|Photo by Nick Bulanda|
Chicago's Psalm One forged a relationship with the Minneapolis rap scene upon signing to Rhymesayers in 2006, and has held a following and a connection ever since. Her latest work is as alter-ego Hologram Kizzie, who just dropped an album entitled Hug Life.
Gimme Noise spoke to her ahead of her set at the final Best Love Is Free this Saturday at First Avenue and 7th St Entry.
Tell me about your new Hologram Kizzie album. What inspired the new moniker?
Actually, Kizzie was my name before it was Psalm. Like most rappers who came up in the '90s, you had more than one name. There are people out there in some circles who actually know me as Kizzie. You can go back to my earlier work and hear me reference myself as Kizzie. It's really kind of looking to past, when making music was simpler to me mentally, and also looking to the future; that's where the "Hologram" comes in. For me, Hologram Kizzie is the wife of Hologram 2Pac. It makes me giggle.
How is this work different from stuff you've worked on in the past?
I just went with what I liked, not really worrying about if it fits certain molds. It just had to feel sonically sensical to me. There's a freedom in that. Half the songs were songs that Rhymesayers kind of didn't take to as far as sound, and half the songs are a bridge from music I introduced last year on my Free Hugs EP
. It's just a bunch of tunes that I didn't want to abandon them in away. It's me embracing some of the best music I think I've ever made, and putting it out there, and not worrying about my associations, just worrying about making the best album I feel I can make.
What made you want to take a more melodic direction with newer material?
I guess for me, coming into my own sound and understanding the kind of stuff I dig the most. Also, having a band. I started playing with live musicians last year, so being the front woman of a band helped me tune my melodic self a little bit more. I always had melodic music, but singing along was never something I was completely comfortable with. As my voice has gotten stronger and I've grown in this artistry, it's given me the ability to not be scared to do it. It's given me the confidence to go ahead and do it. I'm not a singer, but I think I have a unique voice. Some of the stuff sounds pretty cool when I do it.
There's a number of Minneapolis producers on the album. How did you choose who you wanted to work with?
It's just me having a relationship with Minneapolis. Since being signed to Rhymesayers in '06, I've come to know and love some of these cats. Lazerbeak I've known for a while, P.O.S. I've known for a really long time, Nate Collis who used to play in Atmosphere, me and him are super good friends. Also, Brandon Allday, he did a remix for me couple years back, the "Better Than My Last" remix
. For me, it was just an organic placement of these songs that I already had collected. P.O.S. came in towards the end, and he liked the song ["What A Movie"] I was doing with GodDoG, he just wanted to add some stuff to it. It was real organic, real easy. I didn't really pick them. I had these songs just kind of living my life. Putting this album together is a really a testament to the music I've been making over the years, and putting it into a cohesive project.
How did you get involved with the Best Love Is Free lineup?
I'm cool with Botzy, Sean Anonymous, all the GRRRL PRTY ladies; I'm just cool with them, so when I want to play in Minneapolis I reach out those cats and see what's possible. Upon reaching out for this Hug Life
release, making sure I play it in Minneapolis, they basically offered me this show at the Entry. Of course I was down, it's a great lineup
. I'm looking forward to playing this new material for everybody.