“I know what I am meant to do – but I also know what comes with it, and it isn’t easy. But it shouldn’t be easy. And I won’t give up. Even though I’m trying to become a successful recording artist, I know others can relate and I want them to have my music to motivate them on the days they feel like giving in.”
Georgia native Ky Rodgers released his debut album Find Yourself via InVogue Records last month. A month after its release, the album received over 400,000 total album streams on Spotify alone.
Find Yourself showcases Rodgers skills as a singer, songwriter and rapper. It blends notes of country and hip hop with elements of alternative rock, creating a truly unique sound.
Rodgers was raised listening to a lot of southern rock and country music, he tells us.
“A lot of my sound, as a musician, is just in my blood from my grandfather, who was a bluegrass player, and my dad, who was a country/rock musician.” he says. “I was obsessed with Stevie Ray Vaughan when I first started playing the guitar, but the first artist I really clinged to was John Mayer. I basically taught myself how to sing by listening to his records, but I still didn’t have my ‘voice’ or ‘sound’.”
However, it was when he started listening to rap artists like Wiz Khalifa that he stopped listening to all other genres of music.
“When I first heard of him, I dropped all other music – for a good year or so,” he says. “My friends & I used to dream of being Wiz. We’d sit around, smoking blunts, and having freestyle sessions. That’s how I became a better writer. I loved how it was more of casual conversation instead of actual songwriting, if you will. But I still hadn’t figured out what my sound was.”
Rodgers struggled with finding his unique voice as musician, theoretically and literally.
“In school, I was really obsessed with the guitar,” he explains. “I actually never had the desire to sing until later on. I just wanted to be known as a guitarist. One day, I was playing guitar, and my mom was like ‘You’re going to play behind somebody big some day’ – and I was like ‘um, no… I’m going to play for myself…’ haha.”
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘you’re going to have to learn how to sing,'” he says. “For years, it scared the hell out of me. I guess it was because music always came natural to me, but singing did not.”
Rodgers then discovered Jelly Roll, a country rapper who soon became one of his favorite artists.
“I know what you’re thinking, haha, and it’s not for everybody – but it was for me,” he says. “I loved how real and raw he was. Completely honest about everything, and I loved how he rapped over trap beats with 808’s, but he sill included a country sound.”
Rodgers collaborated with Luke Chadwick when writing Find Yourself. The two friends brainstormed Rodgers ideal sound together while self-recording the album.
“We spent a couple years recording songs at home, where I would sing a verse and sing the hook, and he would rap a verse,” Rodgers says. “‘Apex’ was actually one of those songs – it was originally a remix to a Wiz song.”
Once Rodgers signed with InVogue, Rodgers continued to collaborate with Chadwick.
“That’s kind of when I realized, damn, that’s the perfect method,” he says. “Luke is a great lyricist, way better rapper than I am. I am great at writing hooks and melodies, and it’s always nice to compliment a great song with a great rap verse. So I talked to Luke about it and he seen my vision, and we began experimenting and wrote ‘With You’ & ‘Another Rapper’ together.”
However, Find Yourself also contains a more personal feature. For “Run,” Rodgers was connected with Glenn Elrod, his Dad’s former band mate.
“That was pretty sweet,” Rodgers says. “I got to learn a lot about my Dad and myself that I never knew, and came out with one of my favorite songs.”
We had a chance to see Ky Rodgers open for Boys of Fall on tour a little over a year ago at The Loving Touch. Rodgers is the definition of humble on stage. His kindness radiates as he speaks with the crowd in between songs.
“I am not trying to be rich, I’m trying to pay my bills,” he says. “I just want to take care of myself, my daughter & my family and music is the only thing I’m good at. I feel like everybody knows who they really are supposed to be deep down, and nobody is being their true self due to how society is set up.”
“I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks,” Rodgers claims. “I know what I am meant to do – but I also know what comes with it, and it isn’t easy. But it shouldn’t be easy. And I won’t give up. Even though I’m trying to become a successful recording artist, I know others can relate and I want them to have my music to motivate them on the days they feel like giving in.”
Looking forward, Rodgers plans on working with Chadwick on another album.
“Other than that, I’m still a one man operation – kind of just making music, praying, and seeing where the fans help take me. I’ve never had a plan, and that’s always been the plan. Faith.”
You can stream Find Yourself on Spotify. Rodgers most recent work, a mashup of Morgan Wallen’s “Whiskey Glasses” & Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Happen Twice” can be listened to below.