Listening To… Loner Kay

What has Malik Allen been listening to? This article we dive into the world of Loner Kay in this interview with New York based rapper.

In a world where saturation is now normal, and trying to make it through the distractions to find what you truly enjoy is a challenge, the people that bring new talent to life will always prevail. 

Thanks to Blaze Review I now have a platform to share artists that resonate with me. I want to give details of their process, their mind and how they became them. 

The first artist I want to share who I’ve been listening to is Loner Kay. 

How old are you?

Malik Allen : One thing that is consistent in music is people start music at all ages. How old are you and how long have you been doing music? 

Loner Kay : “ I will be 22 on June 23rd, and I feel like I’ve been around it (music) my whole life so I’ve always been influenced by it subconsciously but I did not start taking myself seriously until I was 15/16 that’s when I recorded my first real song.” 

On my Instagram I make it a point to follow a lot of artists that appear to be busy, it’s only right. “Loner” (Loner Kay) caught my attention with a post promoting his album “Thoughts from the Bottom”. It was perfect timing because I was bored on Instagram looking for something! 

What do you like most about social media?

M.A. : Social media was actually how I discovered you. What do you like most about social media and sharing your music around the world?

L.K. : “I have a love/hate relationship with the media to be honest but I appreciate how small it made the world feel in a sense, because of the internet and how fast information travels. Also just being able to connect with people who walk different lives and have a glance at their perception of the world is humbling. Makes me want to tell my own story more because somebody somewhere can resonate with it because we all share emotions on some human shit.”

This 17 song, 36 minute project was something I was not expecting to stumble upon. Lyrics like “These my thoughts from the bottom, new sounds for the ones that’s forgotten” throws you into the mind of an artist that knows his story and journey is bigger than himself. Personally I am not the biggest fan of longer albums, because the story gets swayed and the topics are all over the place. For this album, that is not the case.

My favorite song that sort of summed up my first experience of Loner Kay was “Eternal Sunset” the last song of “Thoughts from the Bottom”. Where he raps over a popular slow sample and drum pattern. The word play, the care, the topics, I was hooked. This wasn’t your normal, I want a lot of people to like my music, it had a lot more depth to it. I felt like I was in his personal diary, or even deeper, his everyday thoughts.

What does thoughts from the bottom mean to you?

M.A. : What does thoughts from the bottom mean to you? It just felt like there was a lot of meaning behind it. What’s your favorite track and why? 

L.K. : “I appreciate you asking that, the title just comes from where I was at. It felt like the ultimate feeling of sinking and hitting rock bottom. I wasn’t going to drop it at first but one of my homies Malc really pushed me to make it happen because most of the tracks were songs that didn’t make the cut from my other projects. I just re-mixed them to the best of my ability. So it’s more of a comp (compilation) of lost songs that fit perfectly where I was mentally. (My) favorite track would have to be Summer Blu just because of how it basically wrote itself once I heard the beat. It’s like the words just poured through, it was a much needed reflection of self.” 

What does your creative process look like?

M.A. : I love hearing artists creative process, what does your creative process look like when you are creating? 

L.K. : “I feel like in the start of it all I used to second guess myself a lot trying to be a perfectionist. But as of recently I just go in with the intention of letting off how I feel in that moment kind of like the song is a snapshot of where I was in that moment in time. I try to be as raw and unfiltered with that expression because I feel it adds to the art and for the listeners I feel it’s fair because I know I gave all of myself into the work. Then making a project is just me collecting all those snapshots and listening back to see the subscious connection that all the songs have, so it makes sense to put them together. Sometimes it’s conceptual but most times I like to leave it up to the listeners to connect the dots or not. Overall a lot of time spent sitting with myself and really trying to express my honest self in the moment without holding back. And I don’t really have a team, it’s just me. Once I feel I got something I send it to a few homies for their opinion to get an outside look in.” 

Exactly almost a year later, I almost forgot about Loner Kay. I saw him promote songs here and there and tease new videos, but as I said before I enjoyed projects from him. April 22nd Loner Kay released, in my book his best project to date the 11 song project titled “Void Walker”. 

What was your favorite song from “Void Walker”?

M.A. : I have a few favorites but what was your favorite song from “Void Walker”? Why?

