Tuesday, July 26, 2011

KayKi Speaks with Verse Simmonds!

I had the pleasure the other day of meeting up with Verse Simmonds an epic songwriter/singer on Akon's Konvict Muzik label. Among Konvict's latest acquisitions, Verse is what they like to call "something for the ladies". His smooth vocals, boy next door sexy, and bachelor attitude have all the makings of a true ladies man. His hit song, "Boo Thang" featuring Kelly Rowland is creating all sorts of havick as well as encouraging the making of all sorts of babies as well Im sure.

When I entered the room, I really didnt know what to expect. Considering all of the hype around an artist, you never really know these days where their head is. With all of the great things Id heard about him.. I figured he could either been full of himself or surprisingly humble..Check out my exclusive interview below.. thanks again Verse! Follow him on twitter @VerseSimmonds

KayKi-Hey! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me for a sec!

Verse-no prob thank you

KayKi-Ok.. so can you tell us a little bit about where youre from? That kinda sets the tone for you as an artist I think.

Verse-Well I was born in Puerto Rico...I was raised in St Thomas. I kinda been moving all around chasing this dream & now Im here in Atl, so Ive been all over. Its influenced me as an artist.

KayKi-So you have been all over. The Virgin Islands definitely influences your music..thats where we get the "Island & B" from?!

Verse-Yea yea (lol)  its like a mix of all of the different influences I had growing up..all of these unique sounds that I came up hearing.. they've shaped mine.

KayKi-Growing up did you always have the dream to be a singer? I know youre a talented writer/arranger..were you always chasing the dream of being an artist, or did this sorta just happen?

Verse-Ive always been an artist in my mind. That was first. I mean, I have the ability to do a lot of different thing, which is great! I can write, arrange my own stuff..then go over here & do the same thing for Rihanna or somebody else. So it was a great that I was able to do those things, but the vision has always been for me to be the artist. I think people should work with what they have, if youre able to do a lot of different things thats gonna benefit you in the end. People are gonna like the fact that they dont have to call a billion people in to work with you..you have to just work in your lane. That may be multiple things.

KayKi-AGREED! Now, At the listening session a few weeks ago... you were who I was waiting on! I mean, I love hip hop & rap & such, but I LOVE a good melody & lyrics & a sweet r&b song. I was really excited to hear what you had! & I could tell that Akon was too..he was like a fan of all of yall in there. How does it feel to be a part of this movement & to have Kon behind you..?

Verse-Its amazing! This is a multi million dollar, globally successful guy!? & Out of the millions of artists out there trying to get in the door its me! Its insane. Just the respect I have for Kon & what he sees in us & his support of what we're doing is crazy.

KayKi-Now, Konvict has its unique sound & one thing I dig about you guys now is that youre sorta branching off from that & covering all bases. As a singer do you have any trouble fitting in with these guys? I mean, they are all rappers.. did that present any problem for you?

Verse-Not at all. Im very comfortable. When Im over with them, doing what they do I can do that, but when I need to come over to my side to do what I do, Im here. Akon's an incredible singer as well, so Im not alone in that respect-being a singer. He can pretty much do whatever & I can too, so its easy.

KayKi-Speaking of your versatility.. everybody is going crazy over this "Boo Thang" record..I dont know, is this what truly a preview of you as an artist? I mean, I have a weird feeling youre gonna hit us with something totally different on the album..?

Verse-(lol!) I get it, but, ok, that record was released on a project , Sex Tapes Chronicles II, it that had that tone to it, so it was for that particular project. My album will definitely touch on a lot of different vibes, but it will be consistent with me as an artist. That is important. This is like my statement, but Im not too quick to say what lane Im gonna be in, because its just my lane. You can expect a well put together album for sure. Something for everybody.

KayKi-Can you talk on any features or anything like that?  Being 1/2 of The Jugganauts.. Im sure can we expect Sak Pase on it!?

Verse-of course he's on there! We arent exclusively doing it or anything. Sometimes when people go that route they limit their sound & reach so of course The Jugganauts are represented on it, but not like that.Of course the Konvict family is represented as well, and maybe a few others. I mean yall will hear some stuff from the Konvict family soon, even before the album drops.

KayKi- Boo Thang is like creating such a buzz right now on twitter, every day I see lots of people talking about it. Can we expect a follow up soon to hold us while we're waiting on that album?!

Verse- yea yea definitely, its always something in the works!! Definitely, and Im really appreciative of all of the love people are giving that record too. Its crazy..I really appreciate it.

OK.. good place to  insert this record that JUST hit the internet  "Tears of Joy" also released was a record w/ Bu Akon's lil bro, "Miss Johnson" Who knew Bu was coming with it like that? (interview continues below the vid)

KayKi-Speaking of collabs, Kelly laced "Boo Thang", how did that come about? How is she to work with? Well, were you there or was it one of those, let me shoot you this & you record & shoot me back situations?

Verse-Well, Id met her before & it was kind of a situation where she actually heard it & wanted to get on it, so she did. I wasnt there, but youre right she did her thing. Very talented! She's a sweet heart.

KayKi-Youve had the pleasure of being around or exposed to so many great artists, producers, anybody on your bucket list to work with?

Verse-Ive always said if I could work with anybody it'd be Jerry Wonder. Incredible producer, you may remember his work w/ the Fugees & I mean a lot of other people,but he's one for sure.

KayKi-What do you think about the music thats out right now? Music feels different than it did, like in the 90s. Im not saying whats out now is bad, but I am saying it used to feel more intentional. What do you think?

Verse-I think thats because of the Internet and things like that making it easier for artists to promote themselves, their new dance moves, or whatever. These things become like jingles in a sense, and Im not knocking it, but I understand what you mean. As far as the state of music.. it goes in cycles, right now that type of stuff is in..a few years from now it will have changed, either you can keep up with it or you cant.

KayKi-When its all said and done.. Verse Simmonds as an artist is what, how do you want to be perceived?

Verse-I love what I do. I ultimately want to be great at it as well, but I love it. I want people to be influenced & inspired just like I was and still am. I mean this is my life, I dont know how to do anything else. I really dont, like, this is it for me. You know people always say have a plan B.. I never had one, because this is it for me. This is all I know how to do, Id love for people to get that above anything, that this is what Im on this Earth to do.

KayKi-What advice would you give an up and coming artist grinding & working from the bottom up, because as we know its HARD!

Verse-Yes it is hard, but you have to stay at it. Stay consistent and work at it. If you go hard, consistently, SOMETHING will give at some point. I think a lot of artists want the idea of it, but dont really work at it like that. Just dont be discouraged, keep at it.

KayKi- Id love to sit here and pick your brain all day! lol, but unfortunately youre a busy man (lol). Thank you soo much for your time!

Verse- My pleasure love.. my pleasure!

So as you can hopefully tell, he was the coolest dude ever! Im expecting an incredible piece of work in an album from this dude, just by default! Im too excited & I'll of course let you know when it hits! xo