Yesterday, we brought you part one of our three-part Rising Online Fame Interview series with up-and-coming rap artist Kaly. In Part 2, Kaly talks to us about how he has built the “Kaly” brand.
Online on Trend: When you started recording The Flight and realized you were creating an album, launching a career, what was your vision?
Kaly: “Honestly, I realized this was my shot. I knew that I had a gift, and I wanted to represent my community…I wanted to show that Indian people could do this too. I wanted people to see that I was serious. I really think the industry doesn’t give people enough credit. Everything you hear these days…it’s the same cookie cutter garbage. The industry just sees the dollar signs. I want to create music that has a meaning, I want to influence people. But I also want to make people move. If you listen to Politics…if you listen to Stage Fright…they are tracks that bounce you know? They have a deeper meaning, but they have bounce.”
Online on Trend: Once you realized you wanted to make music your career, what was the first thing you did? Explain the first step you took towards becoming the professional artist “Kaly” we all know now.
Kaly: My first bit of promotion ever was actually made by a friend. This was before there were even “fan pages” on Facebook…it was just a “Kaly” Facebook group. I never asked anyone to join it…but my friends/followers did. Soon, the group had like a 1,000 people in it. It was really shocking. I realized pretty early on that perception is everything in this game, that I needed to build an image for myself, a brand. I also knew that I couldn’t half-ass it. I knew whatever I put out there, it had to be quality. The pictures, album artwork, logos…all of that had to be polished. So I got to it…I reached out to someone to take my pictures, got someone to do my logo, worked with somebody to create my first website. I’ll tell you, all of those things slowly built my brand, especially the website. It wasn’t just some dinky geocities website from back in the day…it was a professional looking website. I’ve always been pretty art-minded, so it also helped that I can create my own cover art and such. It looks as though I have a label backing me, but the label is me. Perception is everything.”
Online, on Trend: Tell us a little more about your personal branding strategy, and how you anticipate that changing as your career evolves.
Kaly: “If you notice, I have this diamond design I’ve started to use in all of my photos, cover art, etc. I put it everywhere. Even if I were signed to a label, I would push to keep that branding because that’s what my fans have learned to associate me with. That’s part of the ‘Kaly’ image.”
To learn more about Kaly’s branding strategy and what’s next, check back tomorrow for part 3.