Below is the complete transcript of my interview with Kraddy.
Graham with Tixr (Tixr): Congrats on the new album. It’s incredible. Let’s start with the title, “Be A Light”. What does it mean to “be a light” to you?
Kraddy: Thanks! “Be a light” is taken from a talk attributed to the Buddah. The full phrase is “Be a light unto yourself” – which I used as part of the lyrics in my song No One Saves Us But Ourselves. To me “Be a light” means that I have to take the responsibility to make my life and my mindset and my path a positive one. It’s not a one time decision, it’s a decision I need to make every moment.
Tixr: For those who have heard Android Porn, Anthems of the Hero, Labyrinth in Dub or Truth Has No Path but haven’t heard the new album yet what do you think we should tell them to expect in Be A Light?
Kraddy: Be A Light has many different sounds. Whereas my other releases have a very specific sound to them, Be A Light pushes that boundary. Before I wrote Be A Light I was sailing on a friends boat by Venice and Santa Monica and someone asked me to put my music on because they had never heard it. I played a couple songs but I could tell that the songs were too aggressive for the beautiful serene environment we were in. Thats when I realized that I wanted to make an album that was more at peace with itself than my previous albums. Something that we could play while sailing at sunset.
Tixr: Winning is such an uplifting song and the video turned out spectacular. Can you talk a bit about what the song means to you?
Kraddy: “Winning” is about those times I think things are going wrong, but in reality things are going right. Events or situations that seem bad or negative are sometimes blessings in disguise. Someone once said to me “Everything is perfect and everything is happening exactly how it should.” At the time I thought that was total BS. But the more I’ve thought about it the more I realized that it’s not about the factual correctness of the statement. If I allow myself to look at the world thinking that everything is perfect and everything is as it should be then it creates a more positive mindset for me and I enjoy life rather than feeling like I’m the victim of life.
Tixr: The athletes in the Winning video are tremendously talented. The production quality was off the charts too. What can you tell us about the people or process involved in making the Winning music video the gem it is?
Kraddy: The concept was to create a video with the theme of flying and floating. There are so many people to thank. I couldn’t even list them all here. Making videos is always a team effort and I was lucky to have an amazing team of people to work with. The skaters are guys I see at the Venice Beach Skate Park when I go there. They were really cool guys. One of the skaters was just at the park for fun on the day we were shooting and he was down to skate the big bowl for us. The plane is owned by a good friend of mine. And he brought in another pilot friend who’s an expert on shooting airplane Go Pro footage. One of the aerialists is a good friend of mine and most of the people who shot that scene were friends I met through her. The editor and colorist took all that footage and did an amazing job as well.
Tixr: What was going on for you when you wrote this album? It’s pretty deep stuff.
Kraddy: Lots of things were going on. A lot of the songs reflect the turmoil I have inside. But many of them reflect my desire to be more positive and to reflect that in my music.
Tixr: Was there a pivotal time when someone was “a light for you?” How did that impact your way of thinking about life and music?
Kraddy: So many people have been a light in my life. I have a great family and amazing friends. I’m lucky enough to have fans who are very supportive and loyal. I find that sometimes the most powerful light comes to me from complete strangers. People who I never met, some who I may only know through email conversations, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me.
Tixr: The new album features some terrific guest appearances by D Styles, Brett Hite, Lady Ali, YoAstrum and Sophie Holt on three tracks. Can you tell us a little about the touch they brought to Be a Light?
Kraddy: D-Styles is a Low End Theory resident I knew he would add that classic turntablist vibe to the track. Lady Ali has that powerful female dancehall sound and thats exactly what I wanted. Brett sang beautifully on Soul Love – he gave it that reflective broken hearted vibe. YoAstrum’s verses were so hard that I went back and rewrote the track so that it would fit his style. Sophie is a great friend and we collaborated the longest. She’s an amazing songwriter and has a beautiful voice. She really brought some beautiful melodies to the songs.
Tixr: What’s the next song from the album you’ll be releasing as a music video? Any chance we’ll see one for The Prestige or No One Saves Us But Ourselves?
Kraddy: I’m working on a video for The Prestige. I want to make a video that is an homage to dancers. I have some ideas and I’m looking for funding. I also am working on a video for I Can’t Go Back. That is in the works but I’m not sure when it will be done.
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