L.K. : “Crunch Time or Off Balance, I feel those fit overall what I wanted the project to feel/ sound like plus I felt like those songs you can feel the most emotion out of. I don’t often listen to my music after I drop it but I still run those daily, visuals dropping soon!” 

The album was teased with a snippet of a song titled “What A Day” and what an experience. The catchy chorus hooks you with the song title “what a day, what a day”. This simple hook was in my head for days because it wasn’t fluffy, it wasn’t pop, it wasn’t a radio hit, it was real and natural. I pictured this song playing after a long day of bull, and things going wrong that are out of your control. He confirmed that with the verse in the song once it was released saying “I still can’t feel nothing, I feel my skin numbing” to me saying whatever happened, it’s cool, I’m still here, and I’m moving forward regardless of my journey so far.

What A Day Visual

“Void Walker” continues with this mindset of keep pushing, my time is on the way, but life still sucks and that’s okay. It’s not meant to be perfect, because these struggles are what make us. 

Loner Kay’s style is very unique compared to your well known record label artists. He doesn’t worry about flashy engineering, expensive content and making music meant for a large number of people. Listening takes you into his world only he could describe to you, and you feel that. Especially in a world where most things are fake and not what they seem. 

Where do you claim as home?

M.A. : I know the style I hear in your music but I still wanted to ask where do you claim as home? Does anybody locally inspire you? 

L.K. : “Born and raised in Rochester, NY, North East side to be specific but I’m hella inspired by my city because I feel we (are) so overlooked and it’s so much talent here it’s only a matter of time before the world catches on for real. But I don’t get much inspiration as far as making music (from) a couple artists outside of the homies, Mf skum, and Negus Irap. I been tapped in with their art (for awhile) and seeing their growth helped motivate me a lot seeing people from your circumstances still make waves and remind you nothing is impossible, so yeah shout out the 585.”  

My very first listen of Loner Kay I sort of got New York vibes, and comes to find out I seen on one of his posts, the location tagged Rochester, New York. I’m from Ohio so I’m not familiar with anything outside of the popular cities of New York but I could plug Loner directly into that early 2000s era of Pro Era with Joey Bada$$ and no one would question it. That raw story telling hunger and rap music only the youth of New York could tell. 

IKARUS off the album “VOID WALKER”  is also character in Greek mythology

Who inspires you period?

M.A. : Outside of those locally, who inspires you period?

L.K. : To be honest I couldn’t just say one person or even just name a few. I feel everything I’m faced with when I wake up and even my dreams (inspire me) because we can learn from things we encounter everyday. Not only just music but just being inspired by conversations, or even by forces of nature. Not to get deep but being observant is very useful.”

Who do you sound like? 

M.A. : Has anyone ever told you who you sound like? Every song I hear from you it changes! East coast is where I’m mainly thinking though.

L.K. : “Yeah I be hearing a lot of different names, it usually depends what song they hear from me because I feel (like) I don’t stick to one style. You can say I like to mix everything I like to listen to through my art but i’ve gotten, Earl Sweatshirt, J. Cole, Akai Solo, Mavi, curren$y, Joey Bada$$, and I appreciate all of them so it’s dope to even be compared to talented artists.”

How’s the process going for any of your upcoming work?

M.A. : How’s the process going for any of your upcoming work? Anything we would be excited for?

L.K. : “I’m in the midst of working on my first official album. I’m trying to put all the love and care into it before I share it with the world. It’s going to be titled “Ghost Of A Star” the last two projects “Void Walker” and “Star Tactics” are kind of like a prelude to the album to bring people into the world I’m trying to create figuratively. I’d say I’m about 60% done just missing a few elements but expect that 2021. Also (I’m) working on rolling out a lot of visuals this summer so expect a flood of content soon with a few pop up shows in Rochester as well as NYC just in the process of making sure everything is how we want before we drop the dates.

If you are a fan of any genre or sub genre of music (especially of the artists mentioned) I hope I have convinced you to dive into the world of Loner Kay, the New York based rapper with a very promising path ahead of him in Hip Hop music. The internet has allowed us to discover, be inspired and consume art of all different types. The artists that Loner Kay mentioned were exactly who I was thinking. What all those artists have in common is never biting their tongue on showing their real self over unorthodox instrumentals with creative rhyme schemes. Here’s to real art, undiscovered talent, and the beauty of stories told by people around the world.  

Follow Loner Kay on Instagram (loner.kay) and Twitter (@loner_kay)