Keyze AriZona, the rising rap artist from South Bend, IN has been making waves in the music industry with his deeply personal and emotionally charged tracks. In this exclusive Q&A, we dive into his latest project, “I Wonder Is God Real?” and get insights into his creative process, influences, and future plans.
Q1: You’ve mentioned that you started rapping at a young age. Can you tell us more about how you got into music and when you realized it was your passion?
Keyze AriZona: Absolutely. I first got into music when I was just a kid, probably around 10 years old. My friends and I used to rap on an MP3 player recorder, and we even burned CDs to sell at school. I’ve always loved rapping; it’s been a part of me for a long time.
Q2: Your stage name is unique. How did you come up with “Keyze AriZona,” and what’s the significance behind it?
Keyze AriZona: Well, “Keyze” came from my last name, “Keys.” People used to call me “Keyze” because my first name is Stefan. “Arizona” was added because I used to drink Arizona teas all the time, and a friend started calling me that. It just stuck, and it’s been my name ever since.
Q3: Transitioning from a regular life to a music career can be challenging. How did your friends and family react when you decided to take music seriously?
Keyze AriZona: It wasn’t easy. When I decided to pursue music seriously, not everyone believed in me. It took time for my family and friends to come around and support my passion. I was a big sports guy too, living with my aunt at the time. It was a significant shift, but I pushed through.
Q4: Your Spotify numbers have been on the rise. What do you think contributed to your exponential success?
Keyze AriZona: Consistency has played a big role in my success. I’ve dropped multiple projects and music videos over the past few years. I believe in putting my name in front of as many people as possible. I always tell aspiring artists to release their music, even if they feel like it’s not the “right time.” Sometimes, you have to create your own opportunities.
Q5: Can you pinpoint a project that you feel changed the game for you, where you saw all your hard work and consistency paying off?
Keyze AriZona: It probably started with “Vertigo.” That project was a significant step in my life and a crucial time for me. It helped me heal in many ways, and I’m proud of the impact it had on my career.
Q6: Your most recent project, “I Wonder Is God Real?” is receiving a lot of attention. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it and the significance of the title?
Keyze AriZona: Originally, I had two separate projects in mind: “I Wonder” and “Is God Real?” My friend Logan suggested combining them into “I Wonder Is God Real?” This project reflects my personal struggle with faith and spirituality. I’m always researching and trying to find my path, and this album allowed me to explore those feelings.
Q7: The cover art for your projects is quite striking. How much creative direction do you have in your music, including visuals and cover art?
Keyze AriZona: I’m very hands-on when it comes to my projects. I create everything from scratch, write most of the lyrics, and direct the visuals. My friends and people I know from around the world also contribute to the creative process. It’s a collaborative effort.
Q8: Your music often touches on personal experiences and emotions. How does creating music like this help you heal, and what message do you hope listeners take away from it?
Keyze AriZona: Creating music allows me to express my feelings and experiences, and it’s therapeutic for me. When listeners reach out and tell me that my music resonates with them and helps them through tough times, it’s incredibly rewarding. I want to inspire others to love themselves and spread positivity.
Q9: You recently collaborated with local group Kenna and the Kings. Can you share more about your relationship with them and how the collaboration came about?
Keyze AriZona: I met Kenna through my friend Logan. They have a child together, and Kenna has always been passionate about singing. It was a natural fit, and she’s always down to work in the studio. We’ve created some great music together.
Q10: Your music often explores heavy themes, including trauma. Do you find that creating music about these topics helps you heal, or are you already healed and using it as a form of expression?
Keyze AriZona: It’s a bit of both. Creating music about these topics allows me to process and heal from my experiences. However, it’s also a way to reach others who may be going through similar challenges. Music is a powerful medium to connect with people and offer support.
Q11: You mentioned working on new music. What can your fans expect next, and do you have any upcoming performances or exciting plans on the horizon?
Keyze AriZona: I’m considering dropping a deluxe version of “I Wonder Is God Real?” or possibly a whole new project, “Paintings of Progress 3,” to complete the trilogy. As for performances, catch me at the Healer on Saturday, along with Baby Ebony. It’s going to be a great show.
Q12: As an artist, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are just starting their journey?
Keyze AriZona: Be yourself, work hard, and don’t worry about what others are doing. Stay focused on your craft and keep pushing forward. It’s all about authenticity and staying true to yourself.
Keyze AriZona has certainly made a name for himself in the music industry with his authentic and heartfelt music. As he continues to evolve and create, we can expect more powerful tracks that resonate with listeners on a deep level. Keep an eye out for his upcoming projects and performances, as he’s undoubtedly an artist on the rise.