One-On-One With Kings

Have we got the heat for those cooler months ahead, go do ya selves a massive favour and plug into the glorious, golden sounds of Kings right now.

Kingdon Chapple-Wilson, better known as Kings, is a one New Zealand multi-talented rapper, singer and songwriter you need to have on your playlist.

The Auckland rapper has been producing some pretty exceptional music under his self-run label, Arch Angel Records since 2018.

One of his earliest singles, ‘Don’t Worry Bout It’ (2016) ended up becoming the biggest New Zealand single release of 2016 and surpassed the record for the longest running No 1 single on the New Zealand Singles Charts, previously held by Lorde.

The succeeding year, he released his self-titled debut extended play in late 2016, which included singles ‘What We Supposed To Do’ and ‘Someday’.

In late 2017, he independently dropped his debut album ‘Chapter One’ which was shortly followed by his second album, ‘Two’.

Ya gal sat down with Kings to delve into how he found his passion for music and all the deets behind his latest album, ‘Rap List’.

 How did you get into music?

I think as a kid, I always had a natural knack for rhythm. Not so much music, but I was always seen banging desks and making noise. As I grew up I became more musically inclined, picking up my dad’s guitar and messing around or jamming on my nana’s piano. I guess it was always around me in that regard, so it was a natural progression. Now, I can play most non-contemporary instruments moderately well.

Who were your biggest influences growing up and why?

Weirdly enough, Bruce Lee. A martial artist. From a young age, I resonated with the characters he portrayed. Always having to prove himself through massive adversity, he’d triumph, even if it meant his own death. His philosophy remains.

 “Use what is useful, disregard what is useless …. there is NO STYLE, I take my punching from boxing, my movement from ballroom dance … water can flow, or it can crash … be like water my friend”, (paraphrasing a bunch of his more popular quotes).

I apply that to my music to this day. I’m not a rapper, singer, producer, video director, CEO … I’m all of it and none of it. 

How did your most current album, ‘Rap List’ come about?

I already had an album written before COVID-19 called ‘LOST’ and as I was preparing to release it … COVID-19 hit. It changed a bunch of plans, personally and career-related, including that entire album.

In the midst of COVID I went into lockdown with the rest of the world, focused on my daughter and her schooling. That’s where ‘Rap List’ started … just producing beats during lockdown. 

Just a fun project, free from pressures of Radio Hits and touring … back to why I feel in love with this game in this first place, to create and have fun. 

 What was the biggest inspiration behind the album?

I’d never really been “A Rapper”. I have rap songs, folk songs, pop songs, I got a burlesque type joint (laughs). Like, I don’t have a definitive style as I said above but rap was where I started my musical journey.

I wanted to “go home” for a second and remember those times before all the accolades and charts and just do what I loved to do, which is to make beats and write to them. So, I did that with this project. 

What’s your most favourite tune off the entire album and why?

F***, that’s like asking what kid is my favourite. So, I would awkwardly say all of them knowing that all the kids knew I liked a couple of them better than the others (laughs).

‘BACK TO YOU’, ‘TMHTL’ and ‘FLY’ are my favourite productions. I loved making those beats. 

My favourite verses are on ‘BACK TO YOU’, ‘STRAIGHT NO PHILLY’ and ‘CULDESAC’.

What was the most challenging part of creating this album and why?

I wrote, produced, mixed, mastered and created most of the video content for this album and the distribution / marketing campaign, so they all have different challenges.

But if I’m honest, I go into each project with such a confidence that the challenges are just things that have to be done so they get done. So, it’s not a challenge, more like, I asked for it, so do the damn thing or don’t ask for it. Simple 🙂 

What do you hope listeners take away from the album?

The album would be dope. If they could take this album away with them by buying it or streaming it that would be super dope (laughs).

I don’t know … I hope they enjoy it. 

I’d like the independent journey I took making this album to inspire a generation of dope creatives to stop being focused on ‘GETTING SIGNED’, or waiting for their moment, their moment is the moment they decide it’s theirs. It’s not esoteric or unavailable, it’s present and within them. I want to carry that energy, not just in this project but as my legacy, a hero for the dreamers. 

Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with and why?

Man, anyone whose dope. I would’ve loved to be in the room with MJ or Prince just to see their genius at work. Honestly, I’m not too crazy on collabs.

I’d love to work with J.Cole, Rihanna, Drake, H.E.R, Chris Brown, tonnes of artists. But it could even be one of those talented dudes on a train in the middle of nowhere and I’d be down! 

 Describe your sound in three words?

There are no rules ** 

Finally, what’s your biggest piece of advice to young and upcoming artists? 

No one knows what the f*** they are doing bro, you’ll have ones who guide you, snakes and every type in between. Trust.  Learn from your mistakes and never take good moments for granted. Love with all your heart and be purposeful in your pursuit of creativity. As you get closer to unravelling life, in all its intricacies, you get closer to unravelling the masterpiece that was you all along.

What you waitin’ for fam? Go nab your copy of Kings’ ‘Rap List’ right HERE.

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