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Interview: TR Sun & KK Love
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
TR Sun: I started playing African drums around 6 and started American drums at 7 and that’s all I needed to be hooked. I thought drums were the coolest thing to doon the planet! By the time I was a teenager I really didn’t want to do much else but play my instruments.
KK LOVE: My mom sang to me every night when I was born and when I was 3 i told everyone for the first time I wanted to be a singer ! I never switched career choices after that . If for some reason I didn’t get into music I definitely would be painting or still doing some form of art .
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
TR Sun: Especially over the last year if I am not working on my art I am spending time with my family or working on my mental health. I think people spend a lot of time focused on things that do not truly aid them in life. I think this is key to my productivity as an artist. As I began to only focus on positives and remove everything else I feel like it empowers me as an artist.
KK LOVE: When I’m not singing & performing , I am taking care of my beautiful baby girls , painting, making soap , and modeling. All forms of art really help me to be free and continue thriving in my music writing , while taking care of my girls give me lots of emotion and playfulness I can put in my music.
How long has music been your career?
TR: I started DJing and producing seriously in 2013 and I started performing my own songs in 2019. But I’ve been playing gigs with professionals since I was a teenager.
KK LOVE: I’ve been singing since I was 3 so that would make 20 years ! But I’ve only been actively performing in spaces since I was 15.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
TR: I am based in LA now but I’m from New York. I say both because as much as I love Cali, I was born in the Bronx and that New York energy is always going to be present in some way.
KK LOVE: I was born in big mountains CA, I think being blessed with trees & nature all around me definitely influenced my lifestyle which gave my music that flowy ethereal vibe.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
TR: Some of my best shows (to this point) were DJing. I had only been rapping for about 10 months when the lockdown hit so I don’t have a ton of shows there to judge best and worst.
The best one was in Dallas around 2017. It was a packed club and the people were vibing with me more than the resident. I know it’s a common struggle for newer artists to perform where everyone is not into your music. It’s just part of growing as an artist and getting fans to like and support you. This time specifically these people loved my DJ style and how I was flipping beats and stuff. It was just a really fun event to be at.
The worst was another DJ performance. I remember there were two people dancing in front of my equipment and one of them threw a drink and it landed all over my laptop and controller. Definitely the worst because I think it’s the only time I’ve stopped performing immediately during a set. But to be fair, my equipment stopped working.
KK LOVE: I’ve been blessed with a lot of amazing shows and I think I can take something positive from every show I’ve had but if I had to choose. One of the best shows I’ve had was my first big show out of high school which was at Chain reaction ! I had also just had my first daughter and took her to the show with sound proof headphones and pulled her up on stage at one point! I absolutely loved being on stage and getting to experience a bigger venue as a new mom.
One of the worst shows I had was when I was at a spot in LA and the management at the building was really rude and actually yelled in some of the artists faces for their crowd . It was just stressful and unprofessional.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
TR: I don’t know if I have a favorite place to perform! I have done shows in Boston, LA, NYC and Dallas and they are all a little different. Really at this point in my career I am just excited to go in front of different people and connect through my art.
As far as venues I have not performed at Madison Square Garden is a career bucket list goal. Being from NY the thought of being able to play MSG one day would be beyond something I ever dreamed of reaching when I began making music.
KK LOVE: I don’t really have a favorite place to perform because everywhere is so different and amazing for different reasons but in the future I would absolutely love to play in stadiums!
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
TR: This is so hard because there’s so many artists I would love to perform with. I think I would want Earthgang, Tierra Whack, Frank Ocean, Doja Cat, SZA & 6lack.
KK LOVE: If I could play a show with any lineup Jhené Aiko , Kehlani , Billie eilish, Ashnikko , Tierra whack, Jessie Reyes , & sza .
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
TR: I would tell someone starting out to know what they would like to get out of a music career. People start this for a lot of different reasons. Some people do it for money and it’s possible but the people I see fade out the most are those looking for the money. I would also tell them to try to remain authentic and well intentioned because without both of those in place it probably won’t work long term either.
KK LOVE: I would tell anyone just getting into music to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and be grounded in your style so that way you can always stand behind your work.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
TR: If I could go back in time I would have told myself to move to LA sooner. I left the East Coast seemingly impulsively to a lot of people who know me but I first considered moving to LA 4 or 5 years before I actually did. I don’t want to say I regret that decision to not move out here but if I could do it again I would have been out here making music and working towards my goals much sooner.
KK LOVE: If I could go back in time I would tell myself to not doubt myself and push harder . Be confident in the intuition that has always guided me.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
TR: “I Matter” is the song that means the most to me by far. It’s the first time in any of my music that you can hear either of the babies voices on a song. I sampled each of them saying “I’m a princess and I matter” then sent the beat to Alex Parker to add his verse. I remember at that point of the summer at the height of the BLM protests in 2020 I felt so depressed. It felt impossible to write a song about how I matter when it feels like the world was telling me that as a disabled black person I don’t. Once I managed to get the energy to write and rap that song I was in love with it. I think it so perfectly captures the feeling of knowing that I matter as a black person even though American society claims I do not.
KK LOVE: I think How Many Times is a song that’s out that means the most to me because I created it under really stressful conditions, I wrote it in the car and in a workshop where I actually brought my kids with me during a very transitional phase in my life so getting to see my hard work really come together makes that song very special to me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
TR: My favorite songs to perform right now are “Tragic Magic” and “Love.” I have a lot of people that request songs from my BLM themed project such as “Defund the Police” and “Freedom.”
KK LOVE: My favorite songs of mine to play are “painted desert skies” and “Alone” and “No Ring” right now but “give it to me” , “How Many Times, “No Ring” , and “Alone” get requested the most right now.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
TR: I take inspiration from all different types of life experiences. So there isn’t really a typical way that I come up with new ideas. I make all my own beats and probably 90% of the time I make the beat and write at least part of the lyrics together. The other 10% I may not be near a computer to work on something or as I was doing something else I realized a great idea for a song so I make a voice note reminding me what the idea is or write it down before trying to bring it to life.
KK LOVE: Personally the Creative Process is always different for me , I get inspired by so many different things but I also do so many things at the same time that getting the creative process out can be very stressful and comes in wild burst.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
TR: I want to show people that they are not the only one going through hard times. I want to show them in an authentic way because I feel like they deserve it.
KK LOVE: I try to get all of my emotions out in my music as therapy for myself but I also try to give messages of healing, real love, genuine confidence, and body appreciation.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
TR: I used to but I typically don’t anymore. The songs where I am particular about what needs to be done I work on alone. But if I am working with another artist it is because I not only trust their artistic vision but I want their help.
KK Love: I don’t often have disagreements in collaborations because I’m very open minded to change and new ideas and nothing is permanent so if we try something one way we can always try again with the others idea and make something new.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
KK LOVE: I’m so excited for things opening up again since this pandemic and I’m ready to Tour as well as host some beautiful music and art events! So expect lots of events coming in the near future . Future things I’d like to highlight is there is a new R&B album in the works with lots of surprises set to be released this year!
TR: I am always working on new music. I released about 40 tracks in the past year. Right now I am trying to focus on making some visuals and trying to rebuild the Polar Harmony artist showcases we were running before the pandemic. Every show we collected clothes to donate to homeless people living in Skid Row and I do not want important work like that to stop because we are making a difference.