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Review February 2017.indd

When Kevin Irvine was growing up, little did he think at the time that a youngster from rural Scotland could actually become a rapper. ‘As a kid I was totally into music. Eminem came out with his CD Marshall Mathers in 2000, and during that time I had a broken home,’ said Kevin. Eminem’s lyrics about family struggles spoke to Kevin, so he delved deeper into the genre, and soon was penning his own rhymes. ‘The fi rst time I rapped on the street about 30 people were there, and they had never seen a Scottish guy rap before. I didn’t even know if I could call it rap, I was just talking, I didn’t know what to do,’ he laughed. At 17, Kevin went to college in Glasgow to study sound production. By the time he was 19, he cut an EP, Live for the Weekend, and soon a major record label was knocking on his door. Due to circumstances COMMUNITY Kevin Irvine -K9 Kev Beyond beats and rhymes with Oban’s pioneering hip-hop artist beyond his control, that deal did not go through. He became an assistant development worker for the council and a youth volunteer. ‘I stopped writing for ages. But then I met Rory O’B, and he asked me to show him how to rap. I felt like I had a point to prove to myself, and we began to write songs.’ The result was his second EP, Dear Diary, which was released in 2016 by Omnibeat Music Group. ‘I always had a serious side to me, it’s a therapeutic thing,’ he admitted. ‘I needed to write an EP, not only for myself, but to show people that I could still write music, and that I had matured as a person. In hindsight I might say that Dear Diary is too serious but that’s 10 years of built up stuff I had to say.’ Dear Diary features deft rhymes and melodic, catchy hooks with an underground, yet accessible, sound. Collaboration plays an integral part, and artists such as Chad ‘The Lad’, Signal Fires and the Lush Puppies make appearances. ‘The Oban music scene is full of so many amazing talented people. I can’t play an instrument I can sample but I can’t play guitar or sing, so collaboration was a huge part of it.’ Kevin, now 28, is planning to cut another EP this year. ‘My next EP is going to be more upbeat, I know that much,’ he said. ‘I might be a role model to some kids, so I have to watch what I say. I might not have the creative freedom, but sometimes I’m just dying to write something.’ Listen to K9 Kev’s music atsoundcloud. com/k9kev. WEST COAST REVIEW | 13 Photo: Bruce Aitken Photo: Aaron Fortson Photo: Aaron Fortson Photo: Dave Ailing


Review February 2017.indd
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