Kin Crew is an electronic/hip-hop award-winning producer duo from Halifax, Nova Scotia. With over 1 million streams online, hitting 15th most viral song on the Spotify Canadian viral charts, and landing rotation on top 40 radio across Canada, Kin Crew's career is set to take a big leap mid-2019.
2018 was a big year for Kin Crew, as they explored a Mainstream FutureBass/Pop musical style, teaming up with multiple top 40 artists (JRDN, Peter Jackson, BRDGS, Jillea) and collaborating with prominent producers such as Niiko x SWAE and LNY TNZ.
I recently caught up with the unit and had this chat.
How do you go about finding a theme or subject for a song?
A lot of the time, it's just about creating a feeling. When you hear the beat, we reflect on how it makes us feel and what comes to mind when we listen to it. It's not really about 'okay let's write about this subject,' it's about “When I hear this, I feel like this. How can we expand on that in a unique creative way?”
What comes first, the basic beats or the lyrics?
Always the beat first for us. We do sometimes write when we get inspired, but 9 out of 10 times we don’t use it unless we are writing it to a beat. For us, it's a lot harder to create chords and melodies to lyrics than it is to create lyrics to chords and melodies.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to success in a market dominated by a few?
The hardest part is exposure and brand loyalty. These days you’re not just competing with other musicians, you're competing for attention. With memes, with cat videos, with baby pictures. It’s not about having the best music in the world; it may revolve around music, but it has to go deeper than that. Too many people in the world make great music. It's about having a brand that people can buy into, one that they enjoy following and feel apart of. That’s how you build a fanbase. It’s also essential to learn how to use “Disruptive Marketing” tactics that help you stand out in a significant way rather than just using traditional marketing strategies.
How did you build a social media following?
Social media is a tough one. My best advice and the breakdown of what we did was basic trail and error. Create high-quality professional content, test how people react, what works what doesn't. Figure out your target market, run ads. Check the results and adjust accordingly. It took us years to grow because we didn’t understand two things. 1, Instagram is made for people to be entertained or to look at amazing content. 2, its a business, so you need to invest in marketing if you want to grow just like any other business (whether that be $50 or $500).
How often do you perform live?
Two years ago we were DJing about three times a month all across the east coast. Last year we decided to take a step back from performing and focus on creating music, connections, and growing our online presence.
What is the Halifax scene like for a rap and hip-hop artists?
We also wanted to create a live performance that was unique and memorable. We wanted to have a live set that when people left, they were in awe and remembered. We don’t plan on coming back to performing until November.
What is the Halifax scene like for rap and hip-hop artists?
Halifax is, in our opinion, low-key next to Toronto. We have so much talent coming out of Halifax across Hip-hop, Pop, and EDM. People are starting to realize that. However, the support for Hip-Hop impartiality is low. Halifax’s investment and opportunity support for Hip-Hop is very low;- they still don’t fully see the potential in that genre, but I believe they are starting to and over the next couple years I expect some major shifts. There aren’t really any venues for these artists to perform and a lot of the locals I don’t think fully believe in Halifax rap music yet. But again, I believe there are some major changes in the ways people view it due to the success of local artists. Obviously Classified & Quake, but also up & coming artists like Psycthaprince andTrvp Hippies.
Have you been part of the Toronto/Brampton/Scarborough scene?
Unfortunately, we have not been a part of the Toronto scene yet. We’ve worked with a few producers and artists, and we are there a lot. But we are not necessarily involved in that scene. We are looking to change that over the next year or two.
How do you view the future?
How do we view the future? Pretty broad question haha but we are very optimistic. Our goal is to not only create success for ourselves but to get us to a stage where we can create light for a lot of other Halifax artists and a path for them to follow. We want to be able to help people that we believe in find success in what they love doing as well. Our end goal is to be the next DVBBS/Chainsmokers, but what makes us different is that we are not only producers but artists too. Which I believe will help us not only build a stronger brand but allow us to be unique.
What legacy artists still have a say in your music? How do they still guide you by their past accomplishments?
XXXTENTACION - Ed Sheeran - Lil Wayne - Travis Scott & Benny Blanco. These five artists will forever guide me. Not just in a music sense, but they taught me a lot about character, opening my eyes to life and intertwining that into the music. They all came from hardship, had to work for everything they have. Seeing them do so much more than music (clothing, side businesses) shows me anything is possible. Seriously, anything. Seeing them achieve certain milestones made me adjust my goals and aim way higher than I ever expected to go. That’s powerful when someone can have that effect on you.
Who out there most intrigues you?
Lil Tjay - Polo G - Lewis Capaldi - The Chainsmokers - Loud Luxury. I listen to these artists daily.