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Artist Name: Kage Otim
Origin: Chelsea, London
Stand Up United Kingdom, you got yourself another talent that you should support, Kage Otim. The 18 year-old has a bright future, nobody at his age is making melodic joints like him. Kage not only raps and sings, but he also produces which shows his creative mind’s urge to make music. H7 is a mixtape that people need to tune in to and listen to. After listening to his music I became a fan and reached out to Kage, this is what he had to say:
A&R Report: How you doing man?
Am doing great thank you very much.
A&R Report: So Kage Otim, for people who aren’t familiar with you or your music; can you tell them a little about yourself? Also why the name Kage?
Well I was born in Kigali, Rwanda then I moved to Uganda to stay with my mother. Growing up I travelled to different countries with my mum. I have lived in China, stayed in Asmara, Eritrea for 2 years, which was awesome and most recently in Namibia but Uganda has always been a place I returned to. In 2009 I came to the UK to study at Taunton School from Year 8 till upper Six. Now I am a first year university student studying Music Production in London. The serious answer of why Kage is because I watch way too much anime like Naruto to be exact and yea it just stuck once I put Kage Otim together.
A&R Report: Your collective, Forte Dreams, what are you guys about? Pure music?
The Forte Dreams motto is: “It’s all about the soul”. When I created Forte Dreams I wanted it to be a place where one can find the most talented producers who give out strong vibes and artists who no matter what genre they do, have soul in their music & give out beautiful energy. The soul I speak of might be in the persons voice or the beat, just something that gets the listeners feeling good. And so far from the fans I have been told they love the energy and the vibes that come out from us and it is awesome to hear. Also shout out to the entire Forte Dreams team.
A&R Report: When did you start to make music? Because you rap and produce correct?
Yes I do, I started rapping when I was 15. My mum bought me some books I could write my rhymes, which I still have to this day with my very nursery rhyme raps. Then around 17 I took music production as a course in lower sixth which am so glad I took because there I was able to start recording and from there I kept writing music. That is also the same time I started producing, my first few songs were YouTube grabs but then I started making tracks for my friends and I.
A&R Report: You’re based in London, but have roots from Rwanda and Uganda. How much influence does your background have on your music? Better yet where does your inspiration come from? H7 is well put together for a guy your age. You are 18 years old right?
Yes I am 18, which I sometimes keep forgetting when I make music. H7 had so many tracks when I first started but songs came and went when I started meeting different producers. I really thank all of them for making my life easier by providing me with amazing instrumentals. I would say my background has very little influence in H7 or my music although I started to sing since I was only 5 years old but really got serious around 16 or 17. My influences are really artists that have inspired me like J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, T-Pain, Ty$, Kehlani, SPZRKT, Chance The Rapper, BJ The Chicago Kid, Anderson Paak and I could go on and on. I have been working on how to mix my home country’s sound into my music but that won’t see sunlight anytime soon.
A&R Report: With you being young, are your parents being supportive with your music career?
Yea they really are. Coming from Rwanda & Uganda not a lot of parents see music as a career, they see it as a waste of time and would rather you go be a doctor or a lawyer. So am very happy my parents support me, at first my mother was hesitant but after hearing me sing/rap she started supporting me.
A&R Report: So we have gotten two projects from you, H7 and Never Ending Wish, which one of the two were you completely satisfied with from a creative standpoint?
H7 of course. Never Ending Wish was really tracks that did not make it into H7 because I felt like they did not fit the sound. H7 was just the best project I have done simply because I worked on the idea for a long time and finally seeing it out and people enjoying it is just the best feeling ever.
A&R Report: You have plenty of standout songs from H7 like Soul Provider and Bittersweet; man literally that mixtape is good from start finish, which is your personal favorite?
My personal favourite has to be Soul Provider featuring the talented Vada shout out to her. I just love the melody so much and it was the second song I did for the project that led me to meeting different people. So that song has a very special place in my heart.
A&R Report: Man with H7 you made break-ups not sound too bad with your music. Did you make that decision to have H7 influenced by your past relationships or did it just happen naturally?
H7 was definitely influenced by my past relationships because at the time I was going through a lot of issues so I wanted to create a mixtape out of it. Even though I changed the beats later down the line I still wanted the story to be the same. And yea its funny you say that because when I was creating some of those songs I was thinking how can I make the message go across but still sound positive but yea Jonah, Lehvi & Bao really made that easy.
A&R Report: Listening to your music you have hybrid of singing and rapping, what made you take that approach to your music?
When I made some of my songs and I would just do straight rap or straight singing, I would get so bored with my song and think about the listener’s point of view like would they really sit and listen to me rap for 4 minutes. So I decided to try singing and rapping as that might make it easier to sit through the whole thing.
A&R Report: You always shout out your boy Jonah, how did you two meet? By the way shout out to Jonah with the production.
Shout out to Jonah! That boy is nasty talented. I think I was surfing on Soundcloud and came across a duo he is in called JoQu with his homie, Qu. From there I hit him up and we started working. Every time he sends me something we create fire and we got a joint EP coming up to prove that.
A&R Report: Another producer that stood out to me was Lehvi, seems like you two have some dope chemistry as well. How did you link with him?
Yea shout out to Lehvi too he is another crazy talented producer. I found him the same way I found Jonah, I was online on Soundcloud and heard his track ”Pineapple Pool Party’’ and sent him a email to work. He hit me back with some beats and that’s how I came across the Bittersweet and Outro beat.
A&R Report: What are your goals and plans as an artist and creative individual?
I hope to gain attention of certain record labels like Soulection, OVO, Dreamville etc. Though at this moment my only goal is to keep making soulful vibes people mess with, keep growing as an artist so that I can help out my team in Forte Dreams, represent the other team’s am in like Theorem Sound & Gold Prospector and really enjoy life doing what I love.
A&R Report: What can we expect in the future from you Kage?
I have a joint project with a Forte Dreams member called KALA, got another joint EP with the homeboy Jonah that is going to be fire and another EP exclusive for a collective.