Kev Turner was born & raised in Philadelphia during the 80’s/90’s era. Kev Turner began rapping at the age of 10 and has been going non-stop ever since then. His music influences include everything from Jazz to Motown to 80’s classic rock to 90’s hardcore hip-hop. he is currently finishing up his next album “The Definition” produced by J-Slant) while also working on an EP with producer Lex Luthorz from Spain. At True Mag we were able to pick at this talented artist’s brain and ask him more about who he is. We ended up with an insightful interview with lots of information.
You’ve been into music since you were very young, did you know since then that that was exactly what you wanted to do or did you have other options in your mind along the way?
The first time I ever rapped was around a crowd, I was about 11. I got a real good response from a lot of people that were my age and older and they told me that I should keep it up because I had talent. I think they saw something that I didn’t even know I had myself yet.
Do you think it was easy for you to get into music and not caught up in the streets of Philadelphia
Music was always the soundtrack to the inner city neighborhoods. Especially in the 90’s when hip-hop blew up on a large scale. I have good parents that always provided so I never really had a need to hustle or do crime. I always had an urge to rap from the first time I heard hip-hop. Something just told me that someday I would be good at it so I tried it and stuck with it.
how would yo define your musical style?
My musical style is Philly hip-hop soul music with a raw edge. I am a versatile emcee that can do any style of rap/hiphop music and still make it sound the way authentic hip hop is supposed to and to God I am greatful for that gift.
what do you think of music now compared to music that you grew up on?
A lot of music nowadays sounds like they just throw it together real quick and put it out. There’s no substance to what they’re talking about. Nobody wants to write about serious issues anymore. A lot of the new artists are dope too though & sound like the music I grew up listening to like J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Big Krit, etc.
what made you not get a nickname and just work with your real name? something that most artists don’t seem to do? I’ve had rap names in the past before I chose to just use my government. It’s different and people tell me that my name has a nice ring to it!
you tweeted “I won’t sign to any label unless they do something for me that I can’t do for myself!” what does this mean to you?
All I meant by that was signing to a major label isn’t what it used to be. Labels don’t have money to throw around the way they used to. The key nowadays is to do your own thing and let the labels come to you with something to bring to the table that can help you increase your fan base and financial situation. I’m not saying I wouldn’t sign to a major label but I really enjoy being an indie artist. I have creative control over all of my music. I write what I want, pick my own beats, present the music the way I see fit, etc
what do you think of artist who get recognized world wide without the help of the radio or a label?
Artists like those aren’t just artists. They’re grinders with a special gift of being appealing to the world. A lot of people think they have talent because their small circle of friends says so. That’s cool but if you really want to know if you have what it takes, you have to put your music out there to the world & see if the world accepts what you do.
how are you getting exposure without the label?
I use twitter, facebook, instagram, bandcamp, red bull academy, etc. to get my music out there to the masses. Everybody is on the Internet these days so that’s what I use to promote. I also hit up every major hip hop blog and try to build relationships with the people who run those blogs so they will know my work it quality after a few listens & wont mind posting it to their blogs
do you feel like luck or talent helps artists out the most?
You need a little bit of both. Luck and talent. I’ve been lucky a few times and it actually helps you to progress if you capitalize off of the luck you’ve received. Talent is the key though because if you’re not talented, nobody will really appreciate you.
have you spoken to John Bussigross since/before the shoutout on espn?
I spoke to John Buccigross on twitter before he shouted me out on Sportscenter. I sent him a tweet telling him he should check out my music and he hit me back a few minutes later after he listened saying he was going to shout me out on sportscenter the next day and he did. I still cant believe he did that! It was dope! Shout out to John Buccigross from Sportscenter!
very few artists say they have been mentioned on espn has this had an effect on your fan base?
Lets just say that the Sportscenter shout out got me a few more fans on twitter and facebook! I wouldn’t say its gotten me a ton of fans. If my homie 215DJA hadn’t DVR’d it and sent it to me, people probably wouldn’t have believed me! He gave me that evidence I needed!
how did it feel like to work with great artists like talib on your uprising?
I actually wasn’t in the studio with Talib Kweli. We were just on the same album by the same producer, which was Chops from the Mountain Brothers. I was honored to have Chops reach out to me and ask me to be on his album with such a huge lineup of established artists. Especially being that no one knew who I was. It shows that he believed in my talent a lot and still does.
youre finishing up an album, how do you plan on marketing it?
I’ll market my album the same way I’ve been doing it but I have a few other avenues that I’m going to try this time and I think it’ll help more. I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as one of the best emcees of all time. I think I have what it takes to be that. I also want to be remembered as a person that was able to be successful at whatever he put his mind to. At the end of the day though, being remembered as a good person that loved God & his family is the most important thing.
thank you for interviewing with us.
you can listen to Kev Turner’s music on his bandcamp at kevturner.bandcamp.com and follow him on twitter at @kevturner215
-Rebecca Cruz (@Creepitreal_)