She may be only 21 years-old, but if you take one listen to songs off of her debut album
It is that distinct and wondrous sound that’ll be blaring out of the speakers during the 3rd Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival in
HHC: Being a New Yorker – what is one thing about the
EK: I would have to say that it would probably be the diversity. There’s a soul within
HHC: How did you hear about the Festival and what piqued your interest about joining its line-up?
EK: I have been hearing about it through friends for awhile. I had never been to it, but I heard about all the incredible artists that have graced its stage. So, I couldn’t say no to the opportunity. I have an incredible stage show to present to the audience. I’ll be on there for about 30 minutes and I hope that everyone enjoys it.
HHC: Speaking of the line-up – it’s a raw assembly of people. Is there anyone on the ticket that you’re excited to see perform?
EK: Ghostface all day! I’m looking forward to the experience. Doing this show has me feeling like this is going to be some sort of family reunion.
HHC: On your album East Side Story — you wrote the majority of the songs. Which one best reflects your personality?
EK: …Good question… Umm, I don’t know – I think that it changes from day-to-day. Today, there’s a song called “Moon” and I’m kind of feeling like that. I just got back from the road and I just want to have some tea. I’m a Cancer so… I can be shy or a few other things; like I really want to go to the beach right now.
HHC: I still haven’t been to
EK: You need to go to the beach! [Donald] Trump bought up a lot of it. They plan on tearing down the amusement park and building up new stuff.
HHC: What is one thing about
EK: I come back here for the food. You can get anything that you want right there on your block. There’s the spontaneity. You can just walk around and get into anything, virtually. It’s amazing. You don’t know who all you can see. There’s always something that’s going to happen. The diversity is key, the energy is just fulfilling. So many people crammed into one little space; there’s something that’s bound to happen. That is very good for songwriting.
HHC: Since this is a hip-hop festival – will your performance cater to the hip-hop enthusiasts? Or will you have something else in store?
EK: I do what I do. I grew up in that culture so it comes out naturally. There may be some surprises. You’ll just have to wait and see.
HHC: With this being the 3rd Annual
EK: My band is dope. We have fun on stage. I just want to bring a fun vibe to it. I want to let people know that I’m here to have a good time.
HHC: What inspired you to write “U and I”…? Was it a relationship that you were in or was it a reflection of someone else’s relationship?
EK:Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I think that it’s me, sometimes I think that it’s about somebody else [laughs]. I’ve definitely been through that before. Sometimes I write a song and it’ll come true after… like I spoke it into reality.
HHC: What have your learned by being on the road with John Legend that you’ve used to help with your own stage show?
EK: I have learned that you have to have your own ritual to do before a show. No matter if you don’t have enough space and you have to go elsewhere, you just have to have something to do. Musically, I learned that there are so many details that you need to look at before performing. He’s [John Legend] a real class act and he caters to a wide range of people. From young to old, black and white, he’s just very appealing. Aside from music, I learned just to enjoy every little moment. We drove around in a bus with the band for 12 hours at a time and I loved the experience. So, I want to continue to love the experiences that I’m blessed to go through.