Kannon is an easy going businessman cum artiste.
Hi, Kannon! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How are you coping with the lockdown?
Hey guys, my name is Ademola Adegbite, also known as Kannon. I am an independent Artist and Record Producer who started professionally in 2015 after participating in the maiden edition of The Sarz Academy. Since then I have been blessed to collaborate with the likes of Meji, Jackmillz, Mo’Believe, WeTalkSound, and more. I also released my debut project in 2019 called “The Walk Through” which debuted on Okayafrica and also got the opportunity to have a music video from the project feature on Beat 99.9FM’s platform “The PGM Club”.
Currently I am collaborating with a number of my peers, learning new business skills, working on my next release and restructuring my company “Novus” because of the current pandemic/lockdown. The lockdown has been difficult but I’ve had family and fellow creatives help motivate me by their words and work ethic, I am really optimistic for how this year will turn out for me and I am hoping God will guide and preserve us in this difficult time.
What was growing up like for you?
I grew up in Ogun State during my formative years. I had a decent childhood, loving parents, and close siblings although I never really left the house so I guess that was what sparked the whole creativity thing. It all started with drawing in primary school and then rapping in secondary school. We would rap in class while beating tables (I’m sure most people did this). Then one day, I dropped one fire freestyle like that (haha boss) and a classmate of mine told me to consider being a rapper, the guy might not even remember but his name is “DJ Baj” now and he works with Studio Magic in the UK last I remember. So yeah, my childhood was pretty average with boarding house bullying like most people but it was fun still.
What kind of music did you listen to, growing up?
I First fell in love with rap music, there was just something so technical and creative about it. Building a rap verse sometimes is like creating a physical object, I know writing other kinds of music is deep too but it just feels like with a rap verse it has so many elements, I just can’t explain it sometimes. My first memory of a rap song even if I had probably heard others was “Notorious B.I.G by Biggie Smalls”, my dad had this deck and used to blast old skool mixes but I REALLY fell in love with rap when 50 Cent blew up. Everything about 50 Cent was too mad back in primary/secondary school and I used to memorize his lyrics, which led me to writing my own bars.
Did your early music experiences influence you to start creating music?
Yes, like I described earlier 50 Cent’s lyrics inspired my writing. This was the time we were all obsessed with artists’ lyrics so I helped my elder sister write down 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” lyrics and memorized it unknowingly, I used this to impress my friends in primary school haha. Not too long after that experience, I started creating my own verses where I tried boom-bap style flows, regular club hip hop, and even grime lowkey when a friend of mine introduced me to JME, Wiley, and Skepta in secondary school.
When did you start creating music? When did you start pursuing it professionally?
I started creating music after High school which was 2010, I knew I wanted to rap so I got FL Studio from a friend and started dropping bars with a laptop microphone and some downloaded beats of songs that were out already. I kind of knew I wanted to take it to the professional stage but never knew how I could get discovered. I met fellow musicians in uni and tried to collab as much as possible while balancing an engineering degree (sigh), but in 2015 after doing an internship at an organization I just felt nothing else was for me except music. Not that I totally feel like that now because I could still work in an organization but it let me know that was not all I wanted to do, I had to chase music.
Who & what inspires you to make music now?
My main inspiration should be Kanye, he does everything and even if he gets wild sometimes I believe in his message of self-confidence and esteem. The thing about this business is you are sort of trying to be liked all the time because that’s how you gain fans but not everyone will like you and that’s okay. So Kanye has exceptional talent but he also preaches that message, a message of believing in yourself even if nobody else does, I feel he is very misunderstood because of his approach but the real ones get it and can forgive him sometimes lol. I am also a big fan of J. Cole, MI Abaga, Fela, Masterkraft, Wizkid, Pharrell, Timberland, Don Jazzy, and Dre, their sound and business success really inspire me. Many artists inspire me, even my peers so I could go on and on.
Do you play any musical instruments? Can you produce and engineer yourself?
I only understand the basics of music theory and the piano, I am an otu at live instruments, sorry. I produce and engineer my work also.
When you create, what’s your process like? What are some things you do to get into the zone to create?
