Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this Love Letter To A Record series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Kiyanosh – Eminem, ‘The Slim Shady LP’ (1999)
I didn’t grow up in a very musical family at all. My family is rife with academics but no real creative flourishing. I was always obsessed with music and just art in general – TV, film & comedy have always held an especially dear place in my heart.
It’s so funny because I used to HATE hip-hop so much, I was a passionate rock n’ roll head and I used to roast my brother for listening to the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem, Biggie & so on… all of whom would end up being massive influences of mine. I played bass guitar as a kid, and I was obsessed. Me and my friends started up a bunch of bands, each one less terrible than the next and we would rock the hell out of my friends’ garage.
It was actually so much fun, now that I look back. You’re so much less critical of yourself and your expressions as a kid. Anyway, sometime around Year 9 or 10 I told myself, or more likely I was led to believe that, music & art didn’t really lead to a prosperous future. And then I told myself I would become a doctor, a surgeon to be specific…. cause dem boys get bankkkkkk. Then I realised it’s 10+ years of medical school and a potential prospect has never left my mind quicker, plus I wasn’t passionate about it at all. Then I told myself I could do economics, because again, bank. I should probably say that over this time my tastes in music changed so aggressively, the 10-year-old Kiyanosh was STANNING the likes of Fall Out Boy & AC/DC & RHCP, and then I guess something just clicked inside my head… I guess I just matured to a certain point where I saw hip-hop less as a strictly “gangster rap” genre, mentality and culture, and started to appreciate it for what it was – one of the purest and most honest forms of storytelling and expression in music and even art in general.
And at that point I just fell in love with it. It honestly felt like a romance, I felt so connected to these artists, I felt so heard, it was almost hard to believe – you know that first time when a song perfectly describes what you’re going through or how you feel? I never felt that until hip-hop. It just felt like such an honest, truth-demanding artform, like everyone could tell if what you were saying was truly coming from you or not, and that’s dope.
When I fell in love with hip-hop it was with all of the classics – Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, Ready To Die & so on… but one record that really spoke to me, and bear with me here, was Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP… it actually kind of blew my mind.
I had never laughed out loud from music before or felt like I was actually in the room with the artist I was listening to. I don’t know how he did that, but I loved it so much. That record taught me how you can merge comedy with hip-hop and, like all good comedy, still have these doses of true and real, genuine expression amidst all of the chaotic energy surrounding.
Especially with the skits/interludes and everything, it just felt like a movie! I always found it so amusing that he could say the most foul, offensive things in the world but you’re still sitting there in awe just because of how he put those specific words together, it was undeniable talent and he knew that. You could tell he knew you couldn’t just say all of this without backing it with actual talent or else no one would even care to begin with. Slim Shady was one of the OG super villains in hip-hop and one of the only ones that was well and truly loathed by so much of the public.
Sydney-based Iranian jazz rapper Kiyanosh has just unveiled his daring new single ‘KARMA’ – lifted from his forthcoming EP ‘Dying Alone’ – produced by label-mate shue, mixed by Doebas Petes and mastered by Jack Prest at Studios 301.
‘KARMA’ is a thought-provoking slice of introspective hip hop. The sincere and commanding cadences of Kiyanosh float effortlessly above the flawless and brooding production of shue, to create an infectious and bouncy track led by its subtle chaotic energy.