King Syed Q+A: How Hard Work Is Helping This Chicago Artist
King Syed has been putting in work lately, dropping a handful of dope videos and songs. His diverse sound, ranging from personal, introspective tracks to fun bangers, has helped the Chicago artist get his name to a wider audience and with more material on the way things are looking up for Syed. His strong work ethic has resulted in a handful of projects and collaborations as well as some fruitful partnerships that are only just beginning. We got the chance to talk to the up and coming artist about what he’s working on, what to expect from him in the future, and more about his music and message. Check it out below.
You’ve been putting in a lot of work recently, especially with the videos. Tell us a little bit about those videos and how they came together.
First and foremost I just wanna thank you for all your support thus far, you’ve really helped me reach some new followers and supporters with all your posts and I’m forever grateful! So I’d say around August of last year my best friend and frequent collaborator Dubzick threw a little show at a basement in the suburbs (All the way out in Plainfield) and there I met Jake Gissler, the man behind the lens. After I seen the edited footage from that show I was thoroughly impressed and fast forward a few months later we made a deal and signed a contract, now he’s exclusively doing all my videos and even helping me with some social media marketing.
That’s dope! What else can we expect from you in the near future?
Thank you, so through out the year I plan to drop at least another 3-4 music videos, got my album coming Nov 27 “A Walk In The Cold” a few collaborative EPs with some dope artists like my close friend Kendell AKA “Lotus”. She’s an amazing singer and songwriter. I got one coming with my dude Kyle Corum for KY, he’s been working like crazy dropping collabs with names like Alex Wiley, Mick Jenkins, and K.A.A.N. He’s definitely an artist any lover of music should look out for, and I got one more EP with my friend and collaborator Baskaveli (High Off Pain), along with a group project that I’m not going to give you too much information on besides it’s going to be mainly posse cuts with local artists from the city and suburbs… Maybe even a couple familiar names.
We’ll definitely be on the lookout for all that. What’s your favorite song you’ve ever recorded? Why is it your favorite?
My favorite song I’ve recorded to this day would have to be “Hit You Up” or “She Took My Soul“. I put a lot of work into both of those records and made them both from scratch alongside Tom (Linus) and that man will tell you I am not always fun to work with. The process of making “She Took My Soul” was nothing like I have ever done before musically. It was one of the very first tracks I ever collaborated with Thomas on. Between making the beat, recording the vocals, mixing the vocals, adding new layers of vocals and ad libs, the song took from early May to the end of July in 2016. The subject matter was very personal and the sound was unlike anything I personally have ever heard before. “Hit You Up” because I’m a sucker for R&B and that song came together a little quicker than “She Took My Soul“. I actually put real vocals with very minimal auto tune into that, practiced many times before going in to record. I remember when I laid down the first verse I kicked everybody in the room out so I can sing it, I was getting really uncomfortable with singing around people, sure enough it turned out great.
Those are two solid tracks for sure. Who are some Chicago artists you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
Man there’s so many dope artists in the city it gets a little overwhelming thinking about how much competition we got. At this point I’m really not looking for features as much as I am to build my name up, however there are some really cool artists I’d love to work with. Last time I ran into Dally [Auston] I was telling him I got an R&B joint I would love to have him on. I really fuck with Jean Deaux, she’s got an amazing voice, her rapping is cold too. I love The O’My’s, been trying to work with them forever now, BJ The Chicago Kid, all the big guys too you know, Jeremih, King L, Vic [Mensa], Valee, Mikey Rocks… When I met Lupe Fiasco back in 2010 before I even started really rapping I made an oath in front of this man to make a song with him one day.
They are all definitely dope, I feel you about all the competition too, Chicago is full of amazing artists. Your music often touches on personal, introspective topics. What do you hope people take away from your music?
I love music. The craziest shit to me is when you’re listening to a song and it gives you the goosebumps and you gotta replay it back like 6 times. Kendrick [Lamar] is really good at that. If you think about the best music, like those songs that are just timeless, it’s usually the songs that relate to you, make you feel something. I don’t ever want to be that materialistic rapper. That shits’s dead. Corny, toxic, and it’s not real. I really want to connect with my listeners through whatever they’re going through whether it be a tough time financially, drug addiction, a break up, a party, some personal shit, issues with your girl, family, whatever. I also like to make music that fuckin’ wangs too like Habits, but even on there I’m not talking about some fake rollie and a rental car that I wish I had. My favorite rappers are people I can relate to… Lupe, Kendrick, Nas, Freddie Gibbs, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, J Cole… When I first started out rapping I was all about being a lyricist and boom bap, but as I’ve adapted to today’s musical climate I’ve adopted an ear for melodies. I’m crazy with the melodies. Can’t sing lyrical rap.