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Meet Kevin Toledo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kevin Toledo.

Kevin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Since birth, I was a hip hop enthusiast and as I got older, I dabbled in music myself from production to writing poetry, playing Trumpet in a band during middle school. As I got older, I never thought it was possible to make a career as a musician especially coming from where I come from. The Bronx is a beautiful place, but a terrifying place to live in at the same time. The Bronx represents the concept of a rose being grown on concrete. In order to strive here, you have to acquire a sense of grit and believe in yourself to the point where it can feel delusional sometimes. I’d say it’s a gift and a curse to be born and raised in The Bronx. My city is a definite influence to me as a multi-faceted Hip-hop songwriter and creative. I’ve taken steps to learn the ins and outs as a artist and making things happen for myself. Also, I have a Bachelor degree in Social Work under my belt which has made me gain much self-awareness and a heightened sense of empathy for others. My educational experience is reflected in the lyrics of my poetry and music, and was a choice I made because I believed that was the only way to ‘make it’ as well. I was the first in my immediate family to complete a bachelors degree. Throughout my life I’ve depended on writing to cope and eventually I got the courage to put myself out there as an artist because it just became my calling and how I could express myself in an artistic way.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been difficult, from the environment I grew up in, broken single parent home to lack of positive male role models. I would say I’ve raised myself a lot by educating myself and learning from bad examples. I’ve struggled through systemic racism, institutional racism and through it all writing and music has always been there as my outlet. Even networking hasn’t always been easy. A lot of people still sleep on me, don’t understand what I’m doing, and are judgmental to me just chasing a dream of mine. Sometimes people project their insecurities when they see you doing something they can’t imagine being done. Choosing to be a creative is always a struggle when you have to provide for yourself, your family and examples you want to set along the way too. Managing life’s challenges on top of being a creative is a constant struggle, but there’s beauty in it. Especially when I get the time and space to create freely. Music is reflection and ventilation of all the accumulated thoughts.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
Some background about my music is that it’s always honest and there are many hidden messages behind every song I put out. I take pride in lyricism and making sure there is meaning behind the context. As an independent artist, I’m collaborating with other artists and also sharing resources through my platform. As an independent, I’m marketing myself, creating my own content, and with the music, I’m producing, mixing and mastering my own projects as well. These skills all make my brand unique and sets me apart from what other artists are doing. I take a lot of pride in wearing multiple hats and playing different roles as I continue to learn and master other crafts as well.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the diversity of my city, the fact that I have accessibility to all types of different foods nearby. Amidst all of the negative assumptions about The Bronx and my people in it, there is a lot of unperceived beauty here. I know how to find beauty in the struggle because of where I’m from. I can understand seeing light even in the darkest spaces because of where I am from.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Alexis Rosario, contact@alexisrosario.com, www.instagram.com/arosanyc

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