Kalm Medz Celebrity Love Letter Interview
Kalm Medz surely understands this quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” His brand of music speaks to the masses who are lovers of both poetry and music.
WHO IS KALM MEDZ?
Queen Gee: Many of our readers may be hearing about you for the first time, so just to introduce yourself to them, please tell us your given name at birth and where you are from.
Kalm Medz: I was born Sheldon Williams on April 24, 1987 at ten pounds 3 ounces (my mom reminds me every so often, lol). I’m from Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica. I consider my artistry musical poetry, in that, I fuse the spoken word with deejaying on any one track.
Queen Gee: I love your stage name Kalm Medz. How did you get that name and what drove your decision to use that as your stage name?
Kalm Medz: Thank You. In 2009, I took on the pseudonym Hostile Kalm as I was primarily focused on dancehall music. I later abandoned Hostile and went by Kalm following feedback from some close friends and family members. I continued going by Kalm thereafter, but I just felt that it was incomplete, and I later discovered that there was another artiste by the name Kalm.
After much brainstorming and consultation with my friend Kareem, he suggested Medz, I liked it and have been going by Kalm Medz since. The name is also representative of my thought process as I like to be in a quiet environment when writing and or deciphering lyrics.
Queen Gee: You are truly talented, and I love your writing style. How and when did you discover that you have the ability to act, write and perform as a musical poet?
Kalm Medz: Thank you. My journey as a performer began competitively in 1998 when I was a first form student at Kingston College. I joined the school’s drama club and entered the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Speech Festival. I was entered in the standard English category with a poem entitled There Shall Come a Time by HD. Carberry. I did not advance to the medaling rounds, but that’s where my grooming began.
The first poem I remember writing was a tribute to Kingston College as part of the school’s 74th anniversary celebrations. There was a special publication in the Sunday Gleaner I think to commemorate that anniversary and my poem was published, of course, I don’t remember the words at all.
By 2004, I matriculated to sixth form and teamed up with one of my schoolmates and entered the then Tastee Talent Contest with a satirical piece that we wrote together called Garbage Man. We reentered in 2007 in the rebranded Tastee Talent Trail. Perhaps, that was the moment when I reassured myself of how impactful and refreshing my writing and performance was, because although we didn’t win, we were awarded best original song.
That same year (2004), I entered the Secondary School’s Drama Festival and was awarded Best Actor for my portrayal of the lead male character in a play called A Woman’s World. As a result, I was selected to become a part of The Jamaica Youth Theatre (JYT) founded by the late Aston Cooke.
Against this background, it was easy for me to entertain an audience as my journey continued. Over time, I continued writing and I realized it was easier to perform my own work rather than someone else’s so I kept penning materials.
KALM MEDZ GO PRO!
In 2009, I decided that I wanted to record and no longer be solely dependent on just doing live performances, so I penned the tracks ‘Sons and Guns’ and ‘Little Sally’ and recorded them. Feedback was favourable, so I decided at the time I wanted to tap into popular music, dancehall to be more specific, which meant I needed a stage name.
After much deliberation, I came up with the name Hostile Kalm as I wanted a fearsome name akin to other names such as Merciless, Bounty Killa, Assassin, etc., that would gain me attention in the dancehall space. That didn’t work out lol, but I still felt I could hold my own as a performer and could captivate an audience, but I had to find a niche. Then the idea came to me that I could continue doing poetry and dabble in deejaying, because I didn’t recall hearing any artiste doing that. I pursued it aggressively in 2009, but soon took a hiatus as I focused on finding a 9 to 5.
It was not until 2019, I returned to the stage, not knowing what to expect after being inactive for a decade. I was still confident, and the feedback has been good so far for both my old and new material.
WHAT MOTIVATES KALM MEDZ?
Queen Gee: What motivates your brand of musical poetry?
Kalm Medz: I am motivated by the challenge of garnering attention for poetry in a local creative space where dancehall and reggae are the more dominant cultural forms of music. I try to write tracks that are just as catchy and entertaining as songs from those art forms so that I can attract the ears of the core participants.
There is a lingering misconception that poetry is boring. Nothing could be further from the truth as there are many ‘boring’ creative pieces across all genres of creativity, so it is unfair to attribute that tag to poetry because it is poetry. I think poets should be judged on merit akin to other artistes in other artforms.
