Checking In: Kydd Jones Focuses

MC bounces back by hiring out

When Jackie Venson landed the opportunity to program essential summer concert series Blues on the Green for TV on Wednesday, she handpicked four local Black performers. Fellow Austin native Randell “Kydd” Jones occupied one of those coveted spots. “Roughly 25 minutes of authentic rap flashed by at the speed of rhyme,” read the Chronicle summation.

Kydd Jones performing at ACL Fest 2018 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Austin Chronicle: Where are you sheltering and under what circumstances? Who else is there and how’s that going?

Kydd Jones: I’m at home in Sunset Valley (Southwest Austin). It’s been good. My family and I have channeled our energy into our house: gardening, doing yard work, et cetera, as well as trying to be more creative in my music, presentation, and merch. It's a lot I can focus on now that I have the time, so I’m thankful for that.

AC: At what point did C-19 shut down operations for you, and what went down with the ship, so to speak, both personally & professionally?

“I recently released titled ‘Goblin’ speaking on the murder of George Floyd and everything going on in the world with COVID and everything else. Everyone should hear the Black American point of view in this time to reflect on self.”

KJ: Basically, once SXSW shut down, I knew this was something serious. Of course not being able to do shows and have contact with people was difficult. I lost a lot of money with that happening, but I buckled down and bounced back by reaching out to people who needed production, mixing, features, and just did it all from home.

So the setback was tough, but I’m overcoming it and adapting.

AC: As a global culture, people employ music for every purpose imaginable, obviously spanning religion to entertainment and everything in between. What happens to communities like ours when people can no longer access it in person?

KJ: I honestly think it allows people outside the culture to more easily manipulate and put their spin or narrative on something that we’re used to taking in like water everyday. It slows down the movement and progression of Black music in the city.

Momentum is needed and steady progression is needed. We have to find ways to work around the structures that are in place. It’s challenging, but we are up for it.

I’m up for it!

AC: Everyone’s had to shift or drastically alter their work situation. What does that look like for you?

KJ: Nowadays, I’m working early in the mornings and late at night. It’s similar to my old schedule, but now there is less or no contact. I'm talking through chat or DMs and sending files through email. I’ve always had a home studio, so my family is used to seeing me nerd out for hours mixing or just working on ideas, so now it’s nothing new.

AC: What’s your soundtrack for the apocalypse and what role does music play for you as a fan and scholar of it in times of hardship?

KJ: Not sure about a soundtrack, but my recent theme song is a song I released titled "Goblin", speaking on the murder of George Floyd and everything going on in the world with COVID and everything else. Everyone should hear the Black American point of view in this time to reflect on self.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Kydd Jones, Jackie Venson, Blues on the Screen, George Floyd, Goblin, Checking In 2020

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