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Meet Gogo Chilaka of Kute n Kozi in East Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gogo Chilaka.

Gogo, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Kute n Kozi is an electro-hip-pop-disco-funk fusion DJ duo seeking to revolutionize the way we consume music. Led by myself and Taylor Willis, Kute n Kozi focuses on the interpolation of various styles and forms, while shining a spotlight on diverse, up-and-coming artists. We began our journey DJing together in 2019, spinning at gigs hosted by our now-alma mater USC. Kute n Kozi has since played an array of shows across Los Angeles at venues and clubs like the Roxy, Tenants of the Trees, and Madame Siam’s to name a few.

Our mission with everything we do is to inspire others to pursue their own personal truths. Whether it be through music, film, visuals, or whatever, we feel that by expressing ourselves in our most authentic light not only are we liberated, but others are also empowered to do the same. Equipped with an arsenal of music industry knowledge, video production skills, and event curation experience at our disposal, we are currently ideating and working on our next projects to share more of ourselves with the world.

Apart from Kute n Kozi though, I hope to nurture and amplify the voices of talented creatives, including myself. My realm of experience is in the music business, given my marketing and A&R internships across the industry and my educational background. Simply put, I strive to be an artist advocate and use my resources to partner with those who possess a clear and meaningful vision for the future. However, given the current state of affairs in the world, it’s not easy to say with any certainty what the future holds. I view this uncertainty as all the more reason to pursue the projects and the life I want to create though.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road. And still, the road definitely isn’t smooth now. I’ve realized that shouldn’t stop me from moving forward on my path however. The biggest struggle I’ve faced in my time as a DJ, college student, creative, a human… is self-doubt. I remember wanting to be a DJ for the longest time – I mean, I have always loved listening to music and curating it, setting the vibe if you will – but I just never believed I could do it in a professional and cool way. I still struggle to be confident in my identity and my art, but it’s become obvious to me that I lead a better life when I do what I want without feeling bad or insecure about it. I think I have a lot to offer the world just by being myself. As cliche as it sounds, life is just about believing in yourself, believing you deserve what you want, and working towards it. I’m still learning to trust my intuition and block out the noise that creeps into my mind making me think I’m not capable of anything I can conceive but it’s all part of the process. And I trust the process.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
As DJs, our energy and authenticity set us apart. We specialize in providing one-of-a-kind live experiences. Those who have been to one of our sets know what I mean. I think I’m most proud of the community we’ve built around our little brand though; it’s cool to see familiar faces at various gigs and to receive support from the artists within our social scene. When COVID ends, we hope to create and curate more spaces for community-building experiences between us and those who are tapped in with our art. In the meantime, we’re working on augmenting our digital presence on the inters of net.

In my opinion and I suppose by the world’s standards, we are at the infancy of our careers as DJs and artists. So I can say that I’m more excited for the future than I am proud of what we’ve done… But we have accomplished some cool stuff! Opportunities like DJing on tickets with the likes of musicians such as AYONI, Umi, and Kari Faux or booking and playing a music festival with Brent Faiyaz (my king) as the headliner are experiences that I will be forever grateful for, even though we’re just at the beginning of our story.

What were you like growing up?
As I grow older and come of age, I can acknowledge that growing up, I never really was myself. I was a muted version of myself, contorting myself to fit into societal standards of beauty, intelligence, professionalism, etc. As a young person, I was always creative but didn’t know how to express myself in an “appropriate” way so I stifled my feelings and interests. I don’t know, but something switched for me during these trying, quarantined times and I see that I really and truly should just be myself. Thus I’m currently working to honor that little girl inside of me who didn’t know how to express herself and didn’t feel like she had the space to say what she wanted or create what she wanted or be what she wanted.

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