Konata Small is a hip-hop artist born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After working with his group Rhema Soul, Konata had a desire to take the opportunity to release some solo work and share more of his voice. Growing up in a single parent home, he was taught at a very early age what it was to take care of his family.
His passion for music was an integral part of his early years. His parents made sure he knew of his Jamaican roots. Growing up in Brooklyn opened the door for him to experience hip hop culture daily. Once he moved to South Florida, where he now resides, it opened him up to a new sound of music, culture and people. His music with Rhema Soul has been heard on SHOWTIME's hit TV series Shameless, VH1, BET, Fuse.
Konata has a new single, "Numbers", to share ahead of his upcoming solo release titled Est. 1997. In "Numbers", Konata describes all the numbers that surrounded him as he grew up in NYC. These numbers are unique to him and describe his personal experiences. He raps about how his father left him and his family at the age of 3 and how his mother worked 2 jobs to provide for them. He also shares the heartbreaking story of being robbed on Christmas eve and having no presents at 6 years old. Yet in despite of all the struggle and heartache early on in Konata's life he found and turned to God. And through God he was able to rise from those circumstances and live a happy and fulfilling life.
Q: Thank you for your time and the opportunity. Konata, after being part of Rhema Soul, why did you decide to record your own solo album?
A. It was always something I aspired for the group. I thought it made us more dynamic like the fugees, who all had there solo careers in addition to the groups. So when the opportunity presented itself I jumped at it, after Butta P released that FIRE "The Coronation EP".
Q: "Numbers," your new solo single, is a very unusual song. For our readers who may not have it yet, what's the song about?
A. Basically the song numbers depicts the idea that Numbers don't lie and that they also tell a story. The numbers referenced in the song are addresses, statuses, times, dates, names.. etc.. All these numbers played a part in my upbringing prior to moving to FL ..where I eventually got introduced to Jesus.. The funny thing is, the song is incomplete.... but it ends perfectly... [3rd verse didn't make it -too long hahah] It allows the listener to creatively walk in my shoes as I look back at my adolescence..
Q: In your new song "Numbers," you did sing about coming from a single parent family. What were some of negatives and positives about growing up in a single parent family?
A. The negatives were that I didn't get taught how to be a husband , Father, or a leader or simpler things like playing sports.. etc by my biological Father.. these are things I would learn from peers and neighborhood and theoretical role models like mr. Winslow from family Matters.. haha...
he positive is my Hero, My Mother, she showed me that no dream is ever too big to go after and there are no excuses for failure 99% of the tiTme. It also conditioned me to grow up quick in my mind. When I was 8 I already felt like an adult in the way that I thought.. [which I guess was a bit of a negative and a positive]
Q: Tell u more about upcoming solo album Est. 1997. Can you explain the meaning of the album title?
A.Est.1997, stands for Established in 1997. My favorite Denim brand will always be LEVI STRAUSS & CO. also known as Levis Jeans. Everything from the signature rivets, to the Arches and red tag on the left pockets are dope. I pretty much only wear Levis Jeans, but the "it factor" that always stood out is the Leather embroidered patch that says since 1853 [Trade Mark 1853]. There's strength and reliability in longevity. It's withstood the test of time. Colossians 2:6-8 Talks about being established in your faith. 1997 was the year my new life started and everything came with it. I was established. It was the Year I finally gave everything to God and in return found myself. It was the year the gift and talent of rapping was developed in my life [before that I had never rapped a day in my life, I was too busy hittin them high notes in.. BOYZ 2 MEN songs.. haha] It was the year the Journey begun. It was my Time stamp!
Q; Who did you work with for this new record?
A. Al Cresso was my main partner [pause] in crime.. haha he's the ill producer and now close friend I was mentoring through his own journey while crafting this music. He's a Phenom. His credits range from work with papa San, Natasha Bettingfield, Maybach music group, Trip lee and the list goes on.. I also got to work with my little brother of sorts Dimitri McDowell featured on "Numbers", known for hits like "Nuthin" by Lecrae "sweet Victory" by trip lee and many other collabs including his most recent written song that was picked up by Chris Brown. And Finally a hidden Gem and new artist by the name of T'sitra on the song " Delirium". She was one of the Leaders that worked with me in the big brother/ inner-city discipleship program [The Rock] I Lead while Serving my church. She is coming with some serious heat in the days ahead, so look out!
Q: What are most excited about this new record?
Just finally being able to get it done for your ears and everyone else's. It felt like it was an assignment or the beginning of one. The most exciting part is seeing who gravitates towards it. I think it highlights My history which has become "His" story. The story of a God influenced and Changed life.
Q: Is the record done yet? When will it be released?
Yes It is.. but stay tuned for the release date.. It will be soon. [gotta keep the listeners on their toes.. you only get one shot to make a first impression .. for the 2nd time.. haha]
Q: What words of hope do you have to our readers who may come from single parent families?
I remember giving my mother a card on Mother's day and Father's day. I believe this encouraged her. So I would say to the kids, please honor your parents as much as you can.And Parents hang in there as you are truly the Heroes in your homes and it WILL NOT go unrecognized by your children.