New York’s very own King Kogen is an upcoming artist raised in Queens with an underground style set to combine lyricism, flow, and melody to the hip hop world. I picked up a pen and wrote my first rhyme at the age of 15 Always wrote rhymes and rapped to myself to cope with the stark reality of growing up with a single mother in an effort to release negative energy. At the age of 25 was when I started recording in dental school after my classmates pushed me to do talent shows at my school. I have been actively using SoundCloud as my platform for the past three years and have been investing in my music at professional recording studios for a little over a year now. I go by the name of King Kogen aka “Young Rome” and I am officially a rapping dentist. Music is my passion and I ain’t stopping till my voice is heard and the respect is earned as an MC and songwriter. I represent the Borough of Queens.
King Kogen, great to chat with you! Can you tell us a bit about your upbringing, has it contributed to your style as an artist?
Yes, as a first generation immigrant and child to a single mother I was able to witness the epitome of struggle and perseverance in a country with a language foreign to my family especially in the fast paced environment of NYC. Raised by my mother and grandmother, I saw the unfortunate effects of addiction that consequently removed a father figure in my life.
Describe the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as an artist?
One is the biggest obstacles I am still facing is learning how to market myself and gain exposure to develop a strong fan base.
Stage fright and balancing my identity as a dentist and rapper throughout my academic career.
How do you navigate the music industry?
One day at a time honestly. I use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, SoundCloud and YouTube to help gain notoriety and develop important relationships that add value to my art. For example I found my sound engineer, videographer, and genuine people who want to invest in my art through the social media. Recently I started using an independent distributor “distrokid” to put my music on Apple Music, Spotify, and other major music store platforms to spread my music.
What’s a typical day like for you artistically? What inspires you musically?
Listening to other music and going through real pain or Joy in life that later translate into lyrics.
When do your ideas come to you?
During times when I am alone and vulnerable and have time to speak with my own thoughts. Typically on the road when I’m driving, in the shower with instrumentals playing in the background, or when I am simply having conversations with other people.
What’s your favorite piece of music and why?
My most recent project called “Once Upon A Time In America” because it took a year in development. The sound behind it has an old school mafia vibe with the addition of trap drums to make it contemporary. The message behind the song embodies the representation of immigrant mentality and awareness of anti-semitism that has been on the rise especially in the U.S.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Too many to name honestly but Artists like Mos Def, Kendrick Lamar, Jcole, Drake, Eminem, Nas, Jay Z, Kanye, 50 Cent, Russ inspire me to this day.
Which artist would you love to collaborate with and why?
Anderson Pack, Masego, French Kiwi Juice (FKJ), Dr Dre, Scott Storch, mike Will, metro boomin because of the ability to play live instruments and classical music influence. Drake for his songwriting ability, Kendrick for his poetry, J Cole for his ability to rhyme existential truths in colloquial narrative. And of course the artists mentioned above who influenced me as an artist.
Where can we expect to see you in 5 years? On tour with over one million followers from all over the world.
What’s your idea of success as an artist? When will you feel like you’ve made it?
I don’t think as an artist I will ever feel accomplished because I am constantly focused on to the next project and message to get across. Of course it would be nice to have Grammy nominations and awards that come with fortune and fame, but all I really want is to be loved.
Keep up to date with the latest on King Kogen on social media: @kogen718