Kieaun was born right outside of Chicago, USA. Raised in Joliet, Kieaun decided he wanted to pursue a career in music, and moved to what had become the “New Motown of the South” Atlanta, GA.
Shortly after arriving in Atlanta, after a dare to jump on stage at a talent show, Kieaun won the competition and was contacted by Dan Stokes from the R&B group Solo. That phone call led to Kieaun packing up and moving to New York where he eventually landed a feature on the groups sophomore album “4 bruthas and a bass” earning him a mention in Vibe Magazine.
Kieaun eventually returned to Atlanta and met Devyne Stephens and Akon (Upfront Entertainment) acting as hype man and roadie for a short period on the road. From that point Kieaun formed his own independent label (Ill-Noise Entertainment) and release a full length debut album titled “The Chosen One Vol. 1” under his alias Kieaun the Goldnchild which he sold directly out of the trunk, in mom and pop record stores, and online. The underground album led him to performing coast to coast opening for the likes of Lil Scrappy, Young Buck, T.I, Lil Flip, The Bud Billiken day Parade (Chicago), with Nick Cannon at the Arie Crown Theater (Chicago) and a brief stint on the road with Da Brat (Miami, Fl).
While in Atlanta he started linking up with Shakim Williams (Akon) to record a 7 song EP titled “The GoldnRule” to be released late 2015. In the meantime Kieaun is preparing to release his mixtape. He remains busy and on the move to tell his story. We were previlaged to catch up with him and see what he has up his sleeve.
What made you return to the music scene?
A couple of things, the timing for one, it just felt right to me. Music is what I love it’s just what I do. The creator gave me a talent, and a vision and I just don’t believe he gives us our talents and visions for nothing. If I’m not creating music, I’m listening to it, I’m reading about some of my favorite artist, or who’s the next up and coming. Just keeping up with what’s going on. Its nothing like creating something from scratch, walking into a room full of strangers and they love what I’ve created. I still get a high off it. I’ve learned it’s certain parts of your life you never outgrow and music is just one of those things for me.
What makes Kieaun tick? What is your motivation?
I’m definitely moved by what going on around me, sometimes even if it’s indirectly. Good energy is something that inspires me. I feed off of greatness, I learn from what’s great, I believe anything great worked hard to be that so it should be respected. The challenge of building a better life for my son’s, my nieces and nephews. The challenge of building a legacy so the youth under me can be proud of, learn from and build off of.
How does making music in your hometown of Joliet differ from making music in your new home of Atlanta?
Both places provide a much different kind of energy. Joliet is home it’s where I learned so much so young, its where I taught myself the basics of how to rhyme, Joliet is where I did talent shows early in life, which made me comfortable being on stage. Joliet gave me the confidence to move to Atlanta to pursue a career in music. Moving to Atlanta, allowed me to hone my craft and make it grow. Being around industry dudes taught me how to do what I do much better, in terms of how to actually construct a song and build it.
When listening or recording your new sound, what are your influences?
The hip hop/rap culture in general. Old school and new school. I love hip hop legends such as Dr. Dre, The D.O.C, Rakim, Common, Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, E-40, Pac and BIG of course (RIP), Redman, WuTang, etc. I also learn from the works of the newer dudes Drake, Wale, Big Krit, J. Cole, Jeezy, Kendrick Lamar as well as a few others. I’m a fan of the culture first and foremost so all these dudes I take something from and continue to grow as an artist.
The world of networking has changed considerably. What do you feel is important to do in order to connect with your fans or potential business collaborations?
Everything is digital these days whereas back when I started you had to get out there and grind in the streets, out the trunk of your car, doing live shows just to build ya buzz. These days you still have to do shows and physical product is still necessary, however you have access to so many more people with the click of the button because technology has advanced the game. Depending on who you ask, it’s a gift and a curse because you have so many people rapping right now, so many people producing who may not even really be talented so once real talent presents itself it could take him or her a minute to get the peoples attention because the game is so saturated.
What do you feel is necessary to stay focus as an entrepreneur?
Staying focused on your goals whatever that mission is. Every entrepreneur wants to make money, however I believe the difference between those who make it and those that don’t are the ones who do make it have a genuine passion much bigger than money. They have a vision, which drives them beyond money. Secondly, you have to believe in what you’re doing even when nobody else does believe in it. Many people gone call you crazy when you get started, preach how it’s a long shot, tell you it’s a impossible, and allot of people gone try to discourage you for whatever they reason, but you gotta stick to your guns and know that people like Steve Jobs, Jay-Z, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and I’m sure even our President Barack Obama we’re all told they couldn’t do what it is that there doing today.
Besides music, are there any other art forms or industries that you are breaking into?
Getting involved with the youth and setting up some organizations for them is important to me because in my opinion many of them are just being led astray and left out there lost. As we were coming up, many of us had strong presents around us that seems to be missing these days. Screen plays and acting is also something I’m growing into as far as myself as well as finding talents and helping them to develop. Real estate is also something I’m looking into as well just continuously growing as a businessman.
Seeing that recently the media focuses on a number of racial issues within the community and from law enforcement , how do you feel directly affected? Is there anything you feel you need to do to make a difference or impact change?
It’s crazy that someone can go the store for Skittles and not make it home. A routine traffic stop can mean someones life. Unarmed people being shot by those who are suppose to protect and serve. However, Emmitt Till, died because he thought a woman was beautiful. What’s changed? We gotta look at it a bit deeper. Maya Angelo said it best “When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time” This I hate talking about this but, racial tension never really died its just executed allot differently, we just have allot more people with camera phones capturing what has been happening for years. Back in the days when Public Enemy was hollering “Fight the Power” or N.W.A was saying “Fuck the Police”, those things still exist in the very same way, however back then they had artist who weren’t afraid to be a voice for the people which made some impact on behalf of the people. In terms of our community, I believe it’s up to us to fix what’s wrong with us. Not saying obstacles aren’t placed in our way purposely, or some don’t attempt to make it harder for us than others, but in reality that’s always been the case. However, there are things we can fix that we don’t even attempt to. We represent a Trillion dollars annual spending yet we still last on the economic scale, we gotta fix that. We can’t talk about having a functioning community until we first address the fact that most of us come from broken homes. That’s something we have to fix in house. We can’t address the disrespect we have to deal from outside of our community until we first come together and address the disrespect we show towards one another daily. It’s 2015 and we still got lightskin/Darkskin tension… Just think about that one for a second!
When someone mentions the name Kieaun, what thoughts or comments should follow?
Leader, visionary, survivor, fighter.
Where can your fans connect with you or have the opportunity to see you perform?
We’re currently putting together my tour dates and people can keep up with whats going on with me via facebook, instagram, twitter @Kieaun and my New website www.Kieaun.com is currently under construction so look out for that.