Artist spotlight: Rooky Kamiz

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A photo provided by our Graphic Editor that’s also of our Graphic Editor (what a weird place to work). rick davis

Carillon’s own Graphics Editor Rooky Kamiz talks about his music and process.

Music allows you to just be: to forget about the expectations around you, to release your fears and worries, and just live in a single moment, for a single song. Music is a way to escape into comforting lyrics, rhythms, and melodies. It’s almost as though playing music can make a bubble that shields you from the outside world – and, additionally, it lets you be the structural architect of that bubble, able to fill it with as much joy and comfort as possible.

In the last few years, smaller independent artists have been on the rise. These artists are able to create and release the music they want to without the pressure and limitations of a record label. Some of the most well-known independent artists of this generation are Macklemore and Frank Ocean.

This week, I spoke with musician and Carillon Graphic Editor, Rooky Kamiz, about his music.

When making his music, Kamiz likes to experiment with mixing different genres. “I am currently experimenting with the fusion of Rhythm and Blues (RnB) and Afrobeats influences.” When it comes to the influences behind these genre choices, Kamiz credits his homes throughout his life, from growing up in Nigeria to being inspired by living in Canada.

In his music, Kamiz says he makes use of his vocal abilities. He also considers himself “an amateur at the piano.”

Kamiz started making music because it was his “safe place,” his “love language,” and “a world where [he is] free from the bias and stereotypes and worries of the world.” Kamiz says, “I play music because it makes me feel happy […] I feel like the world is at peace and my world is heaven. Like I am a kid again with no worries, carefreely flowing with wind of the vibe.”

Like many other musicians, Kamiz is inspired by other artists, and they influence the kind of music he makes: artists like the Weeknd, Wizkid, Drake, Sade, and Michael Jackson. Additionally, he says he “draw[s] inspirations from everything around [him…] My experiences, stories I hear, people I meet, situations I observe also. They all factor into my inspiration and writing process.”

When Kamiz heard the call of music on the wind, beckoning forth, asking him to take its hand and enter the world of melody and harmony, he listened. “Music chose me and I, in turn, chose music.”

And once you start chasing the call of music, it is almost impossible to turn back. “When you are gifted with the rhythm, you find out that you can barely help but write and pour out your feelings in beautiful and sonorous melodies.” Kamiz said, regarding what inspired him to start writing music.

Kamiz feels “elated” starting to write a new song. The act of creating something new brings him great joy. He starts with “drawing out the thematic structure of the tune.” He sets the mood for the song, discovers the melody, and finds the theme to bring together the overall piece.

Conversely, when Kamiz finishes writing a new song, he feels “like I have created a child and I [am] about to share this creative child with the world.” Finishing a song feels like, “sharing a piece of yourself” and brings him a sense of “accomplishment.” When he creates music, Kamiz says “I feel this strong connection and soul bonding when I create music.”

Creating art, whether it be music, illustration, or otherwise, is taking a piece of yourself that you kept hidden away and putting it all on the table: giving it to the world to see and react to what you have made. This practice is extremely important to him. “Aside from religion and family,” Kamiz says, “Music means the world to me […] I believe it is my purpose to create and share my music with the world.”

As Kamiz has worked on his music, he feels he has greatly improved, is proud of his growth in it, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. “I have been writing musical melodies for as long as I can remember, and I do not intend to back down anytime.” He feels most fulfilled whenever he pushes his own limits and creates something extraordinary.

Kamiz is incredibly appreciative of the audience that listens to and enjoys his music. “I’m also always proud of myself when people listen and discover my music,” he says. He talked about what it meant to him to have people engage with his musical content, saying “it means so much being heard and listened to and if they can decipher the lyrics and get the message, that’s perfect to me.”

His music is incredibly catchy. The words and the beat will be stuck in your head for days. His discography is the perfect blend of songs that make you want to get up and dance, free and without abandon, and songs with a chill, lo-fi vibe that you can relax to. His joy is palpable when you listen to it. Each song is an experience of melody, rhythm, and impeccable flow. Every song is better than the last, which is an impressive feat considering how good each song is.

Kamiz is a verified artist on Spotify, the popular music streaming platform, and boasts 134 monthly listeners. Rooky Kamiz can be found at rooky.ca/music. You can stream his music on Spotify, Apple Music, and all other digital music streaming platforms. His EP Worlds Apart was released in 2020.

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