by Leonidas Agnes
all photos by Karis Dolberry
For our last Knorts Hangout, we had the pleasure of hosting local artist, Yung Kazi, and his friends at the studio. Not only was his performance an absolute five stars, but the vibes he and his friends filled the party with also couldn't have been more perfect and fun! If you didn't make it out, you totally missed out...sorry, not sorry.
We particularly wanted to collaborate with Yung Kazi because of his multidimensional artistic abilities. He's obviously a master at creating music we want to keep on repeat, but he is also a very talented claymation artist (a new one too!). Needless to say, we had to learn more about him and his process...
How should the world know you?
I’m Yung Kazi. I'm an indie artist, designer, sculptor, and Dad from the Crenshaw District.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been writing music since like 2013. I started writing bullshit raps in a notebook and getting high free styling with homies, but didn't start seriously recording until like 2015.
When I listen to your music, the best vibes immediately fill the air...it's amazing! To what can you attribute that?
I just like to make really human relatable music. I really try to capture an emotion with every song I write so the lyrics are all written with intention. My lyrics are based on my real life experiences whether its a romantic experience or something regarding the struggles/achievements in my career or about being a dad etc. it just depends but those are some examples of where i draw inspiration.
At Knorts, we love art...so naturally we're in love with your claymation! Can you please tell us where the idea to use that medium in your latest music video "Toy" came from?
So when I made the song “Toy” about a year ago I always had the idea to use cover art that was me as a toy, but at the time, it wasn’t in stone that I was going to use clay. I was looking up different ways to make myself a toy and almost went with this action figure type thing, but instead I just went to Michaels, bought some clay, and made my first sculpture with no experience in sculpting. It turned out fire, so my friend, Derrick, was like, let’s shoot a little 30 second promo for it and from there we ended up shooting a whole video for it. We didn’t know anything about claymation and learned by literally just doing it.
It's my understanding that you have to mold the clay, take a photo, then mold the clay again, then take another photo...so on and so forth until you have enough photos to string together into film. Yikes! How long did it take to make that music video?
It took about 5 months from us learning through trial and error how to make a functional clay model + learning the right frame per second ratio etc etc. Condensed time I’d say that it took about 50 hours between sculpting and shooting to make.
Are there new art mediums you want to experiment with?
Yeah, puppetry is the next art form I’m tryna get into. I watch a lot of kids shows with my daughter and I can appreciate the artistry that goes into making it.
Clothing and musicians usually go hand in hand. Would do you think?
I just look for colors, graphics, and patterns that represent my personality and me. I love anything aquatic so you can catch me in a lot of nautical/marine life patterns, which just so happen to be made by Ralph Lauren. He is one of my favorite designers. I like things that are vibrant or bold and loud because that's how I see myself.
What are you working on currently?
I’m working on wrapping up my second project, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Night coming sometime in August!!!!!!
What was it like for you to perform at one of our Knorts Hangouts?
The energy at the show was real intimate and turnt at the same time. Everybody there was there to have a good time and go up and not look cool which is the best energy to be around.
Should we anticipate another Knorts x Kazi event?