Tell us who you are and what you do!
Hola, I’m Rich aka Reesh aka Reesh KillaFlows and I’m a creative from Atlanta, Zone 2. I became aware of my creativity when I was four. I remember I liked Spiderman a lot so I drew him one day at my daycare at the time. I remember people telling me I was really good so I guess it got to my head and I kept going. Now, I really enjoy creating. That includes music, clothes, graphics, drawings, paintings, videos, love and happiness, etc. I think creativity is everywhere.
At the moment music is my main creative outlet. My interest in music began when I was like five or six. At the time I just thought it was cool and I pretended to do anything I thought was cool. I also thought it would have made my daycare teacher like me, she was like 16 years older but I was super down. I actually started wanting to rap for real when I was 12. I saw Eminem’s “Not Afraid” video on accident and it had me hooked. Then I found the best rapper alive, Lil Wayne and he made it fun with his word play. Been rapping ever since.
It’s kind of weird being a rapper, like I’m from the suburbs, and my parents are Nigerian and Nigerian parents do not rock with rapping as a career but I do it anyways. I love it, it’s fun, it’s an outlet and since I’m from the suburbs I talk about different things compared to most hood rappers. Where I’m from helps me stand out, be different, be me. Being myself is one of the things that motivates me, so is the fear of working a regular job. Thats scary. I’m not down.
I’m motivated by knowing that I inspire others. I have that great power so with it comes great responsibility (peep the Spiderman reference). My main goal for the future is to be better everyday, even just by a bit. So through striving to achieve this goal I’ve learned that I can only do my best, nothing more, nothing less and my best will always be different.
What is the inspiration for your work?
I’m inspired by next level things that I think are cool. Like I just watched this video of a brand, Klan Life Clothing (they’re not on any KKK stuff, it’s like three black brothers running it lol) from my town going to LA to do a concert and that made me be like “That’s cool, I want to be on that level,” so eventually I will. I just got to work hard. I’m also inspired by my friends, like if they make something cool then I’ll be like “Dang I gotta do something cooler.” I’m very competitive!
I guess the kind of music I make is inspired by my life really, first and foremost at least. Like, I have a song coming out called “Validation”, it’s a hit, and it’s a song about how I’m self validated. The day I wrote it I was feeling super people pleasy, like wanting acceptance and feeling rejected, then I was like “Naw bump that Im Validated!” It’s my reminder. I have a song about me missing my friends and feeling lonely called “I Wonder”. That’s more so the subject matter though.
The style of my music is inspired by a lot of different artist. Number one being Lil Wayne. He made rap fun to me with his metaphors and similes. That man said “No brake lights on my Career (Car Rear).” Like What! That had me going crazy. After Wayne it’d be Tyler the Creator. He taught me to do and make whatever I want. Solange is a recent influence, she’s my twin, I’m the He-male Solange you feel me.
In a nutshell my music is clever bars with a message. It could be smooth, there could be singing, there could be real hip hop head type verses or there could be complete screaming like I’m in a punk rock band. I don’t listen to punk rock though.
What would you say to prevent an upcoming artist from making the same mistakes you have made?
Don’t think that everything is going to come easy, you have to work hard and accept that there will be obstacles in the way. Life is an obstacle course and you have to go through it because there’s no way around it. Don’t create what you think everyone else will like, make what you like. You’ll be surprised that people are into what you’re into, so trust yourself and know not everyone’s meant to like you or your work and that’s okay. I’m still practicing these myself.
What obstacles have you faced as a Black Artist/Business Owner? How did you overcome them?
Several, I took a leap and left a group with a buzz to do my own thing. I did a concert with my own money and had it end with my best friend getting robbed at gunpoint. I’m still young so I’m stuck between going to school or only focusing on music and my parents are not down for the second choice. I think one of the biggest obstacles is being in my own way of my success because I’m insecure about myself, my craft, and what the future holds. I’m still overcoming all these things. I hold my faith in God and the Universe. Trust everything is going to be awesome. Just can’t give up.