Southern fried California
In concert, they look like hip-hop artists, they sound like hip-hop artists, they are hip-hop artists. But in person, they’re probably as nice and normal a couple as you’ll ever find. Keyi and Silky, the husband and wife duo known as KNS Rockstar, met and married in Nashville. But Silky’s roots as well as the couple’s hip-hop careers were happening in California, so they moved west. Then, after several years in and around Los Angeles, they settled in Silky’s hometown of Oxnard. After touring with the likes of Chris Brown and Rihanna, why would they choose such a small town? “We just basically like the fields,” said Keyi. “It’s more homey and made us feel like we’re back home.”
Rappers with a message
The fact that KNS prefers living in Oxnard says a lot about the music. Despite hip-hop’s sometimes dark reputation, Keyi and Silky approach their music with a more positive attitude. Yes, they have strong roots in the church, but beyond their beliefs, they feel their mission is to create a positive vibe with their audience. “We’re not a Christian group,” Keyi explained. “We like to think of ourselves as commercial positive music.” As Silky noted, “I think people can tell by our spirit what we talk about.” But don’t mistake their music as soft. “Our beats are an uptempo makes-you-want-to-dance, feel-good kind of music,” she added. And they are busy, performing with the likes of the Lebron James’ Nike Tour and opening for people like Too Short and Jabbawockeez.
Stop the bullying
And something else they feel strongly about: bullying. It started because of what they heard and witnessed during some of their school tours. “One kid came up to us and talked about suicide,” said Keyi. “We also noticed through our Facebook feeds that the divisions in the schools were deep.” Even more disturbing, they realized that little was being done by city or school administrators to deal with the problem. “We decided to do Stop Tha Bullying because it needed to be done,” said Keyi. “No one was there for the kids.” The Stop Tha Bullying campaign has now become an urgent mission for them. They have a free concert planned for Plaza Park in Oxnard later this month. Then they’re taking their message to Canada to tour with James Cousineau from Going Viral Productions.
Dance the night away
In addition to their Canadian tour, they will be appearing this summer in Las Vegas for the Taste of Soul Festival. Then they’re headed for appearances in Nashville and New York City. Their new album, called The Other Side of the Tracks, will be released in June. KNS points to similarities between themselves and acts like the Black Eyed Peas, Chris Brown and Usher. Their goal is to capture the same uniform appearance as groups like TLC. But what the two really love to do is dance. “We want to bring back that ’90s feel when everyone was dancing,” said Keyi. Silky also points out the importance of rapping about love. “As a couple,” she said, “we’re on a mission to bring the love back to the music industry. We want to show the industry that music can be done with husband and wife support.”
Catch KNS Rockstar at the Stop Tha Bullying concert on May 25 and at the Juneteenth Festival on June 15. Both are being held at Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard. For information about concerts and touring, visit www.knsrockstar.com.knsrockstar.com.