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Interview: Mula Kkhan
Posted December 21, 2017 by Seth Johnson
WRITTEN BY
Seth Johnson
ON
December 21, 2017
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(Photos provided by Mula Kkhan)

Our Seth Johnson caught up with Mula Kkhan for an interview ahead of his album release show at the Hi-Fi on Dec. 22.

 

Seth Johnson: Give me some background on yourself and where you’re originally from. Have you lived in Indiana all your life?

Mula Kkhan: I was born and raised in Indianapolis. I was born on the East Side of Indianapolis by Brightwood, and I was raised on the West Side of Indianapolis. So I’m an Indy baby (laughs).

SJ: When were you first introduced to hip-hop?

MK: I’ve been around hip-hop since I was born. I was born in ’91, and my stepdad was a DJ. So I wasn't really thinking about the rapping. I was thinking more about the DJing and the mixing at a young age, around 4 or 5. I wasn’t thinking about vocals and performing. It was just more about finding good music and having a good party.

SJ: When did you initially try your hand at rapping then?

MK: My sophomore year of high school. I met my homie Brandon Jones. We both went to Brownsburg. He’s a year younger than me, but we both met at Brownsburg. He was actually getting into mixing and learning how to master. We were only 13 or 14 years old. We both wanted to rap. He was mixing, and I was laying down vocals and rapping over instrumentals. That was back in ’05 or ’06, I believe.

SJ: At that early time in your life, who were some inspirations for you?

MK: Definitely Lil Wayne. There was Wayne and Jay-Z and Kanye. Towards my senior year of high school, there were new influencers coming out, like Nipsey Hussle,Wiz Khalifa, Kid Cudi, Drake…people like that touched my style as I was getting a little older. As I got a little older, I experienced Kendrick Lamar’s music, and Big K.R.I.T. I was not really thinking about Jay-Z and Kanye [by then]. It was more Schoolboy Q, Kendrick, A$AP Rocky and people like that.

SJ: When did you first start to get involved with the Indianapolis hip-hop scene?

MK: Some of the first people I met that were part of the scene were Theon Lee and Pope Adrian Bless. I still wasn’t a part of the scene [at that time], but those were two people that I knew were in the scene. That was back in 2007 or 2008. I took some years off from doing music, and I was just being a kid and being wild, just doing dumb shit and getting in trouble. I actually got in trouble in 2014, and I got out of work release in 2015. At that point, I decided I was going to try to get into the scene and go to shows and get booked for shows. I was even doing crazy stuff like paying to play, just to get exposure in the scene.

SJ: Who were people that helped you to get more involved in the Indy hip-hop community?

MK: DJ TXTBOOK is definitely the first person I’ll start with. He manages me. I met him at a J. Brookinz Beat Battle. J. Brookinz is also one of those people too. And then, getting introduced to Sirius Blvck and Oreo Jones, and then getting put on Chreece. Those have just been pivotal people in my steps to try and be a part of the Fountain Square scene in general.

SJ: Talk to me about your new album Kkharma and how it came together?

MK: I started making Kkharma in the beginning of 2017, around February. I dropped an EP called Kkhano in December 2016. I was just making a bunch of music. At the beginning of this year, I made a bunch of songs. Some of them I didn’t really like, but then I made a song called “20 In The Chamber,” which is a high-energy alternative trap song. And, I started to get the idea for this project.

At first, the project was going to be called It Isn’t Safe Yet. The same producer was going to produce every track, and it was just going to have a cohesive sound. But then, me and Swan were hanging out, and he actually helped come up with the name Kkharma. It just fit what I wanted to do.

SJ: Tell me about the producers you got involved with Kkharma.

MK: A lot of the beats were made by the same person. His name is Ruhis Fortne. He lives in South America, and he speaks Dutch. We met through SoundCloud years ago, so he’s been making beats for me for a long time. Millz Gold, one of his homies, made “20 In The chamber.” There’s also Blkyth, who’s also from Indianapolis. There’s RB, and then there’s GeeKey.

With Ruhis, the beats are made based off of his environment, so a lot of them have a dark essence to them. I just felt it fit what I was going for. So he sent the beats, and then I wrote what I felt at the time.

SJ: What are some of the themes within your lyrics on Kkharma?

MK: I guess the constant theme is it’s dark alternative trap. I’m just rapping about street things over weird trap instrumentals. That was the theme I was going for with most of the tracks.

SJ: The art for Kkharma is definitely eye-catching. Tell me more about where it came from.

MK: The artist’s name is Joe Baker. I found him on Instagram. He’s Australian. I let him have creative control over it. I just told him the mascot was a scorpion, and then he did his artist thing and ran with it. I love it. Before I even revealed the cover art to the public, I was so blown away. I was ike, “I hope my project matches this cover art.”

SJ: Tell me about your relationship with Dose. How has he helped you develop as an artist?

MK: Dose is definitely one of my best friends. Throughout 2017, we got really, really close. We actually started a group together called Switch Blades. We’re going to drop music pretty soon. In 2018, we have some things planned to drop together as a unit.

I think Dose is one of the most talented artists in our city. He helps me with his constant work, his content and how consistent he is as an artist. He doesn’t give himself enough credit. I think he’s extremely talented. He also helps me not to be a corny artist. He makes a lot of good, catchy, relatable music. He’s just dope. We both care about our music a lot, and we’re both always open for criticism and trying new things. He and I have different vibes, but we mesh really well.

SJ: I saw you recently went down to Atlanta. Tell me about that.

MK: In 2016, I dropped an EP called All The Things. I shot it out to different blogs, including Audible Hustle in Atlanta. They’ve just been really good friends of mine. They hit me up in 2017 and asked me if I wanted to come out for a show. So I went out there and did a show, and they really rocked with it. They want me to come out there more often. It was a good experience. They responded to the music really well. Before I even put the album out, I did some tracks down there to see how they would fair, and there was a great response.

SJ: I know you have your release show at H-Fi. What else is on the horizon?

MK: As far as shows go, Mathaius Young and me are going to be at Pioneer for First Friday (more details here). It’s a free show. As far as new music, I probably won’t drop anything until the fourth quarter of 2018, as far as solo goes. I go one day at a time, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen in February, March and April. Hopefully some things start knocking. I have some visuals planned also.

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