If you love good vibes, Kahlil Simplis might just be your new favorite artist.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, the rising star sees music as his therapy, something that saved his life in the same way he hopes his own music to touch the masses.
Boasting his own unique sound that straddles the genres of R&B and hip-hop, the rising star tells his story through his lyrics.
Coming up as a teenager playing basketball, every kid had hoop dreams… but those dreams are short-lived when you get injured. For Khalil, it was during this recovery period where he became infatuated with the art of creating music, which first stemmed from his love for poetry.
Suddenly, Kahlil could express himself in ways that simple words could not.
Kahlil describes himself as a “peaceful, easygoing man.” He states, “I’m not too much of an extrovert, but I like to stay to myself. Very ambitious, confident, and loving. My intentions are pure, I don’t move with any bad intentions.”
Most recently, Kahlil unleashed his newest project titled Safehouse Vol. 1, an 8-track EP that details his own personal experiences with women, situations audiences around the world can all relate to. The project is spearheaded by lead single “Been Playing,” which will be receiving the video treatment very soon.
AllHipHop: What was a young Kahlil like growing up in Los Angeles?
Kahlil Simplis: S###, I moved 11 or 12 different times as a kid all within LA, then I played basketball. The city was pretty small so I was everywhere, which was a dope experience. I got all walks of life in LA so I’m well-rounded being from the city. And not having to front, or pretend to be somebody. I’ve always been accepted for who I am.
AllHipHop: You had hoop dreams, when did the music come into play?
Kahlil Simplis: Music came to play on a serious note between the summer of 2015 and summer 2016. I started taking it seriously because that’s when I realized I was probably putting the ball down. Throughout that year when I was trying to recover and still figure out what I was doing, I got around people that were doing music. I always had a knack for music and a love for it. I enjoyed being around it, it’s therapeutic for me. I wrote poetry at the time too, so everything accumulated into one thing. I was always musically-inclined as a kid. I was that basketball player that was always freestyling and doing something fun musically, so it intertwined itself. I ended up pursuing this, I wanted to do this full-time.
AllHipHop: Who were your favorite artists? Who inspires you?
Kahlil Simplis: I grew up with Lauryn Hill, Nipsey, Drake, Kanye. I’d say my main influences were Drake, Kanye, Nipsey. I love Jay-Z a lot too, I listened to a lot of Jay-Z as a kid. Then I had my mom’s side, she put me onto Linkin Park, P!nk, s### like that.
AllHipHop: Is Kahlil your real name?
Kahlil Simplis: Yes. Hopefully, I want to get to where I can drop my last name from it and be Kahlil, but I have to establish myself as the only Kahlil that’s really doing music. I know there’s a few others, but want to get to a level where “Alright, I’m Kahlil now.”
AllHipHop: I don’t know about SEO, that might be hard.
Kahlil Simplis: Yeah, it might be tough. I’m going to have to figure it out, but I feel like Kahlil Simplis is building because of my last name.
AllHipHop: Safehouse, Vol. 1 out now. How are you feeling?
Kahlil Simplis: I feel good about it. it was a really good piece of work. On my end, people haven’t heard me in that type of style yet. The reception has been amazing. I’m hoping it can open up the door for me to get into some rooms, whether that’s in songwriting or as an artist myself. Just getting around people who really do it, and working.
AllHipHop: Why did you name it Safehouse?
Kahlil Simplis: It’s funny, the songs all culminate together on their own too. They all make sense together and form their own story. Essentially Safehouse, the girl is using my crib as her safehouse: to escape her problems, escape her real life. Not live a fantasy, but more so come and forget about all her problems. She’s still with the guy, she’s not really secure with. It’s about following your intuition, you can use my house as a safehouse.
AllHipHop: How it feels to make music about these moments?
Kahlil Simplis: It feels good, I was being open and honest. Some of the songs are maybe not what I’m going through currently, that I went through in the past. A lot of the songs are stuff from past experiences and different things. It’s good to express myself. People can relate to a lot of the things I was saying on there, the stories that were being told and the situations. I’m a very situational writer. I’ll make a song about one situation specifically, then go from there.
AllHipHop: What songs mean the most to you and why?
Kahlil Simplis: I was proud of “Making It Easy” on the project. I’m from LA, but I don’t have the typical LA sound.t I captured the essence of the West Coast in that song, while still staying true to what I was talking about. With the way the beat was, adding the talkbox on there, the groove that it caught.
AllHipHop: How’s the independent grind?
Kahlil Simplis: That sh*t’s tough, but I’m built for it. It’s definitely not easy, but I’m able to see all aspects of what it takes to make the artist pop. Whether it’s myself or in the future doing that for somebody else, I’m learning how to hold my own when it’s time to come into these label meetings and do things of that nature. And know what I’m talking about, because I’m very hands-on with everything. I’m one of those artists who has a certain vision for things, and I want to be able to keep it that way.
Owning my masters is important to me, so the independent grind is gonna be worth it in the long run. It’s definitely difficult. It’s definitely a 27/10 grind. I don’t even know how to describe it. [laughs] It’s tougher now because everything’s pay-to-play. For me, I’m not out here traveling or doing anything illegal. I’m just really trying to grind. For me, it’s about my networking now and utilizing everybody I know. To keep building and keep getting respect. I have no expectations, so I’ll see what happens from it and keep grinding. It’s fun, it’s interesting, it’s tough. But it’s worth it.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Kahlil Simplis: Sage, my crystals, and water for sure. Or tea. 3 necessities, weed’s #7 on the list.
AllHipHop: What do you want fans to get from your story?
Kahlil Simplis: I just want people to be inspired, that’s my goal with what I’m doing. I want them to be able to be inspired. Whoever can relate to my personal situation can see that no matter what difficulties we go through as human beings in this journey of life: you keep persevering, you keep your morals right, you keep inspiring other people to look more into themselves and tap further within. There’s definitely a real power to that, that’s all I really want people to take from me. I want them to obviously have a good time when they listen to my music, or relating to it because it expresses something for them that they can’t say on their own. But specifically inspiring other people to be great, to push through any obstacles. Sh*t gets hard out here. I know people feel like giving up, but nah keep going.
AllHipHop: What’s one thing you want people to get from Safehouse Vol. 1?
Kahlil Simplis: To see how dynamic I can be from what I’ve released in the past. An introduction to more stuff that you’ll be hearing, it’s a different side of me as well. I hope that people get good vibes from it like, “Oh sht, he’s actually talented with this music sht.” Just relatability for me honestly, I want people to be able to relate to it and have a good time with it.
AllHipHop: What’re you most excited for next?
Kahlil Simplis: I’m excited to see what comes from this and to drop what’s coming next. I have a video coming out for one of the songs on there, I’m excited to see that coming to fruition. I might shoot another one. I’m just excited to keep going, to keep grinding. Now, to go out in the streets and pass out these flyers. Do the independent grind, and try to get heard.