In Marietta, Georgia, Kyle Lucas grew up listening to bands such as Blink-182, Less than Jake and Coheed & Cambria. However, he quickly caught the hip-hop bug. By the time that he was fifteen, he was rapping and later, he became a member of the eclectic hip-hop group, Vonnegutt. With their unique approach to hip-hop, the band was quickly signed by hip-hop label Purple Ribbon Records, which was founded by Outkast’s Big Boi. After years of touring, however, the band disbanded, and Kyle has ventured out on his own as a solo artist. In addition to finding his own place in the genre, he has also collaborated with a multitude of other artists, including Big Boi, Jonny Craig, T. Mills, Machine Gun Kelly, Hoodie Allen and Cassadee Pope. On September 18, Kyle will be releasing his first solo album, “Marietta, Georgia: The Album,” and embarking on an extensive tour in support of it. I recently had the opportunity to ask Kyle about the inspiration behind his new single with Jonny Craig called “Veritas”, how this new album differs from his previous albums and which artists he’d love to collaborate with in the future.
How did growing up in Marietta, Georgia influence your musical style?
It affected everything in my music. Just a bunch of skateboard kids who grew up on Blink 182 and Outkast. I appreciate all kinds of music because my group of friends are so diverse and into so many different types of genres. I feel that, as an artist, I’m very genre bending.
How is your solo album, “Marietta, Georgia: The Album” different from your previous albums?
This is my debut, solo, retail ready album. The last album I put out was a joint album with Jonny Craig and before that it was my band Vonnegutt. In between those, I released a lot of free mixtapes online. So this is my first ever official album. I’m super proud of it. I worked on it on and off for a year and half in between touring and releasing a mixtape. I’m so excited for the fans to have it.
What inspired you to write “Veritas”?
Veritas was a statement that addressed my past and also kind of showed were I’m at currently. It felt like a perfect album opener and was only right to put my friend Jonny Craig on it. He’s a big part of the reason my career has been moving in the right direction. Also performing Veritas live has been insane on this tour.
Where do you draw inspiration from when you write lyrics?
I draw them from my life. Sometimes I think I’m too honest [laugh]. I have a habit of being an open book in my music, and I’ll admit that has backfired a couple times. A few angry calls from ex-girlfriends have resulted from my lyrics.
What was it like to collaborate with Jonny Craig?
It’s always great collaborating with Jonny. We’ve made so many songs together that it’s almost like a certain rhythm we have in the studio. Some of the best songs I’ve ever written have been with Jonny. And they always happen super fast too, which is an added bonus [laugh].
Are there any artists that you haven’t collaborated with yet that you’d like to, and why?
I always say Coheed and Cambria. I think we would make some incredible music. Josh is a really good friend of mine and I’ve been lucky to hang with the band a lot over the years. It’s always inspiring to watch how they operate and move as a team. Not to mention Claudio is my favorite lyricist.
How did being a part of Vonnegutt influence you as a solo artist?
Vonnegutt was really responsible for improving my stage show and my all around songwriting. It made me appreciate well structured pop songs and taught me how to write songs outside of just rap songs, where I rhyme for 4 minutes straight. It made me a better artist and took me out of the “mixtape rapper” lane.
What has been your proudest moment as a musician so far?
I have so many incredible moments, but the one that stands out is when I performed on Letterman with Big Boi of Outkast. That was incredible.
What do you hope that other musicians and hip hop artists learn from you?
That persistence is the key in the music industry. I’ve been signed and a professional musician since I was 22 and I’m just now getting the momentum and buzz that I wanted. It’s a long road and very rarely is there any success overnight in this industry. Never give up!
If you had to pick one track from “Marietta, Georgia: The Album” to represent you as an artist, what would it be and why?
“5 Days” and “Alone” are songs that are super personal and I feel those are the type of songs my fans appreciate from me. It lets them know that they aren’t the only ones struggling… those songs are very important to me.
You can listen to Kyle’s new single, “Veritas” ft. Jonny Craig, here: