Q & A Session With R&B Vocalist Kizzo
Charles ‘Kizzo’ Kizzee is a life-long music maker and entertainer with an extensive body of work. He has contributed to various r&b, hip hop, southern soul, theatre, short series and visual projects. Beginning his fine arts career in high school, Kizzo discovered he had a talent for songwriting, vocal arranging and organizing live performances. Kizzo attended the Art Institute of Houston where he further refined his skill set and obtained a degree in Music and Video business. Following his collegiate career at the Art Institute, Kizzo formed a bond with producer Christopher “Christyle Trakz” Spivey, and the two have a relationship that continues to this day. In addition to his solo artistry, Kizzo has been instrumental in the careers of others, such as long time friend and ZBT Award winner Marcell Cassanova, as a result of his work and contributions as an independent A&R. Kizzo has also collaborated with the likes of Billy Cook, Sean ‘Solo’ Jemison, Archie Bell (of Archie Bell & The Drells), and Choppa Law & the Above the Law Band. He continues to work on projects both for himself and others. Kizzo’s music and material is available across all streaming platforms.
*Stream Kizzo’s Feat. Single ‘Show Goes on 3.0 (The Floater)’ At The Links Below:
*You Can Also Listen, Like, Comment, Share Kizzo At The Links Below!*
Where are you from?:
Kizzo: I am from Huntsville, TX. That’s in between Houston and Dallas.
How long have you been making music?:
Kizzo: I’ve been into music since high school. I was in a group with a few friends, plus I was in the high school varsity choir. So was in it from two different vantage points.
How many songs /albums have you released to date?:
Kizzo: I have 21 releases as a solo artist (a combination of albums, singles, eps and collection projects).
I also have 6 collaborative projects (group or compilation)
Then I have worked on other projects as a songwriter, producer or featured artist, executive producer or whatever I need to be.
Can you tell us about your latest release and the background/inspirations behind it?:
Kizzo: The latest release is Show Goes On 3.0 (The Floater). It released on May 30th this year. The inspiration for the project was kind of a nexus point. There were various things going on in my life simultaneously, and I felt a project would serve as a time stamp for it. I wasn’t currently working or focused on music at that point in time, but was more interested in other forms of media. I was also really just wanting to get into shorts, series and story telling. So my approach was to take what I knew how to do and present it in a way that may be able to set me up to transition into some other things. The Show Goes On franchise was my avenue to experiment and try to create those lanes. When you hear project, hopefully you can envision some type of story that can accompany it.
How have you ended up in the music industry?:
Kizzo: Back when I got a sense that the group I was in during high school had any real potential, I had a goal to put myself in position to get us a real shot. I attended The Art Institute to study music and video business, in hopes to give us some credibility and insight on the industry. That particular group didn’t work, but I kept the same mentality with each venture and circle I entered. At this stage, it ended up being thing that really preserved me on this journey. Learning the business side early on game me the ability to always be able to learn the next thing. The artistry was always secondary to being able to setup situations down the line.
What do you think of the music industry within the last year? :
Kizzo: From and independent standpoint, on the surface it seems like there isn’t much substance. There’s not really anything tangible to collect or cling to as a fan. However, you can get more from you favorite artists, and even discover new artists more frequently. As a creative, the exposure and visibility is nice, but it’s also saturated. The ability to control your content is there, but the attention to the material is short lived. So there are pros and cons, as with anything else. I can’t really speak on a major scale, other than maybe the fact that a lot of artist are really trying their hand at other things and seemingly moving away from the music when possible. That could just be my blurred vision though.
Who do you think was your most influential artist? :
Kizzo: There were a few. I think Michael Jackson had an impact on almost everyone. Going further though, I would say Bobby Brown and BBD were up there for me. Babyface and Teddy Riley are right up there. Now there’s a long list I could give you, but if you started with those in terms of presentations, style, merging genres, songwriting, producing, delivery and all that, I’ll be ok sticking with those for now.
Who have you collaborated with so far in your career?:
Kizzo: Most of my collaborations come from the circle I’m in. I focused more on giving them everything I have to help elevate the unit. There are a few branch outs, mainly on the Houston scene. I’ve gotten with soul legend Archie Bell (of Archie Bell & The Drells), houston veteran producer Sean ‘Solo’ Jemison, RnB vocalist Billy Cook and then there’s Choppa Law & the Above the Law Band. Those all may not be globally recognized names, but they definitely wield the talent and body of work that they should be.
