For those of you unfamiliar with California’s Central Valley it’s made up primarily of small agricultural towns that when banded together add up to about 500,000 people. With our larger City of Fresno also equaling about 500,000 people lets just say there’s definitely a market for whatever it is you’re doing out here. Which bring us to our next featured Artist. With what seems to be the Law of Gravity following her and her lyrics she presents to us a form of energetic honesty we just couldn’t ignore. Currently making a dent in the scene and just about one of the most sought after producers in the area it’s our pleasure to introduce to you Indie Hip-Hop Artist and our featured guest at our next Art-Hop presentation, Kooleidoscope! Check out our Q&A….
For those who aren’t familiar you and your music, who are you and where you from?
My name is Veronica Taylor, but most of my friends/family just call me Ronnie. I’m from Sanger, CA. I’ve lived here since I was about 10. Before that, my family and I lived in a few places around the LA area. When it comes to rapping or producing, I go by the stage name, Kooleidoscope.
What would you call the kind of music you make and how does it differ from the others?
I’m really shitty when it comes to genres, so I just tell people it’s alternative indie hip-hop– even though all those genres are super diverse lol.. I mean, “hip-hop” is pretty subjective in itself, so I’m not even sure if that description is accurate. Everyone’s music is a little different from the next person’s, because different people enjoy different things. All I know is that I’m kind of obsessed with music and I listen to a lot of it. I also think a lot when observing the world around me. I try to make sense of everything and understand how things/people work. Somehow, my influences and experiences mixed a certain way and created a unique product that is my artistic expression. My music is different because everyone’s a little different. I think I’ve been able to stand out locally because a lot of rappers are trying to look and sound like a cookie-cut of someone else. But I’m not an entertainer, I’m an artist who is coming from a genuine place.
You’re from the Central San Joaquin Valley, how’s the support system there for music?
Something dope is brewing right now. I didn’t realize it before, but there are a shit ton of unique creatives here. It’s finally catching on that supporting local artists only makes it more enjoyable for everyone. I’d say the most support I’ve gotten has been very recently in the Fresno area. I’ve performed up and down The Valley, but Fresno’s scene seems to be the most welcoming. I’ve played shows in areas where the locals won’t even bother listening to “outsiders,” where musicians are ridiculously competitive/confrontational with one another, and I’ve done shows where it’s strictly business/money. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the support people in other areas have show. It’s just lately, I’ve come into contact with people who have kept it real, shown love, and keep putting me onto dope opportunities. The past couple months have been cool as hell.
We were impressed to find out you’re a bit of a triple treat, an Emcee, Poet and Producer. Do you find these roles just blend in with one another or is there a clear distinction?
I think it all works together. Like I said, I’m obsessed with music (in a good way lol). It’s surrounded me since I can remember, and that has a lot to do with it. Aside from just listening to music, I started learning the trumpet in 6th grade and played in a few concert/jazz bands in middle school. It was ok, but I didn’t fully enjoy it until I started drumming. I played drums in my high school’s jazz band and several bands my friends and I started since. I played marching bass, snare and cymbals in high school and college. I also played mallets and concert/auxiliary percussion in ensembles throughout high school and college. That whole time, I didn’t realize I was soaking up influence. Understanding the different elements of an ensemble helped me when I started producing. The syncopated rhythms I had to learn and perform stuck with me and helped develop my flow. When it comes to the poetic/lyrical elements, it’s the same. I’m fascinated with words and all the cool ways you can arrange them. It’s like creating a rhythm with their sounds (vowels, rhyming, alliteration, etc.). It all ties together. Experience in one area often improves another.
What’s up musically at the moment?
Right now, I’m working on finishing up my newest project, “Eclipse.” I still have a couple songs to finish recording/editing, but I already have a date set. It’ll be released May 30th. Digital copies will be available for sure, but physical copies might be delayed depending on how the mastering process goes (I’m a huge procrastinator and super critical when recording myself). Other than that, I’ve been producing new songs here and there. I’m also drumming with a band called, “Santa Mira.”
Being a producer you must have a bucket list of Artist you’d like to work with, mind naming a few?
Ehh, I’m weird. I’ve never really considered who I’d like to hear on my beats. I just kinda throw them out there for anyone to use. I’m also really weird about collaborating with other people– rapping or producing. I don’t like to rush or force my creative process, and most people consider that to be flakey haha. I prefer to avoid that pressure and just put music out when I’m feeling it. I did, however, recently finish up a collab track with the guys from Old Soul. First collab I’ve done in like 2 years and it came out sick. Check it out if you get a chance. It’s called “WHAT U WANT”
We’re more than excited to be able to feature you and your music at our next Art-Hop Showcase they’re always a blast! What can people expect from a show like this?
I’m pretty stoked myself. I gotta thank you guys for giving me the opportunity. It isn’t often that I get a legit showcase where someone actually interviews me beforehand lol. People can expect to hear some [hashtag] REAL TALK lol. A lot of my songs are about things that many of us experience, but don’t stop to think about. For instance, just to list a few, I have a song about alcoholism and self-denial, one about dealing with existential crisis, and another about submitting to a cycle of drugs, violence and poverty. It’s not all a buzz kill though lol. I have other songs that are basically me showing off and spitting witty shit for funzies. There’s a little something for everyone.
How can people connect to you and your music?
I’m on all the basic social media sites. I tweet a lot (twitter.com/ronnie_taylor). My IG game is strong (@ronnietayor). If you’d rather not see pictures of my food, drunk selfies, or 140 character rants…you should follow my Facebook page, which is like 95% kooleidoscope-related (facebook.com/kooleidoscopemusic). You can also download my compilations on Bandcamp (kooleidoscope.bandcamp.com) or my beats/singles on SoundCloud (soundcloud.com/kooleidoscope).
What’s next musically?
My primary focus right now is to finish Eclipse, my next LP. A lot of shows coming up, including the CD Release Party for that. Not to mention I’ll be rocking with you guys Thursday May 7th for Art-Hop! I’m also gonna record some music videos once the project is out. I’ll probably try doing a couple collabs. We’ll see what happens though. I just like to take things as they come.