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Published on August 30th, 2014 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


Kris Kelli: Warrior Princess

You’re currently gearing up for the release of your debut solo EP, Third World Problem — Conceptually, what does that title represent both to and for you?

Well, I’m a product of the Third World, being born and raised in Kingston Jamaica. My music is a complete representation of where I’m from, which is a mixture of Dancehall and street Pop, which I call “Dutty Pop” [Dirty Pop]. I’m on a mission to make my mark in this industry by “shaking” things up, so I felt it was necessary to title this project “Third World Problem.”

It’s lead offering is entitled “Hustla,” and features Young Scooter & 48 Slim — Tell me about this particular track? And, how it actually came to fruition?

This track came together really well. 48 Slim is my label-mate and Young Scooter is like family to us and Block Entertainment. Each of us added our unique sounds to this track, and shot the video for it a few weeks ago which should be released shortly. This track is also currently on 48 Slim’s mix-tape called “The First 48.”

For it, you teamed up with BlockHouse Entertainment/Bad Boy South — What particular string of events led to your initial linking up with Mr. Russell “Block” Spencer?

Block and I met each other on Twitter about 3 years ago when I was still living in Jamaica, but at that time my family and I were planning on relocating to ATL because of its music scene. We’ve been working together ever since, and now I’m the “First Lady of Blockhouse/Block Entertainment.”

Reflecting, how did you first discover your musical talent?

I’ve been singing all my life and was always encouraged to sing for family members, friends and at small events by my parents. They always saw potential in me, so I’ve been singing from (since) I was about 2 years old.

Who have been your greatest inspirations musically and why?

I grew up listening to what my Dad used to always play on his radio; The Stylistics and The Delfonics. I always loved listening to Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston…Then in my teenage years, I was heavily influenced by Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah, No Doubt and Nelly Furtado. All these artists are extremely talented with unique voices, and I draw influences from all of them.

With that being said, how then would you describe and/or define the style of music that you create and perform?

It’s street/edgy with pop, Dancehall and reggae influences.

What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?

I’m versatile with my sound and delivery. I can be sexy, ‘hood…And I blend a lot of different sounds and styles together, which I think is unique and refreshing at this time in the industry.

Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?

I think all artists have and will continue to encounter problems in this game. Most people don’t see the “behind the scenes” and politics, that we as artists face in the biz every day. But, you gotta keep pushing. I’ve had people not believe in me, try to steal, lie and have many doors shut in my face, but I have a strong support system around me and my fans definitely keep me going.

What do you want people to get from your music?

I want them to be able to relate to my music, but also feel good and hyped when it comes on. It’s “feel good” music.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Doing what I’m doing now and working with the best of the best in the biz…Great writers/producers, and getting support from the major stations in Atlanta. I’m blessed!

If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

It’s hard to choose one! But, I would love to do one with Bob Marley!

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

My dream venue is, of course, Madison Square Garden, and possibly selling it out 😉

One track of yours that you think defines you and why?

My exact sound is in one of my favorite tracks on this EP called “Smooth Criminal.” It’s sexy, edgy, hard and showcases my Jamaican accent.

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention, that you would like to point out at this given time?

Look out for my single with my fellow label-mates Jackie Long and Columbus Short called “Gladiator!” It’s a HOT one!! Working on shooting the music video for it now.

Any “parting” message(s) for our readers?

Big Up all my Warriors and fans!! Thank you guys for all the love and support, and look out for many more HOT singles coming soon!! Boom!!

By: Todd Davis

About the Author

Publisher and CEO of The Hype Magazine. Follow me on Twitter @HypeJustJay

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