Kranium has been making waves on a global scale with his dynamic brand of Dancehall.
And he continues to elevate with his new EP ‘Toxic.’
Released today (February 12), the five-track collection showcases his flavorsome flair and adds to a booming bank of bops that includes ‘Nobody Has To Know’ and ‘Gal Policy.’
Ahead of the project’s arrival, That Grape Juice‘s Chet Kincaid caught up with the star who dished on ‘Toxic,’ future plans, and much more.
Join us below…
That Grape Juice (Chet): You’ve been making waves for some time now. And in many ways, you define Dancehall royalty. Tell us a little bit about your journey up until this point?
Kranium: It wasn’t that easy. It was very hard. But I feel like I take time with the music. I take time to create; I just focus on the creative part of it and being smart in the moves that I do make and smart with chances I do decide to go with. And just execute it well and just represent Dancehall as much as possible with the opportunities that I get. Bringing Dancehall music to the mainstream market is my priority. It’s my flavor. So I just tried to be as smart as possible.
That Grape Juice: Your new EP ‘Toxic’ is out now. Why’d you name the project ‘Toxic’? And what can we expect from the EP?
Kranium: I [can be] a toxic person [laughs]. Especially in relationships. But I can’t get too toxic. I feel like toxicity in our relationship makes it fun rather than regular boring.
But it’s an amazing build on ‘Toxic,’ the single. The song Toxic itself showed a different side of me. It’s not the traditional Dancehall song. I wanted to shed the light on that and just show them that I could execute any type of record where is core Dancehall, or a little singing with little melodic artistry and rhythmic zone. And that’s why I decided to go with ‘Toxic’ as the main title.
That Grape Juice: What are your goals with this project and beyond?
Kranium: This EP is more like an appetizer for what’s coming next. I just wanted to give the fans something to hold on to what I create because we are in a pandemic, so it’s very hard for me to execute the promotion and how I want to promote. I feel like the old school way of just having an album or it can be on tour is way more effective, like diehard fans right in front of you, you can tell him, go get it while they’re in front of your face. But this is more of a buying time to see how far this is going to be in this thing, while I go and be more creative and come with more records than they never heard because this EP consists of five songs, and three are already out.
[Moving forward], I want to go to [such] a creative point with an album that I don’t mind if it’s 70 tracks [laughs].
That Grape Juice: So I hear you have a number of special guests on this project. Tell us a little bit about that.
Kranium: Yes, Rytikal – a new Dancehall artist from Jamaica. I’m excited about him. I think he is very dope. I think he’s really talented. I like the song of Dancehall.
Of all the contributors to the project, everyone is very unique and everybody has their own vibe. Everybody has their own identity and what they’re oozing creativity. Everybody has that thing that makes them them. And I just happen to be a part of it. I’m excited that I could always incorporate somebody fresh and new into the project.
That Grape Juice: Are there any people that have come before you that really inspire you?
Kranium: I listen to a lot of old school music, especially when I’m in a working mood. So I don’t sound like everybody else because I feel like we all feed off from each other’s energy.
But for me, old school. I listen to Ray Charles, I listen to Sam Cooke. Sam is one of my favorite artists of all time actually. Then I listened to someone in the islands called Sir Richie Spice.
But to be totally honest, my inspiration comes mostly from my environment. I feel like being in New York and the different geographies. It’s diverse. I am surrounded by a lot of different cultures here in New York (Jamaican, Trini, Guyanese). So I feel like I feed off of that energy.
So it’s like, when I create music, I try to create different songs and different words to incorporate it all. Gal Policy is one of the biggest Dancehall jams that came out in a while. It has a Trinidad and girl in the intro because I always wanted to incorporate my environment and what inspired me. So these are the things that inspire me musically.
That Grape Juice: Is there a little quality about yourself or any unknown fact about Kranium that you want to let the public in on?
Kranium: I think I’m a good listener, and I’m a good adapter, I adapt very well. So when I’m creating, I listen to the top 100 songs out, I know that I need to be in that element. That’s one of my best qualities. So whenever I work with someone from different fields, I’m well equipped and able.
That Grape Juice: What’s the first thing that you plan to do when things go back to normal?
Kranium: You know, what’s crazy? I take life for what it is, and I’m not even trying to be humble, I’m being honest. It’s back to the same thing. I feel like me being in a pandemic has always been me, I’m always inside. The most I do is be with my friends, they are my friends and that’s pretty much it. I don’t really do much.
What I would change is when I go on tour, I would definitely do more sightseeing. I never did that a lot. When I’m looking back at all these countries that have touched, I’ve been around the world like three times, I have been to six continents and I’ve never really taken advantage of taking photos. I want to go into a museum and learn about their culture. I want to know more about each part of the world that I have visited.
That Grape Juice: What do you want listeners to take away from listening to ‘Toxic’?
Kranium: Growth. I know musically and melodically I’ve grown. that I want everybody to remember me as a kid who born in Jamaica but raised in New York doing Dancehall music against the odds. I just want to live up to a high standard. When you listen to ‘Toxic,’ I want you to think ‘this guy has really presented Dancehall music at the highest quality.