Exclusive Interview: Koncept Talks New Album, His Contribution To A Hit Joell Ortiz Record & More
Brown Bag All Star emcee Koncept out of Brooklyn, NY has developed a reputation for delivering solid feel good music, and you can say he’s just getting started. Before he releases his debut, 2words The Top caught up with Koncept to discuss what sets this project apart from his others and a lot more.
Below listen to Koncept tell a story he’s never shared with the public before, and after the jump check out the whole interview.
Koncept explains how he beat Joell Ortiz to one of Ortiz’s most recognizable records
Interview conducted by Julian Micahel Caldwell a.k.a. JSWISS for 2words The Top
JMC: You’re working on this album, talk about what went into it, the title. I’ll let you get into the details yourself.
Koncept: It’s titled Awaken, should have some news for it very soon. I had some offers and I think we found the right home for it now. I should be able to make an announcement about that in the next couple of days. Basically it is my debut album. I’ve put out some past projects, I put out two FreEPs that obviously I put myself into and put a lot of hard work into and I really believe in those projects. But this is really my debut, and bringing myself to life and that’s why I’m calling it Awaken. It’s also…The project is very personal, and I really let the listener into who I am and where I am in my life now and where I came from and different things that I went through etc. etc.
And yea I’ve been working on the project for two years, I’m really proud of the project. J57 helped me; he overlooked the entire project and really worked with me throughout the whole thing as well as producing the majority of it. And then also producers on it are obviously J57, the Audible Doctor, DJ Goo which is also a member of Brown Bag, and then marink and then Marco Polo. Features, there’s not many features, there’s a couple. Sene is on it, Soul Khan is on it, and then Royce Da 5’9” is on the lead single which is produced by Marco Polo, it’s titled “Watch The Sky Fall” which hopefully I’ll be able to drop very soon and y’all be able to listen to it.
JMC: That’s the one that stands out because obviously you’re with Brown Bag and you work with them a lot but that’s two people not part of the collective. How did that come together?
Koncept: Me and J  met him a couple of years back and we just talked about working and you know Royce is one of my favorite if not my favorite MC that there is. So, we just talked and hit him up to see if he wanted to do a track and he was down to do it and we made it happen. And I’m more than proud of the track. You know so glad to be able to work with someone who I feel is such a big influence on my work and someone that I look up to. And Marco, we’ve worked with Marco a couple of times, actually we did “The Agenda” with Marco and then some other things down the line that we’ve worked on as well.
JMC: Going back into the album as a whole, you went into the fact that you’ve had other projects but this is your debut album. So obviously you have a focus. Is there a particular goal with putting this out?
Koncept: You know my goal really is to be able to make music, have people listen to the music, have people enjoy the music, and obviously be successful at what I’m doing and be able to continue to do it. So really my goal with the project is really to just get to as many people as possible and hope that they enjoy it. And hopefully they’ll support it, and then come out to the shows, and support and bye merch and etc. you know, just really enjoy and love the music. That’s really what my goal is with the album.
Koncept talks about the Brooklyn Hip Hop Scene
JMC: Talking about the Brown Bag All Stars, obviously being part of that group you have a consistent group of artists and producers that you work with on a regularly basis. How is that having that group of people always there to work with versus someone that’s just hitting up people for beats all over the place?
Koncept: I feel actually, honest, the people like obviously my group Brown Bag, more than just being a group of people that make music together we are also very close and very good friends and you know I consider them family and vice versa. So just that alone is an honor.
It’s not like getting into the studio with someone that you don’t know. There can be different things, like you don’t wanna say the wrong thing to someone or you don’t know how to tell someone to change that bassline you know. Whereas working with someone I feel comfortable with because I knew them before we even became a group, everything is a lot more comfortable and overall I think that can make a better project or a better song. Because even for instance, I’m working on Awaken, like I said J57 was a big part of the album and worked on it the whole time with me and as well as Audible Doctor. But we worked on the project for about two years and with that you know we maybe record five, six songs and then I go back and listen to one that we recorded previously and be like ‘yo J what if you did this, what if you switched this up.’ And same thing goes the other way, he’d be like ‘what if you re-write this verse or re-work this line.’ Whereas if you’re just working with someone you don’t know very well you might not wanna say you know ‘I don’t really like that line’ because you can come across the wrong way if you don’t really know them like that. So just that is I think just a better working environment.
But on top of that I also feel that I work with some the most talented people I know, so obviously that’s an honor too. And just working we all kinda work off of each other and you know when I hear a verse from Soul or I hear a verse from J it makes me wanna step my game up.
JMC: You just dropped that video for “High,” talk about what’s going on in there, you’re cooking, it’s a little I don’t know if you wanna call it goofy, but a different video.
Koncept: Yea yea yea. [Pause] What do I say about it? It’s called “High” and I’m baking brownies in it, you decide what you’re gonna take from that.
JMC: With your videos, some people might just wanna do videos just to get them out there. Every video that you put out there are you trying to have fun it? Have a specific direction with it?
Koncept: You know what it is, is that hip hop should be fun. I started rapping and I started making music because I actually loved it and I have fun doing it. So there’s no reason that it shouldn’t be fun. Of course it should be serious sometimes, we’ve got our serious songs, “Got It All” is serious. But you know it all comes back to having a good time.
And on a creative side of things I actually went to school and have a degree in graphic design. So I’ve always been a creative person in general. So I feel that the videos should portray that as well, that should come across. And you know no one wants to see someone just standing there rapping anymore.
JMC: So at this point in your career, I guess you could almost say you’re barely starting if you’re just getting you’re debut album out. But obviously you’ve gotten your name out there, you’re somewhat known but you’re not Jay Z big. So where do you feel like you’re at in your career and what type of moves are you trying to make in the future?
Koncept: I’m not trying to be a Jay Z, I mean you see what happens, but that’s really unrealistic for anybody to be like ‘I wanna be like Jay Z.’ This dude has more money than imaginable. So really what I wanna do with my music is kinda like what I stated earlier what I wanna do with my album, I really just wanna make the music that I love and have the people appreciate it and the people support it enough where I can continue to make music and be able to put my all into it.
Nobody that has a full time job working Monday through Friday eight in the morning until five, six o’clock at night is able to really devote themselves to the music, therefore, make the quality music up to their potential. So really what I want to be able to do is just get the music out there and have people enjoy it and have people support it and be able to see the world and do shows and be in the studio just keep making the music that I wanna do and do what I love.