blacks kids I grew up in the church. Well around it, at least. I've been dealing with issues for a long time but this year brought me much closer to God. On one of my military assignments I got close to a supervisor and his wife, both of which were very religious. We met for bible studies regularly and I distinctly remember studying the book of Revelations first. I drew so many comparisons from the biblical stories to real life. Finding my faith in God was crucial in getting out of my rough patch.
Q: Another thing I picked up during my listening sessions is the production. BigBoyTraks deserves a lot of praise!
Kris: You're totally right. Victory was the very first beat I heard and I knew that he needed to be responsible for all the beats on Truly Yours. I've never met him in person but I'm sure he knows my PayPal email address, haha! I made sure to buy all 7 beats from him. As someone who records, mixes, and produces my own music, I have to show my appreciation to those who work hard on their crafts as well.
Q: After the year you've had, how have your relationships with the women in your life improved?
Kris: You might not believe this but I haven't always held women in the highest regard. After my last relationship I learned what it truly means to respect women. I've always been close to my mother but her wise words are what helped shape me after this important time in my life. As far as relationships go, I learned what I need to do to be the best man I can be in my next one. I'm ready to date again but I'm definitely cautious. I'm repeatedly asking myself, "Do I want to put another woman through any type of pain?" That's how I know I've matured as a man and I'm on the right path to having a healthier relationship with women.
Q: This is my last question but it's my favorite, what does 'making it' mean to you?
Kris: Oh that's easy. I want to model my rap career after guys like Curren$y or Schoolboy Q. I want a nice house ducked off in the middle of nowhere to hold all the important stuff: a studio, basketball court, family, etc. I want the ability to be able to invest in myself at any time. Most of all I want to raise a family in a stable environment and provide security so they don't have to worry about anything.
Take a moment to listen to the newest addition to KVII's repertoire.