Get To Know Katozai [Interview]

Ian Hansen

Toronto based artist Katozai is one of the most consistent new artists in hip hop right now and is making new waves with his self-produced plugg-inspired sound. Katozai does it differently, and that is his motto — making music that nobody can replicate. His growing catalog continues to impress me with each release and learning more about his process was a treat in itself. Get to know Katozai below:

So you just released “substance music.” Take me through that project and what makes it special. What makes it stand out?

Basically, a lot of the songs were made at the end of last year. During that time, I was very experimental compared to my tapes before. For this tape, I was trying a bunch of different things at the same time. I had all the beats sound different. The whole tape was produced by me. I had some snippets of other types of songs I was making at the time that I hadn't released yet. So I was like, “Let me just throw them on there.”

What do you use to make beats on?

I use FL Studio.

What are your favorite VSTs and synths?

My favorite one right now is Purity. It used to be Xpand, but Purity is amazing. I want to get Omnisphere. I have heard a lot of good things about Omnisphere. Definitely Purity for the leads.

You are one of the most consistent new artists right now. How important has that been to your improvement as an artist and your come up?

I feel like it is very important. I can literally see the numbers if we want to just look at that and put everything aside. Keeping your viewers and listener engaged is everything. Until you are like a solidified huge artist, it is something everyone should take into account. I don’t really have an online persona for my career. A lot of people try to portray an image for their careers so they don’t drop. Me, I am just me. I make music for the art and fun aspect. Everything happening now is just coming with it. It is very important to be consistent. I have seen more progress.

What got you into making music in the first place?

I have always wanted to. I have videos of me freestyling for years now on all of my devices. I have been wanting to do it, but I was either nervous, or I didn’t have the tools to do it. I would only have my tablet or my phone. Once I got older and had my gaming setup, I started with that. Around quarantine in 2020, I was at home all the time. I thought it was the best time to start so I might as well make it a career.

How has growing up in Toronto inspired your sound or who you are as an artist?

I literally grew up listening to the late 2000s and early 2010s era. That is all I used to listen to growing up. When you are living in the city where all of these Toronto artists are blowing up, and it was during the timeframe of what I was listening to is crazy. I have been listening to Drake since Kindergarten.

What other artists inspired your sound?

As of right now, nobody. I don’t really take inspiration from anybody’s music. Coming up, I used to like Tecca a lot. That is how I really found out about plugg and all of that because he was tapped in with the underground scene. I knew here and there about the underground scene but not too much. I was really more hip to the old scene. There was a period of time where I wasn’t listening to too much and then I started listening to Tecca a lot.

How did you develop your unique sound to what it is now? It has that plugg influence with a different spin.

I would say it is because of the producing I do now. If I didn’t produce, I would still probably be into the older stuff. Learning how to produce gave me an upper hand with mixing and all of those other things. I mix my music completely through FL Studio. A lot of artists have shifted to presets. They don’t really know how to use it. They put it down, press record, and move stuff and call it a day. When you actually have to be in there mixing, it is better because it helps you develop skill. That is what helped me move my sound.

How important is the aesthetic and look of your videos? How much creative direction do you have with those?

It has been more of a recent thing. I didn’t think too much of it before. I was just grateful to have a video. Now, I have been trying to make them a lot smoother. I want it to revolve around what I do and what I have made and this image of myself. I am not really trying to portray any type of image but more so express how I feel. Moving forward and how I have been going about it now, is with directors. I like to be there in the process of them putting the videos together or sometimes they will let me put it together. You have to put as much into it as your songs since it's a representation of your song.  

What is the plan for 2023? What are your goals, and what can people look forward to?

Going up. That is the main goal. I feel like I am doing it through strategy. I am working with a lot of good people right now. A lot of shows are coming soon. I want to travel more. I am trying to do a tape a month and drop like 200 songs this year.

What will be your legacy when it is all said and done? How do you want to be remembered?

I want to have my own thing. I don’t want to have a career that is like anybody else’s career. I don’t want to be in anyone’s shadow or any of that. I want people to remember me for me and my music. Not because I remind them of someone. I want to have uniqueness.

What hobbies do you have outside of music?

I am still in high school so I will go hoop at the park, chill with my friends, and play the game too. Regular stuff.

What games have you been playing?

UFC career mode on hard mode.

Copy Link

Related Articles