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Rising pop artist KOOLKID released the music video for his latest track, ‘We’re So Blind’. Filmed during lockdown, the video is a combination of his own clips and fan submissions which were sent in for the chance to feature. In addition, he has teamed up with BulliesOut, one of the UK’s most dedicated and ambitious anti-bullying charities, to push the “Speak Up!” message to his audience.

KOOLKID recently confirmed an acoustic EP featuring stripped back versions of his three singles to date, which will be released weekly accompanying a three part YouTube mini-series, ‘The Story Behind The Song’. As a chart topping songwriter, recently penning tracks for pop royalty including BTS, the series is set to give him a chance to delve into his process of writing his original music and the meaning behind the lyrics.

Speaking to Riot, the artist talks about the inspiration behind his latest track, the message he’d love for people to take away from his music, the experience of working with K-pop royalty BTS, who else he’d love to collaborate with and much more.

What inspired your single ‘We’re So Blind’? What’s the message behind it?
The inspiration behind the track is the current world we live in. I wrote it last year and to be honest I wasn’t going to release it right now but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it just felt like the perfect time. It was almost like it was written for this moment. I want the song to send a message to everyone who listens, that we have become so blind to the real world around us and it’s time for us to wake up and see it for the true beauty that it is.

How would you describe your sound?
I feel that my sound combines my singer-songwriter style with a more American culture pop sound. I really want my songs to tell stories but at the same time make you feel like you’re in your own blockbuster movie. I take a lot of influences from growing up in life & music and I feel that is what has created my sound and I’m super happy about it.

Who inspires and/or influences you and your music?
When I was a kid I was obsessed with Michael Jackson. I had a DVD of all his music videos which I would watch on repeat and learn the dance moves to every one of them. He was a major influence in why I wanted to be in music. I have so many influences it would be hard to fit them all in. Currently, I’m a huge fan of The 1975. I’ve been a big fan of them since the beginning of their career and they have inspired me in some way. People like Max Martin who has produced some of the biggest pop songs ever. He is a true influence on me and my music.

If listeners could take away one message from your music, what would you want that to be and why?
As long as the listener feels SOMETHING when they listen to my music, I’m happy. I want my music to really connect with the person in some way. I want the song to become their friend that they can always count on. They can stick it on if they feel happy or sad or just want to hear it for some reason to them. If my music can connect with people like a great friend, I would be so happy.

You’ve written tracks with big names like BTS, what’s the major difference between writing for someone else and writing music for yourself?
A major difference for me is that you need to really step into the artists shoes. You need to really feel how they feel and try bring that out in your ideas. When I write for myself its easier as the first ideas that come to my head are usually the ones I go with. With other artists I feel you need to be more open and work as a team to create something magical. I believe we achieved this with BTS.

Who are on your list of top 3 artists to collaborate with?
This is so hard as I love so many artists and would collaborate with them all! Okay, number 1 at this moment would be Calvin Harris because he is a fellow Scot and I reckon we would create something INSANE. Number 2 would be Lil Nas X because he created Old Town Road and who wouldn’t want to collaborate with that genius. Number 3 would be Harry Styles. I love his new album and really think he is one of the best artists of our time.

What else is on your bucket list as an artist?
I’ve always dreamed of winning a Grammy award. That is something that I visualise every day I wake up. That is like a goal I’ve implanted in my mind. I would love to have a sold-out arena tour also. That would be crazy. Number 1 album and single in the UK & USA would be lovely also. I have so many goals in my mind so just got to hit one at a time.

Do you write from personal experience or stories around you?
This is a bit of both. I write some of my best stuff at 3am when I’m feeling a certain way because of a life situation. Other times I will be in the studio and we will create a scenario to write about which works really well also. I think it just depends what you are feeling at the time.

What’s the most exciting part of making new music? What’s the most frustrating part?
The most exciting part of making new music is hearing it all come together in the studio. You can just feel it when you know it’s a smash. That’s the best feeling in the world as an artist. The most frustrating part is when you get stuck and just can’t vibe with what’s happening. I’ve had some horrible sessions where it’s just not worked out and we have got nowhere. That can be a bit frustrating!

What’s been the most memorable moment of your career so far? What’s next?
I think from a songwriter point of view, being a part of 2 BTS albums has really been the most memorable moment for me. Seeing them perform the songs we wrote together at Wembley Stadium was mind blowing and I’m so grateful to be a part of such beautiful work. I think for my artist side of things, the best is yet to come.

What’s one question no one asks you in an interview you wish you were asked?
I wish I got asked this question! This is probably the hardest question you have asked! It’s actually really hard to answer…Just something funny and outgoing. Something that’s strange…I like strange questions.

Who is one artist (apart from you!) that you’d recommend everyone listen to? In other words which musician are you most obsessed with right now and why?
I shall say Boy In Space. He is probably one of my favourite artists right now. Got such an awesome voice and his songs are super catchy and just all round great! Check him out! Tell him KOOLKID sent you.

For more information about BulliesOut visit http://bulliesout.com

KOOLKID’s The Story Behind The Song series will be posted in the below order:
19th June – Episode 1: We’re So Blind
26th June – Episode 2: Feelings
3rd July – Episode 3: 2 Soon

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