Keron “Kabaka Pyramid” Salmon is a multitalented artist and producer from Kingston, Jamaica. From a very young age he’s had love for music and started out making up lyrics to popular songs and recording his own versions with his mom’s tape recorder. He got his first major look in 2007 on DJ Green Lantern’s MySpace Invasion mixtape, and followed with the release of his first mixtape, The Transition Vol. 1. With growing popularity in the dancehall and hip-hop circles, Kabaka has continued to release music including, The Transition Vol. 2, Rebel Music EP, and most recently, Lead The Way EP. Kabaka has always been raising the bar for Jamaican hip-hop and recently performed at Pay Attention, a hip-hop concert series held in Kingston. Mechanical Dummy spoke with Kabaka about his music, influences, and the origin of his name.
Words by W. Haye
Mechanical Dummy: Who is Kabaka Pyramid and what do you create?
Kabaka Pyramid: I am a conscious revolutionary lyricist, a producer that creates music that promotes conscious elevation, and a devout Rastafarian who plays a part of the spiritual awakening.
MD: What is the origin of your name, Kabaka Pyramid?
KP: “Kabaka” is the title of the King in the Buganda Empire in Uganda, and “Pyramid” comes from the Egyptian buildings that are long lasting spiritual monuments. I see my music as a monument where people can go to get a spiritual blessing.
MD: You’ve recently released the Lead The Way EP, how has the feedback been for it so far?
KP: It has been great so far and people have been treating it like an album. It made its debut at #9 on the Reggae charts, climbed to #1 in Finland, Germany and Italy, and #3 in the US. It’s always good to know that you can make a musical project and people out there gravitate to it and appreciate it.
MD: Judging by your recent performance, you made it clear you’re a hip-hop head, who have been your musical influences?
KP: My musical influences include DJ Spragga Benz, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep, Nas, Junior Gong and Canibus.
MD: You get a lot of love for your lyricism, what’s the process like in creating some of your tracks?
KP: The processes for my tracks are all different, as they all have different stories. I take inspiration from the music, so when I’m producing or playing a beat, I listen to what the production tells me to do and I shape my approach to fit it.
MD: Following your career you’ve collaborated with artists such as Five Steez, Protoje, and Masicka, are there any artists or producers you’d love to collaborate with?
KP: I’d love to work with Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, and I’m currently working on something with I-Wayne and I see those two as very lyrical artists. There are so many acts out there I’d love to work with, but those are a couple that I can name off the top of my head.
MD: You have the label Bebble Rock Music, what are the plans for 2014?
KP: Currently I’m working on expanding Bebble Rock Music’s reach, including giving it a makeover, and developing artists like Koro Fyah and Gideon. I created the Bebble Rockers Band and will continue to put out good music along with touring later this year. I want it to be a worldwide brand.
MD: Apart from dropping great music, what does Kabaka do in his spare time?
KP: In my spare time I do great amounts of reading, practice Yoga, meditate, participate in and watch Soccer, I’m an avid fan of the English Premier League. I’m looking forward to the World Cup, although it’s a shame Jamaica didn’t qualify.
MD: Any advice for Young G’z?
KP: Just keep working on your craft. Many are good performers, writers and producers, but always identify your strong points and what you’re bringing to the table. Once identified, accentuate on them as much as possible and work on your weaknesses as well. Stay focused.