Multiplatinum hip-hop producer Khao kicked off the new year by releasing his first single, “Done With Her,” featuring Gucci Mane, YBN Nahmir, Lil Baby, and Tabius Tate, from his debut album, Bad Brains Forever.
During his 20-year career, he has produced more than 30 million records with acts including Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, Lil Boosie, Ludacris, among many others. In recent years, he has been moving the industry by developing ways to impact the world through music and education.
With the creation of his nonprofit Bridge DA Gap and his instructional program called KOOLriculum, he addresses issues that impact the ability of inner-city youth to excel academically through technology.
Khao recently joined Adore Rae and Queen Regine, hosts of “Twin Beatz,” at rolling out studios to discuss his desire to achieve significance along with success.
What sets you apart from all the other producers?
It’s God’s gift as far as the production side because there is a difference between producers and beat makers. The difference is someone can make a track and send it to an artist, but as an actual producer, you’re literally sitting with that artist and looking at how you can enhance their artistry.
Why do people fail to succeed while trying to make it in the music industry?
I feel like most of what it takes to make it in the industry depends on your character and your grind. I’ve met some talented artists, but if I see that their character is someone who will go hard [but] get discouraged and quit, then that will happen in your musical career no matter how talented you are.
What makes the Khao of the past different from the Khao of today?
Khao in the past was about enjoying life as a producer, being a part of 30 million records sold and working with the T.I.s and the Jay-Zs, but then my father had passed so I started thinking about not only being successful but [also] being significant. I took a major turn from being at the top of the music game to taking all my music talents to help people, so I wrote a textbook. Meagan Good is my partner, and we got a lifetime achievement award from Barack Obama, so I’m still me. I just took a turn to become more significant.
Where can people go to find you?
Youtube: Dr. Kevin Khao Cates
To learn more about Khao’s KOOLriculum, visit www.koolriculum.com.