July 1, 2010

Artist of the Day: 14KT from Athletic Mic League

Kendall Tucker, better known as 14KT, was born and raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He was first introduced to music through singing in the church choir and immediately became attached to the way music could move people. In 1994, his involvement in hip-hop began when, as an emcee, he joined the Michigan hip-hop group known as the Athletic Mic League (AML). Ironically, it was from a need for original production within his crew that he started making beats, using nothing but his parents Jazz and Soul records and a dual tape deck. Today people scratch their heads when witnessing his unorthodox or “alien” production methods – you can only wonder, or search YouTube for a glimpse.

As a product of the “Golden Era of Hip-Hop,” 14KT strives to be amongst the great producers and beatmakers that made the music in his headphones – DJ Premier, Organized Noize, Pete Rock, Dr. Dre and J Dilla. As a musician, 14KT was heavily cultured by the rich, musical background and local history of Motown. However, he’s far from neglecting Gospel, Jazz, Rock, Electronic and Techno as sources of inspiration – which can all be heard on his debut solo LP, The Golden Hour [Soundtrack], released in October of 2008. Despite being an instrumental album, The Golden Hour appeared on many year-end top albums lists. Okayplayer said “this is the sort of striking project that can singlehandedly create an artists following.” And so it did.

Since his days of singing in the church, 14KT believes that his involvement with music is to fulfill God’s purpose for him on Earth – to inspire. “It’s amazing to me to be able to evoke certain emotions just from sounds. The deeper I get into music, the more I realize that I need to accomplish that as an artist.

In December of 2008 14KT was invited to participate in the 1st annual Red Bull Big Tune national beat battle finals in New York City after being crowned the Detroit champ earlier in the year. BET cameras went behind the scenes documenting the event and featured 14KT on a special that aired on the TV station in April 2009. In August 2009 14KT released Nowalataz, “a project I unofficially had done since 2006. It started when James Yancey aka J Dilla passed that February. To cope with the death of my favorite producer, who I liked to call my unofficial “musical mentor,” I started making ‘donuts’…uncontrollably. I never planned to release any of the material out of respect for Dilla and his craft. I shared some of the music with others, in which they would repeatedly ask me to hear it, so I decided to put a little something together and make it official.Nowalataz was released as a free download.

Last fall 14KT toured the US with Mayer Hawthorne, opening each of the 26 shows on the Lonely Hearts club tour with his electrifying DJ set – mixing his own beats with other popular music live on stage. He performed alongside Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib and J Rocc at the Stones Throw/Converse “45 Live” SXSW party this year, and rocked the crowd at Red Bull’s Big Tune SXSW battle earning him a spot in the 2010 national finals in Chicago (November 18). Most recently, 14KT has just returned from a 10-city Spring European tour with Crown Royale (Buff1 + DJ Rhettmatic) and is now back in the lab simultaneously working on a new stage show and several upcoming projects for himself and other artists (A-Side Worldwide, 2009).

You can listen to 14KT's music at:

Released Albums:
14KT - The Golden Hour
14KT - Nowalataz

(2009). 14KT. A-Side Worldwide. Retrieved from http://www.asideworldwide.com/artists/14kt/

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