Light a J? Lol, but for real though, I work like a robot sometimes and I don’t care about how I am feeling I just get stuff done because I know this is a business. But then, it doesn’t mean I am not “feeling” the music, I just believe in efficiency and I can always come back to it so I can make adjustments. Inspiration comes from anything, even movies so I always use my phone recorder to record myself beatboxing or to record what I hear on the street or on TV.
Do you make music for yourself or does your audience influence your direction?
I mainly make music for myself because I am trying to attract those who will like me not just everybody. But then, I know this is a business so certain things can be intentional, it just depends on how I feel, the audience I am trying to reach at a certain point in time and the direction I am taking my business. Many factors are usually considered.
Have you ever performed on stage? How did it feel?
I have performed on stage several times and they always go well, doesn’t mean I haven’t messed up before but I learn each time. It feels great sharing that energy with people, it is always exciting, to be honest. Mahn, God bless music sha.
How is support from your family regarding your music?
My family members have always supported me. They love my work ethic. They made sure I got my degree and always keep me on my toes, I know they don’t owe me anything so I have always tried to be as self-sufficient as possible but they are always there for me.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career as an emerging artist?
The most challenging aspect has been dealing with people, people always come with bullshit and I am not the most social person. But I am learning to love different characters even if some of them can be unbearable sometimes haha. But I always try to love and forgive because as I have gotten older, I have learned to empathize with people more.
Will you rather be independent or sign to a record label right now? Why?
I would rather stay independent for now and possibly have business partnerships, my main reason is that I want to learn as much about entrepreneurship as possible and even if people don’t say it enough, being an independent musician/producer is as “entrepreneurship” as it gets. But aye, this is just my opinion, I also wouldn’t mind signing a deal if it is really good for me long term and I share similar values with the label.
What have you learnt the most so far in your music and life journey?
Knowledge is king.
Many artists have distinctive visual brands. What would you say is your fashion style? Do you have a stylist?
No, I do not have a stylist and my style is more of an urban vibe. Although I switch up my style depending on the visual experience I am trying to project or the mood I am in. I am always growing so my brand image and style do the same, so if you see me wearing some crazy fit just know something wild is going on with me and that story will be told through my content.
How frequently do you release music? What influences your decision on when to drop music?
I am not only a musician, but I am also a little businessman, so I don’t put out content like I would like to. But I always try to be as consistent as possible so I make sure I have multiple releases every year. I am currently working on my next single which will unlock a new phase for my brand and I also have a project out and a video for a song called “Face” which dropped this year. As a featured artist, producer, and engineer I have several collaborations that have been released this year, they are all on my social media, and my releases are mostly influenced by my mood, audience, and brand direction.
Any projects coming soon?
My last project mostly dealt with me experimenting with Afro-hip Hop sounds, my college experiences, after college experiences, and emotions related to the last two. The aim was to put the listener within my mind but for a short time, that is why I called it “The Walk Through”.
If given the chance, would you: Reinvent the wheel or build a new chariot?
Omo this question, I would do both, to be honest. I can’t deny things that work so I will always try to implement what works but I will also experiment if I don’t experiment I might go mad.
What’s the goal for you? What would a successful career for you look like?
Happiness to be honest, as I grow I start to find out more of the things that make me happy. I am already full time into music but doing this for decades will not be a bad idea as long as I am happy. If I don’t remain happy and I find something else that will do that I will leave music in a heartbeat. Happiness is number one for me.
Would you take a 9 to 5 job to supplement your income – do you currently have a job – or do you do music full-time?
I do music full time right now because I have created multiple streams of income for myself, it might not be so mad right now but it works and I am still growing, I am a pretty patient guy so I am not so worried I know everything will work out for the best. I will take a 9 to 5 if it will still allow me to create music and if the pay and work experience is dope, it all depends on the job and certain factors that will work for me. I am never against change as long as it benefits me and keeps my mental health on point.
Where can people reach you on all platforms?
They can contact me on Instagram and Twitter via @kannonofficial for both sites and via email using this address: firstname.lastname@example.org