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Q&A with King Khazm | 2016 Fellowship, Music

Artist Trust

photo: Cahn Solo

Q: What kind of art do you make? What inspires you to make that art?
A: I make art that reflects my experiences and reality. I’m inspired by so many things, but life in general is my inspiration. The hardships and struggles, the love and joy, the challenges, seeing things manifest as I envision.. traveling and experiencing other cultures, traditions, hearing stories of others..  in terms of the application, I love producing music and beats, writing and performing, visual and multimedia arts. I love it all and can’t just settle for one aspect!
Q: What did you use your award for?
A: I used the Fellowship Award to contribute to my Hip Hop theater show that just premiered called King Khazm Diaries of a MAD. It was a 80 minute show that delved into my life through the eyes of a diary and was presented with a mixture of live performance, projected video, dance, traditional Japanese instrumentation and more.
Q: What was the impact of this award and Artist Trust on your art career and life?
A: The amount that was still needed to be raised was exactly the amount that was received through the Artist Trust grant and the award came just a couple weeks prior to the big show- the timing was nothing short of a miracle!  I’ve been recording, performing and traveling with my music for well over a decade, however this project was my first debut solo project of this caliber. Being that this project is so new, I don’t believe I’ve experienced it’s full impact, however since then, I have encountered many people who were deeply moved to the point of tears. Additionally I have received several speaking and performance offers since then. The momentum is continuing by the day. We shall see where it takes me. All I know is that I am truly grateful for Artist Trust and all the incredible support I’ve been receiving as of late.

King Khazm has been a formative force in the international hip hop community for years, and his momentum as an artist, emcee, producer and community organizer has only grown since he founded MADK Productions in 1995, and 206 Zulu Nation in 2004. MADK Productions is a hip hop crew/multimedia company that is responsible for projects such as the Enter the Madness documentaries, Hip Hop 101 TV, and an indie record label that has released a slew of Seattle’s notable hip hop artists. 206 Zulu is a Seattle hip hop non-profit organization that uses urban arts and culture as platforms for community empowerment, education and civic service.

Khazm has released various materials as a producer and performing artist. He has performed and lectured around the country and world. His visual art installations have been featured in locations such as Consolidated Art Works, Vera Project and the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. His merits include a Kingship Award from Afrika Bambaataa, a Community Leadership Award from Seattle Mayor Nickels, and a Hip Hop History Month Proclamation from Governor Inslee. Khazm’s current pursuits in hip hop activism has led him to a more comprehensive perspective of hip hop in the global age and its role in society.