The North Carolina-based producer/engineer, Kuratii takes us through the excitement of a late-night studio session with her latest music video entitled "120AM."
Inspired by acts like Barry White, Pharrell, Timbaland, and Kanye West, Kuratii brings the same tenacious attitude and resilient mindset as her influences. Beginning her solo music venture while studying at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, led Kuratii deep into her ever-evolving craft with two albums currently out on all streaming platforms.
Kuratii recently released a heated production with her latest single, "120AM," featuring hip-hop artist Kaya Strykes. While taking listeners through her experience in the studio with a moody music video. Viewers are able to catch Kaya Strykes in her prime as she melts our speakers with a powerful and groovy performance, spliff in hand.
Hitting play on the music video for "120AM," the scene opens with Kuratii and her friends parked outside the store getting some snacks for their late-night studio session. As her friends hop out, Kaya Strykes hangs back in the car while formulating her bars over top of the song's smooth and groovy hip-hop beat.
As they make their way into the studio, Kaya Strykes jumps in the booth with her lit-up spliff while delivering the utmost rhythmic, dominant, and powerful bars. We're more than impressed with her articulation, charisma, and vocal delivery, as it truly sets her apart from other female hip-hop acts. With additional scenes of Kuratii's friends grooving away to her track, the entire atmosphere shifts into this exciting and playful experience that's bound to lift anyone's spirits.
Catch Kuratii & Kaya Strykes in the studio with a dominant freestyle in "120AM," and find the music video on YouTube.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Kuratii. We love the entire vibe and hard-working approach you've taken with your recent music video for "120AM." What inspired you to take us to the studio for a late-night session with this music video?
My music videos are really just an extension of the stories told in the songs I create with artists. With that in mind, I wanted to express that same idea with the music video for "120am." It's funny because I named the beat "120AM" because that was probably the time I went to sleep after making it. The name reflects my work ethic and it matched the actual song so we kept that title. I wanted the video to be fun without any real preparation, so in a way, this video was shot to celebrate the hard work we put in all month working on my album "Perfect Timing." I wanted to take a break from the serious conceptual stories I tell in my videos, and I wanted to show everyone that we work but we enjoy what we do. That footage is raw and nobody knew that the studio had no air conditioning whatsoever. A true testament of us working hard despite our circumstances; this video is my favorite because of that. Everyone sees the beauty of the product but they have NO IDEA of the struggles we endured along the way. This was also the weekend we shot the video for "A Moment," which is completely conceptualized and tells a whole story in itself once you listen to the song and watch the video.
Regarding the single itself, who produced the groovy and bouncy production for "120AM?" Did you produce this song yourself, or did you collaborate with any outside forces?
I produced this song myself. Most times any song with my name on it I produced. Probably recorded the song too. I actually produced and recorded "120am" in my home studio. I rarely collaborate with producers. I can count on 1 hand the number of producers I've worked with. This music industry is funny and I go where I feel welcomed. I'm an introvert too so for me it's best I just get the job done myself. The few producers I have worked with match my work ethic and that's why I am so selective with who I work with. I'm blessed to have such talented people around me. Some of my best beats are beats I have collaborated on. Those beats are sitting in the vault just waiting for the right artist. Currently, I only have wot songs that I've produced with other producers that are actually on streaming platforms right now. Anything else just hasn't found the right artist.
Could you take us through your thought process and approach when freestyling your single, "120AM"? How are you able to think on your feet and create such rhythmic and conceptual bars in an instant?
This is a great question and I think this is also the perfect time to address this. Most people believe I am an artist but I am 100% the producer in this instant. I have been mistaken as the "rapper" so many times but I want people to see me as Metro Boomin. The artist behind the beats and not so much the lyrics. Lately, I've been trying to channel my inner Pharrell and Timbaland. I have been working towards actually being "heard" on these songs rather than the brains behind the instrumental. My hands are everywhere during the creative development of my songs however in most cases I am just the producer. The only song you'll hear any vocals from me is "Trance" off my album "Perfect Timing". "Trance" was actually the first time I ever did a reference track which turned out to be the final vocals once everybody heard what I did on the song. Everybody was so impressed with how I executed the reference track that nobody wanted me to take my vocals off. That really meant a lot to me considering I have always seen myself as more than a producer. It gave me the confidence to actually try writing. Pharrell and Timbaland are to thank for that. The more I engineer, the more I can manipulate and disguise my voice. So in the near future, you will hear more from me as a vocal artist. Now that I've explained that I want to touch a little on the actual artist, Kaya Strykes. This freestyle happened after sitting in a studio with Kaya one day. I played her the beat and she kinda just sat with it for a while. About 20 minutes later she basically said "fuck it! I'm just going to say what I feel." That's exactly what she did. We all were going through a transitioning period within our music careers and with that comes a lot of emotion. So I felt it was the best time for her to talk her shit. She's a new artist with a lot of potentials and I think it was really dope I got to capture her within that creative realm. That place between hunger and patience.
Is "120AM" your first freestyle that you've released? Might you delve into more exciting and feel-good freestyles in the future? "120am" is the first freestyle I have ever released with an artist. This is something I would like to do more of for the simple fact that I don't see many people doing freestyles on unreleased beats but at the same time, everyone is doing the same thing right now. What I mean is most people drop freestyles as quick content with the idea of going viral and I always think to myself "why are artists not doing more freestyles on beats that are NOT already used?". I guess that would be a regular song right? I see freestyles as a way to really showcase how great of an artist you really are so why do that on a beat an artist has already used?
Personally, I am tired of the whole "freestyle for clout" wave and I believe if more artists used that same idea and energy for a song with a beat that is not already mainstream then that is what will set them apart, to that is creating. Constantly hearing different people on the same beat doesn't seem challenging to me but then again I don't rap, what do I know.