A few weeks ago, we caught up with Ky Rodgers, an emerging singer and guitar player, to talk about his adventures thus far in both music and life. Below you can read through our conversation where we traversed the music industry, collaborations in songwriting, and the effects of substances on those around us.
Dusty Soul: Last month you announced something cool with The Arkham Agency, an American and Canadian booking collaborative. Where are some places you hope you can hit in the future, whether you have been there before or not?
Ky Rodgers: Man, I think Canada would be super cool. I’ve been all over the states, but never out of the country. I really would like to go to England, but that would be further away in the future. One place I love visiting and performing at is Colorado. It’s been my biggest crowd for every tour so far. So much love. Plus, the weed is nice.
DS: A handful of your music videos you worked with John Fleishmann, a videographer with a growing background of wild material. Which of the videos you’ve worked on with him on left you with the most lifelong memories?
Ky: John is such a genuine dude! Seriously. My favorite video he shot for me is “You Give Me Life” – but the most memorable one? I would have to say “Don’t Turn Your Back On Me”
At the time, InVogue records was moving into a new building. We were using the office they were moving out of for the video shoot and I talked John into letting me light a blunt in the record label’s office for the video. He was kind of paranoid about it, considering he had just been hired on as the label’s camera man and I was fresh to the label, but we did the damn thing!
Hopefully, he doesn’t get in trouble for that, haha, but it was awesome! We had to sit there and let it air out for awhile before we left and he was like “nobody can know about this.” I’m sure if he’s reading this he will be like “WTF man” – hahaha – but seriously, that was awesome, John! Great memories. He actually gave me a place to stay w him and his girlfriend for a night. Super cool dude.
DS: Over all the times you’ve picked up your guitar or opened your audio workstation, at what moment in your life was the definitive time where you were casually playing around and realized that this industry was the path your passion was trying to get you to follow?
Ky: The crazy thing is, I’ve never not chased this “dream” – I started recording myself at a very early age. I think I was 8? My mom had got me a keyboard for Christmas and it had a 5 track recorder built in. I would spend hours, daily, making tracks. Kind of wild to look back now and think I’m still doing this. It’s still the same process, I just understand mixing and theory more now. Plus I feel I’ve found more of my sound. But I never really cared to be famous, I just wanted to succeed with my music. Be able to take care of myself, so no one else had to worry about me… you know, take the load off of my mom. It would be nice to be able to take care of my family, as I was raised up pretty poor. That’s all I want. To give my people the life they deserve.
DS: Last year, you featured in two songs with Hotel Books, one being “A Few Words”. What was the writing of that song like? Did you two meet up in person and do it together?
Ky: Ahhh, I miss Cam! After performing at Van’s Warped Tour, Invogue Records put me on my first full cross country tour of almost 30 dates, with Landon Tewers and Hotel Books. It was seriously such a great time. We had nonstop fun the whole time. Nick, the CEO of InVogue, actually put us in the studio together at Capitol House. We spent about a week in there, and we came up with an EP of 5 songs. The cool thing was, Cam wanted me to be in control of all of the music while he wrote all of the lyrics. It was definitely a grand experience.
DS: How did you initially get involved with Nick Moore and the InVogue Records collective?
Ky: I believe it was in 2017 – my team, at the time, had planned a trip to go to Florida for a business meeting with some investors. We met up with one of my followers (Frank Torres) and he was so kind to us. He immediately introduced me to about 100 people, within minutes, by just walking down the street. He told me to just sing and he would do the work. He won over so many followers for me, in no time – it was crazy! Later, we got to his house to find out he had been behind big artists from their early stages, and promoted the crap out of them, just because he believed in them. It was crazy… I’ll never forget walking in and seeing all of this merch and unreleased stuff from artists that never got released… Asking Alexandria, MGK… Caskey – and Caskey is my favorite rapper. So my heart was pounding… I remember picking up something of Caskey’s, and Frank spoke to me: “I never thought I’d ever see another one… but you’re next.” It was just mind blowing and super humbling. Over time, we built a great friendship. Somehow, I ended up in Ohio, conversing with InVogue Records about possibly signing. I truly didn’t know how they found me, but I wasn’t questioning it. It just felt right. After signing the deal, Nick, the CEO, asked me if I was familiar with anyone by the name of Frank. I was like, no way. He had set the whole thing up.
DS: Earlier in March, you spoke out about the issues going on with Post Malone’s possible substance abuse, and how people will care about celebrities suffering, but not their own loved ones. Why do you think people will wholeheartedly support those they do not know personally over someone who is hurting directly in their circle?
Ky: I honestly don’t even know, but it’s just heartbreaking to me. It’s like our parents watching the news. They will worry themselves to death over sitting on their couch and watching the news daily, for hours at a time. But don’t take any action in their own community, where things happening and going unnoticed. I am a firm believer in we are where we are supposed to be for a reason. But the majority of the world is not aware of their purpose because they are so wrapped up in social media or the media. I wish we could all take the time to really check on our own people and be involved in our communities. We are separating ourselves without realizing it. Our people need us. Even if we don’t like them, we can choose to be the light and maybe that effort will speak to other hearts that have been cold for so long, and maybe that can bring us back together.
DS: We live in a world where alcohol is glorified, and people use marijuana instead are scrutinized on an insane level. Having so many songs with cannabis inclusion, legality aside, what do you think draws people to alcohol instead of smoking a joint?
Ky: Well, drinking is legal, so it must be okay, right? And marijuana is illegal, so it must be bad! It’s apart of our history. I think a lot of people do things to be like their ancestors that have passed, that they miss. I also think part of it is how well alcohol has been represented verses how bad marijuana has been represented. They tie “weed” with ignorance and being lazy. They tie it with being dangerous. In reality, I don’t feel as if alcohol should even be legal. I know a lot of people that will hate on me for saying that, but it’s the truth. When you think about it, alcohol allows people who aren’t doing shit but wasting time, to feel like they are having a great time. Or it’s an escape. In the end, nothing ever comes good from drinking. When you smoke weed, people get paranoid. I think that’s because as soon as it hits, you see life for what it really is. The truth hits you right in the face and there’s no way of ignoring it. Your brain won’t let you. People swear it just isn’t for them, but I believe it’s because they are being shown their purpose in life and they can’t handle it because they have been living a totally different lifestyle and running in the wrong direction instead of going down their actual path. But, to each their own!
DS: What words of wisdom would you pass on to other young musician fathers who may be struggling with some of the issues you have faced in your past or present?
Ky: Stop trying to impress. People can sense that. Just follow your heart and create something beautiful.
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