Queen Gee: Who are your biggest poets or musical poet influences?
Kalm Medz: I’m a massive fan of a particular set of artistes who I consider excellent storytellers and lyricists. Agent Sasco, Bugle, Eminem, George Da Poet, Junior Gong, J. Cole and Protoje.
CELEBRITY LOVE LETTER
Queen Gee: I have listened your latest project titled “Celebrity Love Letter” and found it to be very comical, yet captivating. What inspired you to do this piece?
Kalm Medz: Thank you for listening. I am glad you had a laugh as that track was written to have my listeners laughing. I also try to write pieces that will captivate an audience and appeal to their emotions, whether moving them to laughter or even to tears. I write to connect.
Celebrity Love Letter came about as I had an idea to share my love interests through poetry so I randomly wrote names on a piece of paper of female celebrities whom I crush on daily and of course the first name I wrote was Meagan Good, she is just super-hot.
After I had more than a dozen names, I looked at each and tried to formulate a story. It took me maybe 2 days for everything to come together and as I wrote at each stage, I shared what I had with my co-workers for their criticism.
Once I was satisfied with their feedback, I started to tweet and settle on the opening lines, “Mi have the will fi love you like Jada. Ask Etana, anno nothing fi you fraid a.Mi and Lauren go London a Wimbledon fi watch Serena, some girl a nine but tennis (ten is) Serena.”
Once I had the words, I know I needed a beat to complement it. I came across a YouTube channel for MLB Beats by doing a random YouTube search for poetry beats. I listened a particular beat that was advertised for sale. I reached out to the producer via email and got information on how to purchase the beat. I shared the information with my friend Andre Stephens, and he made the purchase for me. Once I had the beat, I recorded at LockeCity Music Group and the rest is history.
My next step is to mix and master the track and distribute it for radio play. Thereafter, I am considering a music video.
Queen Gee: Do you think your fans are receptive to Celebrity Love Letter?
Kalm Medz: Feedback has been favourable so far. So favourable has been the feedback that I have been asked to do a Jamaican Version, which I have begun penning. It goes, “Keishia Cole sent from heaven but a Michelle Downer a D’Angel. A long time me a…Ishawna, my favourite Miss World a Lisa Hanna”. I have done several live performances of the track and it remains one of my tracks that gets an audience noisy and excited.
Kalm Medz performing “Celebrity Love Letter” live on The Waterfront!
Queen Gee: Where online is Celebrity Love Letter available for streaming and purchase?
Kalm Medz: The mp3 version of Celebrity Love Letter is on SoundCloud, Audiomack and Reverbnation currently. My live performances for the track are on YouTube.
MORE FROM KALM MEDZ
Queen Gee: What can your fans and supporters expect from you in 2020 and beyond?
Kalm Medz: I am working on my debut EP. The title I have in mind is Ten Pounds 3 ounces which represents my weight at birth. The title is also meant to convey my birth into the music space which is juxtaposed with my birth into the world.
Queen Gee: Who would you like to shout out for supporting your career?
Kalm Medz: Support has been overwhelming from my friends and coworkers alike, both face to face and on social media. Special shootout to my girlfriend Christina and to my beat maker and producer Marlon Vickerman (Roopytunes beats). I would also like to show gratitude to Kareem, Andre, Stephen, Sheneka, Geraldine, Peter, Wendy, Wizzy, and Kei Dubb among others.
Also, I am grateful to the organizers who have given me the opportunity to perform on their platforms. Kalimba Nights, Factory 75 for Live on The Waterfront, Simon the Writer for Apollo Series, Mr. Dontee White, promoter for Tales of Autumn and Maverick Webb for Poetry Bloc, Rituals Café among others.
Queen Gee: What is the impact you want to leave on the people who listen your recordings and watch your live performances?
Kalm Medz: I want to leave my audience so engaged and entertained that my fanbase can grow and in turn I can grow as an artiste and a performer. I don’t want to be a statistic or to be lost in the ensemble, I want to stand out.
KALM MEDZ ONLINE
QUEEN GEE’S MESSAGE
Queen Gee: Big shout out to Kalm Medz. Give thanks for sharing with our us and our readers, and we wish for you all the best on your journey. Shout out also to our valued readers. I appreciate you coming through to check out this interview. Looking forward to your feedback in the comment section. Please support the artiste, as we continue on the musical mission to spread love through music.
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