KTheChosen talks Black History Month, 2023, and connecting with his listeners 

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Calgary when KTheChosen (K) took the stage in C-Square, East Village for ‘Live & Locals’ Black History Month celebration. 

Bringing the energy we all need in the wintertime, K took us through a set list covering deep personal experiences, political commentary and songs we could get up and dance to. 

His persona immediately caught my eye, you could tell this wasn’t his first time performing before. His stage presence was amazing, talking and engaging with the crowd.

K is a local Calgary rapper who categorizes himself as a conscious rapper, covering topics like racism, social justice and conversations some people don’t like to have. His music is very thought out, he brings a concept and a narrative to each album and song he makes. Giving his listeners a lot to digest, which normally requires multiple listens to understand.

Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, K made the move to Calgary to study at the Haskayne School of Business as an international student and ended up studying business at the University of Calgary. 

One of the reasons he chose Calgary was because “It’s got the most sunshine than any Canadian city and being outside is super important to me… I think there’s less of a barrier to people who might potentially hear your music.” K said.

I asked K what performing on Black History Month meant to him personally and he responded with this:

“Connecting to Black History Month is important because I feel like there’s people who outwardly seek knowledge where it’s like, okay, I want to learn more during Black History Month. I want to go to events, I want to do this. And there’s people, where they might not be actively seeking it. But if they get exposure to that information, then they tune in…. So I think it’s very important just in terms of accessibility part of it.”

K started writing lyrics in high school when he was 15 years old, and at first, his content was based around the usual girls, money, cars and fashion but as he matured he realized that, “People want to connect with stories that are familiar.”

Performing art that’s made from personal experiences can connect to anyone in an audience, and as he performed you could tell people were listening intently to what he was saying. 

When asked how it feels as an artist to connect with people who’ve been through the same experiences, he said, “My story is probably more common than I might think. Especially in Canada, where there’s so many immigrants. When you talk about that experience a lot of people are like, yo, I don’t have the exact same but I relate to certain things you’re saying and when I see people listening, or like stopping to listen, it’s so important to me because I’m like, you’re either an immigrant or you know someone who’s gone through this or you have no connection to this, but you’re curious about learning more.”

K is looking forward to what 2023 has in store for him, and he gave me an insight into what he’s got planned:

“So I’m sitting on two projects right now, as well as a lot of features. So there’s going to be a lot of music coming out…. So from March onwards, just music videos, the website, just a bunch of performances. So lots coming up, I think summertime forms as well. We’ve got a couple of festivals.”

K’s most recent release, “The Nod” is an upbeat song explaining the first time he came to Calgary and got “The Nod”. “First time that I got the nod \ Didn’t know what was going on \ Friends ask “do you know him, bruh?” / I laugh hard as I tell em “no”.” 

He explains throughout the song that a nod from one person of colour to another is a form of communication that’s not bound by friendship necessarily, but bound by the black community, “Speak the same lingo / Even if we don’t know each other / But you my brother, just from another land.”

I asked K if there was a question no one has asked him yet, that he’d want more people to know about himself and I got this incredible story about his name:

“I’ll just give you the origin of my name. So a lot of people tend to ask me why Kthechosen. So I’m like very close to my mom. I’m a big mama’s boy. My mom was pregnant with me… her firstborn, she was very excited to have me. She was also a teacher at the time and also just loves writing. So she wrote me a letter. And it was addressed to Khetiwe. So that’s, that was the name she was gonna give me but it’s actually a girl’s name. So it’s a Zambian name, that translates to the chosen one. And she wrote me that letter, held on to it until I left for university. So when I came to university here, I think because I was maturing, I started to see it was kind of, I don’t know, just very juvenile. But also, it wasn’t connecting with people the way I wanted it to. So I wanted to change the name. But I was also like, just in a life crisis, as well as like, I’m not doing university I was about to drop out. I was just like, about to give up on everything. And I was like, you know what, this is a movie moment, I need to read that letter my mom wrote me. And essentially, the letter was just saying, hey, my dearest Khetiwe. I’m proud of you. You’re going to do amazing things. You know, I love you with all my heart. And I’m like, wow, you’ve got all this faith in a human that doesn’t exist yet. I made it to Canada, and I’m failing to trust myself. That’s stupid man, like we’re going to do amazing things. So I wanted that letter to always be with me. So I took the name Khetiwe. Such a beautiful name, though…. I don’t want to name myself Khetiwe, because I feel like I might give it to one of my kids one day. So like I’m gonna take the K part and then take the English part, Kthechosen and I was like, yeah, every time I rap now, I’m thinking of my mom. So not that I’m thinking of my mom. But like, I know that anything I’m doing is with my mom’s spirit…. She’s my number one fan. She listens to every song before it comes out. So if there’s some random nonsense in there, she’ll tell me, she’s like, ‘Yo, bro, this garbage’. She told me that actually when I was 12, I wrote a song. And she said your songs ass. She didn’t say that exactly but she was like it was trash. Shout out to my mom, she’s amazing.”


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