Grenada is home to a Vydia creator who is leveraging his powerful sound to start a movement that is meant to not only shake up the music industry but change the world. A#Keem, just like any other creator, strives to entertain, but what separates him from the rest and makes him special goes deeper than the content he creates. “Music, for me, is more than just entertainment. It’s a mission and my mission is to usher in positive, permanent change with music.” A#keem’s ‘Feel Good Music’ initiative and corresponding content has been very well received and even scored him a spot opening for international stars Ashanti, JaRule, Kes, and Sizzla Kalonji. Over the past year, he was busy dropping 4 new music videos on his custom Vevo channel, including his hit “Still Around” which has more than 14K views.
As the winner of Vydia’s Creator Spotlight Instagram Contest, we had the opportunity to interview A#keem and learn more about his journey to success and his ‘Feel Good Music’ initiative. Here’s what he had to say:
Before a career in music, you were working in the construction industry with your father. What was it that made you decide to put all your efforts into music?
In January 2015 I made the decision to leave my 9-5 job in order to pursue what I was most deeply passionate about effect permanent, positive change with music. I believe that input is equal to output. I believe that it is only when we put in 100% we will achieve success.
Who would you say is your biggest influence when it comes to your music?
My biggest influence when it comes to my music is my everyday journey and experiences. Both the good, and the bad happening in our world today influences me in that some experiences are lessons that teach me something new, or some just uplifting that inspires me to write about joy and happiness. I always travel around my island, or where ever I am at, to the streets where I can be exposed to the plights of others in need, which gives me inspiration from a different perspective rather than always from my own.
Can you tell us more about your ‘Feel Good Music’ initiative?
‘Feel Good Music’ was my introduction to the music world. I wanted to compile a catalog of work that would embody the essence of the journey I hope to lead in within the music industry. One that speaks of Joy, Happiness, Freedom, and the need for individual thinking and self-discovery and mastery, all simultaneously while making the world dance.
Grenada is a country with a rich culture and tradition- How do you incorporate this into your videos?
I try to incorporate my Country’s culture into my videos by keeping each shot as authentic as possible. My music videos consist of very few actors, as I always try to showcase our authentic lifestyle by shooting actual events as they happen. As much it will be an asset having professional actors depict stories in my videos, I firmly believe in the power of spiritual energies which cannot be replicated by acting but only experienced in its full glory by real-life emotions, and real-time events, depicted by each character.
You just released a new music video for your song “Revolutionist” – What was it like bringing your song to life in a video? Did you face any challenges?
It was a great experience bringing “Revolutionist” to life as the storyline for the video featured a character, who in my books, is a textbook Revolutionist. It was a great experience capturing the everyday journey of Frank “Rasta Frank” Mason as he revolts against social constructs in order to bring enjoyment to each listener.
However, living in a third world country it is sometimes difficult achieving the standard and quality of projects as I would like due to the frequent unavailability of equipment, or financial support. But with persistence and dedication, no matter how great the challenges my team and I will always push forward.
You’ve also performed alongside major creators like Ashanti, JaRule, Kes, Sizzla Kalonji – What would you say is your most memorable experience from these performances?
My most memorable experience from these performances was standing backstage, realizing that I am here, a young man from the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada, about to share stage with performers I grew up idolizing on television, realizing that my vision is unfolding due to hard work and dedication, and of course firstly believing in myself.
What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring independent creators?
One piece of advice I would give to aspiring independent creators is to stay as far as possible from mediocrity. If you plant mediocre seeds, you will reap mediocre fruits.
What made you decide to use the Vydia platform to manage your video content?
I decided to use the Vydia platform because it allowed me the opportunity to showcase my music to the world among the greats via Vevo, in such a convenient affordable, and professional manner.
The future is bright for A#keem and we can’t wait to see him do great things, not only in music but in all aspects of life. While we patiently wait for A#keem’s next video to drop, be sure to check out his music video ‘Revolutionist’ and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.