Tell us about your band, including your history, where you are from and how you started?
My name is Araya Felix, I am also called Kite. I am a CEO, artist, song writer, recording engineer, manager and A&R, among other things. I was born in Trinidad and Tobago and I now live in Canada. I began freestyling and rapping at the age of 14 for the fun of it.
However, it was not until I was about age 16 or 17, that I began to take the craft seriously with my brother Makiri Felix who is my main producer and is also an artist and joint CEO of our record label. Makiri, along with my close friends at the time and I began building beats, freestyling and composing hooks on my mother’s IBM laptop with a demo version of fruity loops free styling.
My brother would build beats and together with the instrumentals we downloaded from Napster, we recorded on a demo version of cool edit pro. Not too long after we started dabbling and experimenting with these new forms of self-expressions and music, we decided to form our own independent record label.
There were not that many record labels in our country at the time so we worked hard and used some of our savings to gather the basics which were needed to record our music. We acquired the very basic in the beginning which comprised of a mini Mac/microphone/head phones /mic stand and the cables to connect the gear. Today we continue to make music and we have had several live performances in Canada.
How did you come up with the name Bascrom Kite?
The name of our company is Bascrom Entertainment. It is a one of a kind name to which we gave meaning. After we purchased the equipment we decided we needed a name, however all the names that we were coming up with were not ideal and we decided that we wanted a name which felt right and to which we could identify.
So we spent some time going back and forth with ideas until one morning my brother woke up and asked me and my friend what we thought about the name “Bascrom”.
The first question we asked his was “where did you get that name from” and “what does it mean”. He went on to explain that someone visited him in a dream and told him that anything he puts “Bascrom” on will advance and that “Bascrom” means to advance, and just like that it was settled.
We registered a company in the name of Bascrom Entertainment and we interpreted Bascrom to mean “to advance entertainment “, and the rest is history.
Do you have any recorded music available for fans?
We do have recorded music available for fans, to date we have released multiple songs and have completed several projects which are available on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, UnitedMasters TuneCore and other available digital platforms. Our most recent project to date is Bascrom Vibes Volume 1 which we released through TuneCore on more than 16 digital platforms.
My personal, individual music and projects, as Kite the artist, were released via UnitedMasters. In addition, I am one of their Select Artists and probably one of the first Trinbagonian artists to sign up with them. My recorded music can be found on YouTube, iTunes or Spotify under the name Bascrom Kite or Bascrom.
How would you describe your music?
My music, for the most part, is organic, the singles or projects I have done all come from the heart and I express my genuine feelings and/ or experiences. However, from time to time I do write commercial songs and tracks geared towards trends for radio and clubs, but this is not very often. I like to make real music which someone could listen to and identify with it and say “I have experienced that and I know how it feels”.
We are all influenced by our environment and the incidents which shape our lives in one way or another, some of which may linger with us, through my music I share some of that experience.
What makes your music stand out from the others?
What makes my music stand out the most I would say is that I have a very unique style, voice and delivery. When you hear my voice you may hear something Caribbean and also something North American, people often ask me “where I am from?”, “what is my background?” and “what type of accent is that?”.
It’s a little Canadian, a little Trinidadian, a little American with snippets of St Lucian, Jamaican and Vincentian. Most of my close friends who live here in Canada are from all over the Caribbean, I picked up the slang I liked from them over time or the ones they would use so regularly that it is now part of my vernacular.
What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to your music?
Apart from music, for the most part I am an entrepreneur and family guy. I am always happy to spend time with those I love and share company with close friends. In fact developing new ideas or coming up with new strategies to further my business and legacy is actually fun to me, I have no problem spending all day listening to documentaries about people’s life stories, cooking and educational stuff.
As far as recreation goes, I like cooking, recently is has become one of my new pastimes and working out at the gym, however since the COVID pandemic situation, I have not been able to attend the gym as I would like but I do prepare some sumptuous meals.
Name your two biggest musical influences and why?
It’s very hard for me to name the two most influential people in music, however I must say for sure Tupac has to be there and secondly I would say Jay-Z.
I liked Tupac because of his fearlessness, his confidence in himself that together with his style of rap, he gave us the regular gangster rap together with several conscious and political songs and also humanitarian songs. “Changes” and “Dear Mama” are two of my favourite songs, I will never get tired listening to them. I also admire Jay-Z because he and his team did it independently.
I remember listening to the blue print and studying Jay-Z music for guidance on how to become a CEO of an independent company and what to do and what not to do. I have always admired him and I have aspired to be someone like that in my region mainly because people in my region have no such figures to look up to on an international level.
Two of my favourite songs from Jay-Z related to the hip hop and rap genre “H to The Izzo”and “Anything”.
I definitely like and enjoy all his music and I continue to be inspired by his entrepreneur spirit.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
With respect to my song writing I can confidently say that I write all of my songs. There have been times I have sought contributions and advice from my mother Deborah Thomas-Felix and my brother Makiri Felix.
This does not mean that I do not value and I have not taken on board the opinions and ideas of other persons because I am always open to new ideas. Generally speaking, I do not have a particular genre or consistent topics which I address in my music.
I actually write and make music about things which affect me personally and I also use my music to address issues which affect all of us, whether regionally or globally.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
One of my biggest challenges is finding that creative space among the day to day bustle of life. In trying to overcome these challenges, I have a studio at home which at times I go into, shut out the world and focus solely on my craft. Another challenge is to have my music heard globally and not only confined to a Trinidad and Tobago and Canadian audience. I have marketed my music on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, UnitedMasters and TuneCore – so basically I have been promoting my music through these avenues/apps in an effort to be recognized globally.
What current projects are you working on at the moment?
The project which I am engaged in at the moment is a follow up to my last album; this project is entitled Bascrom Vibes Vol II. I am also working collaboratively on projects with various artists namely: Black Dreams of London Ontario, Canada; Young Yada of YBM of California, USA and Off-the-grid Entertainment of Trinidad and Tobago.