Mr Killa, musical artist from Grenada has on the scene for years and it was not a case of ‘IF’ but ‘WHEN’ he would reach the top. ‘Rolly Polly’ in 2013 brought him more into the international spotlight. However ‘Pick Up Something’ brought him the title of International Soca Monarch 2019. He is hard working, dedicated and the consummate performer. I had the opportunity to interview him when he came to London, UK.
It has been a journey for you. From your first trip to Trinidad in 2005 to now. Any regrets? No. Life is not about regrets for me. Even though you make mistakes, mistakes are events to teach you that lesson. So really and truly, I have no regrets.
What you are doing now, is it still fun? Extreme fun. Sometimes you travel so much, your body is run down a little bit, you’re working. Sometimes you get a little tired on the road, you get homesick. You don’t have time to exercise, walk on the beach at home. I haven’t ridden my bike in about 8 months. Entertainment does change your life. But I try to keep the balance. I get to my hotel room, I kneel, I pray. I thank the Father for the journey cause what I am doing now will set the future not just for me but for other people.
I have seen you perform in Grenada, Ibiza, in London… Do you think about your performances beforehand? I think about my performance when I am on my bed, when I am driving, I can feel the performance. It is a built-in thing that I cannot explain. Everyone functions in their own way… My function is kinda weird sometimes. I don’t have a routine where I practice. It is a natural performance.
Also for International Soca Monarch? Well the International Soca Monarch, I planned the props and what the dancers did, but my part of the performance is not. I am a freestyle performer most definitely.
On stage, is it more about the performance or the music on stage? For example, when you went to China? Well China, I just wanted I just wanted to see China. I grew up watching karate, Silver Fox and Bruce Lee. So, I really want to see that culture. But when thinking about a show, it is thinking about a vibe. It is a combination of everything because I love the sound of music. I love the whole art of performing but most of all, I think about the people. That is my joy.
Do you ever do research into the places that you perform? What song your audience might prefer? Nah [laughter] I don’t research. I get, feel the vibe and I give them me. It’s like love yourself until the world loves you. I give them me.
What was performing in Trinidad like? Trinidad was amazing and I wanna send so much love to Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago I love you so very much, I love you twice. Trinidad treat me like I was theirs. They showed me love.
The song ‘Pick up Something’… they loved it… The song itself… almost has a mind of its own, almost does what it wants. The song is different. It speaks in a very funny way. Because it’s true. You never had a drink and feel like that rum is talking to you? So, when people got the concept of the song, it was like ‘Yo that’s true’. They react to it. People have been waiting to pick up something. [laughter] But I think in soca music as a whole it was the right time too, cause soca music as a whole was kinda moving into a RnB slower type of soca. And people were waiting for that power.
So do you think the 2019 was the year of the return of power? I think so. Because Power this year made a mark. Music replenishes itself and fluctuates. But I think it is here to stay for a while.
Going back to you. Where are you most comfortable? Power? The Groovy? I feel I am comfortable anywhere you know. I am a versatile artist and between me and you I feel the world hasn’t really heard Mr Killa in terms of versatility.
Do you think the world is ready for a different Mr Killa? They love Rolly Polly, Pick Up Something. The hype hype Mr Killa. I think the new fans will take it in their stride. People are looking at Mr Killa now are looking at the different vibes. I think that people realise that I am that open minded person. I’m not chained to anything but God and respect for my mother, and respect in life.
You’ve had a long journey… What has kept you going? That question is a very important one. The Father keep my going most of all. But when you look at it at the basic physical level. The dream of one day making sure that my mother is good, that I can take care of her and my family drives me every day. I keep pushing to fulfil that dream.
And is that dream fulfilled now? Well yeah parts of it [laughter] I still have so much people I have yet to help. I am about to launch an organisation, youth programs for the kids. I also want to launch an app which will be global.
You are the ambassador for Grenada, aren’t you? Yes, I am. But I want this to be at a global level, not just in Grenada. That will be launched soon. I want to raise awareness that some people need a hand. And sometimes they need a mind.
Grenada. Do you think this is Grenada’s time? Yess Grenada’s time has been coming a long time. But I think it is even bigger than Grenada. Grenada is going to have the biggest year. But this is Caribbean time. Soca now feels free. There is more of a togetherness. Some people are still fighting because people don’t get it, some don’t feel it. But those that do. They feel it. They are ready.
Talking to you now, you come across as a very spiritual person beyond the stage performances. How do you keep the faith? My spirituality first and foremost comes from my mother. My mother taught me the love of God, the father, the creator, the Messiah, however you want to call it from a child. And that teaching has remained with me. How I managed to keep that? I don’t know… cause sometimes I have tried to run from it. And there is nowhere to run. I came across something call genetical memory, the genes of one human being has memory. Because we three people; the mental, physical and spiritual. And we have three minds; the conscious, subconscious and superconscious. And when you grow a certain way and your mind access a certain realm, there is nowhere to run away from it anymore cause the Father puts his hands on your shoulder and guides you and keeps you. Especially when you have a job to do. So, I also think what keeps me going is at the back of my mind, I know that I have a job to do. I have knowledge to share.
Do you think your three selves are in balance? Not all the way. I’m still a human being, I’m still an entertainer. I don’t have enough time to develop further my spiritual self. That is a journey. I have my prayer time and my meditation time. That time is very important to me.
So, what’s next for you? Buss a wine on Rihanna on the Grammy award stage [laughter]. Grammy awards. Soca music in the Grammy awards. Music is freedom. Now I am about to become free with my music.
Mr Killa has accomplished much; Interntional Soca Artist, foundation for the youth and a global app. A surprisingly spiritual man. Can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next!
All images used with this article was taken from Mr Killa’s instagram page and with his authorisation. For more information on Mr Killa, please visit mrkilla1 on Instagram, Mr Killa on face book, @hollicemapp on twitter and Mr Killa on You Tube.