While many hip hop artists boast pride about their region’s style of music, Bay area artist and producer, A.M. Kidd, is just as proud as the next person. However, the difference between him and everyone else is that he isn’t just about making “Bay” music. He’s all about making music that is universal to the listeners’ ears but is still personal to him – “ and since he was young, he’s been doing exactly that. And, just like many musical artists, the world of music has always been a very influential, therapeutic, and enjoyable part of his life that has helped him become the artist he is today.
Born on November 8, 1985 in the Philippines, Arnold Joseph Alvarez Morales (a.k.a. A.M. Kidd) was raised in the Bay area in Northern California by his grandmother and relatives. Cited from his official fan website, he started to passionately involve himself in music after he discovered his father’s real identity and not knowing his mother. He used music as a way to channel his frustration and tension he had inside of him. Soon, music became a nurturing part of his life, helping A.M. Kidd to stay away from a troubled life and helping him set a goal.
“[Music] can stir up different types of emotions just by the beat itself or from the very first line the artist says,” stated the 22-year-old. “I wanted to do that. I wanted to be that person behind the beat and the person in front having control of the way the listener feels.”
I want to stand for something and be known for what I’ve brought and shared with the world. To sum it all up, I want to be above the dollar bill.
With that goal being his mindset, he has been making and recording hip hop music since he was 17. Don’t expect A.M. Kidd’s music to sound like mainstream hip hop because he tries not to follow the “format” – “ being a leader, not a follower.
“It’s all about leading and creating your own sound,” said A.M. Kidd. “The sound in the music industry is always changing; it’s about being one step ahead of it, or being the person who starts the next style. This is why I fell in love with music in the first place. It’s being able to create styles and sounds no one in the world has ever heard before.”
And, since February 2005, when he joined Myspace.com, A.M. Kidd has been giving his music audience plenty of music to enjoy – “ helping them tune into who A.M. Kidd is.
He is most known for his hit single, “Bay Wit It,” which he wrote and produced himself. In 2005, that single was first heard on the radio airwaves on the popular Bay area hip hop & R&B station, 106.1 KMEL, and was eventually played on other radio stations in the area. In addition to getting that single airplay time, in 2006, his song, “Stunna Girl,” helped him become one of the top 10 unsigned hip hop artists in the U.S. on Myspace.com.
And, it just gets better.
During 2006 and 2007, his self-produced songs, “And I Know (featuring Viddy),” “Hey Lil’ Lady,” “The Bay Is Back,” and “Just The Way I Want It,” were given radio exposure, too. Then in 2007, the Bay area artist’s anticipated debut album was released in June, which was exciting both for his fans and him. His first full-length album, “The Sweatshop,” was a self-produced album released through EMI/Liferdef/Street Noize and even had one of Tupac’s original producers, DJ King Assassin, helping with the album and being featured on the album’s track, “Shut The Blinds.” It’s an album that gave people a look into A.M. Kidd’s life for the past 2 years, being like a “timeline,” according to the hip hop artist.
“Each song has history behind it,” said the Filipino-American. “So, I look back at that album to remind myself where I was or who I was with, because those 2 years were a blur. It was sort of like a scrapbook that I handed out to the public so people would have an idea of who I am and where I come from.”
There is no mistake who A.M. Kidd is as a musician. His voice is slightly like that of hip hop artist, Fabulous, but sweeter. And, there is no doubt that his musical lyrics and beats are a class of their own, describing his music as being from “outer space, electric, but at the same time, simple.” It’s “simplicity” which has become a trademark of the artist, which he claims helps his “voice stand out more.”
“I don’t like to crowd my songs with so many instruments because it just gives the listener way too much to pay attention to and stresses the ears,” said A.M. Kidd, explaining further as to why he likes to keep his music simple. “I want to strike an emotion and have the beat behind it follow it through.”
And, his music isn’t the only thing that A.M. Kidd is keeping clean-cut and simple.
For some time, the artist has filled his Myspace website with a lot of promotional material, like any artist would do, to allow his fans to spread the word about his music. But since January of this year, he has stated, on his Myspace blog, that he decided to not clutter his page any longer and let his music do the promoting for him. Although it has been tough for A.M. Kidd to deal with both the musical and business side of his career, he isn’t quick to depend solely on a manager to help him out in his career. He’s as independent as they come, saying that he wants to learn and understand everything he can about the business part of being a musician, from networking, to contacting people, to contracts and negotiations – “ otherwise he just won’t do it.
“I’m not one to spam up people’s profiles with messages or comments with “I’m the hottest thing alive, come check out my music and see for yourself,'” said A.M. Kidd. “I let my music speak for itself and, honestly, promotion is all done through word of mouth. People talk – “ whether they hate or love the music, they’ll talk about it.”
Nothing could be further from the truth, with many fans interested in the new appearance of his Myspace page’s transformation.
Yet, at the end of the day, with all the success and buzz A.M. Kidd has created just through the internet, the only thing that matters to him most is being who he wants to be as a musician and making music that makes him happy – “ and, of course, all of the fans and other supporters of his career who are always number one to him.
“I don’t want to be known as just a popular rapper or producer,” said the artist. “I want to stand for something and be known for what I’ve brought and shared with the world. To sum it all up, I want to be above the dollar bill.”
For more information on A.M. Kidd, please visit www.myspace.com/amkidd.
To contact the writer, you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.