How do you think you differ from other artists?:
Kizzo: I have always had a struggle to really fit in on the artist scene, especially in my circles and areas. Like I said earlier, those influences I names had an influence in how I approached things. The main idea was to be exactly who I was in the moment. When you in a small area that dominated by a certain sound or style and units you work with are following that trend, you really stick out like a sore thumb. Sometimes, just to keep things simple you consider just blending in, but that won’t look or feel natural at all, to the viewers and listers or yourself. I may differ simply because even though I haven’t reach the levels of other artists, I’m completely comfortable with what I bring to the table regardless of. At the end of the day, I’m comfortable with the body of work.
Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?:
Kizzo: I honestly feel that there are collaborations and projects within my own network that need to be done, or at least done properly. On a larger scale, for legacy, I would say if I could get a song or two that was written and produced by myself and Christyle Trakz to New Edition or any branch of that entity, I would be content.
What was the first album you bought?:
Kizzo: The first albums I bought (at the same time) were Bobby Brown- Don’t Be Cruel, Keith Sweat- Make It Last Forever and Al B. Sure-In Effect Mode. That kind of lets you know how far back I’ve been studying and developing this brand.
What’s your favorite song at the moment?:
Kizzo: I don’t really have one to be honest. I do enjoy the theme music from movies and shows, Avengers, Madalorian, Book of Boba Fett, things on that vibe.
If you had to sell your music collection tomorrow, what album would you leave in your draw?:
Kizzo: I’ve actually thought about this. I may have to hold on to this latest one. This project was one that I tried really hard to include and implement my family. I had my daughters in on some of the skits and visual ideas. I was showing one what mixing a song looked like. My mom paints, so I wanted to incorporate on of her paintings in one visual. My brothers producer majority of the album. I let them sit in and listen to it before releasing. I wanted them to know that if this was my final one, this was “our” project. There are still more elements that I want to attach to it, and that will be family oriented as well. So yeah, this would be the one.
What is your favorite saying?:
Kizzo: There are way too many to single out. There are a few things that stand out from my dad and granddad, but I’ll keep those to myself. When I was younger, I used to attend church with my grandmother. The pastor would always say “There are no big I’s and little You’s over here, everybody is somebody”. I always liked that one.
What other hobbies or interests do you have?:
Kizzo: I’m into movies, video games and playing basketball (more like shoot arounds lately). As as family, we do a lot of painting, drawing, things like that. Besides that, it’s pretty much anything else I can do with my daughters.
Tell us more about your upcoming project or this new project?:
Kizzo: Well this project allowed me to take the cap off of the jar. There was a point in time where I was focusing on the type of music I felt I should be doing for a certain audience or period in time. Also, I was writing for other artists and trying to provide them with what would be considered a single for their movement and campaign. While on a break from everything, I was mentally and emotionally experiencing so many things but didn’t really have an outlet. So coupling that with the fact that there were other moment and memories that I wanted to commemorate during this same space in time, I wanted to be as true and authentic as I could be within my own artistry. The previous SGO projects were always about being as different as I could, or not containing anything. That’s why I chose to finally do a part 3. I wanted 3 producers on it, so one was definitely going to be my friend (basically brother) Christyle Trakz. It was too special to not include him. Then my brother who I had been helping with various things started producing and I felt this would be a good way to give him something to hang his hat on. Little did I know, he would almost become the driving force for the sound. His concepts really pushed me and brought me back to the mindset of leaving it all on the table. So I went into this one saying I would pull any punches. So whether rnb, hip hop, soul, scores, skits, tracks, or whatever, if I thought of it I tried to incorporate it. This was also the first full project that I mixed and mastered myself. That wasn’t by design, but it was for something that I needed. After it was done I felt I didn’t have anything left to give, at least from the audio side, and that’s the way I wanted it. From there it was, and to a certain degree still is, about the visuals I can add to compliment it.
What’s in the pipeline after this project?:
Kizzo: I really want to focus on my complete catalog and body of work. I’d like to get into licensing, not just for my content but those artist who’s content I feel I could manage also. I want to get into the short films, series and other visuals , especially knowing that if nothing else, I have the musical content to pull from to enhance it. I’d also like to get into the other forms of media, books, comics etc.
*Thank you for your time and may you carry on making great, fresh music.:
Kizzo: I really appreciate the platform and being offered the chance to converse and connect. I always enjoy reading and hearing from other perspectives, so hopefully I’ve given something here that someone can read, enjoy and take from as well.
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