Conversation: Ki­ran Vee and Grace We­ber on

Milwaukee Magazine - - Culture -

Pro­ducer and mu­si­cian Ki­ran Vee (a.k.a. Q The Sun) and singer-song­writer Grace We­ber are two of the bright­est stars in Mil­wau­kee’s pop mu­sic con­stel­la­tion. Vee has been a sta­ple of the lo­cal scene for the past decade, first with the now-de­funct hip-hop group Fresh Cut Col­lec­tive and more re­cently with the much­buzzed-about New Age Nar­cis­sism. We­ber stud­ied mu­sic in New York City – col­lab­o­rat­ing with the likes of Chance the Rap­per – but re­turned to Mil­wau­kee to found a youth non-profit called the Mu­sic Lab and work on her lat­est al­bum. Are they proof that mu­si­cians can make it big while living in Mil­wau­kee?

GW: When I was in high school, there was this no­tion that you have to get out of Mil­wau­kee to be suc­cess­ful. So, I went to New York. It thick­ened up my skin. If the bar was set at a cer­tain place in Mil­wau­kee, in New York ev­ery­one was on their game and it forced you to get up to its level. But the down­side is that it’s ac­tu­ally hard to cre­ate a com­mu­nity. Did you ever have a desire of go­ing to New York?

KV: I want my work to take me there. I want my pro­duc­tion to con­tend with Phar­rell and Tim­ba­land and Kanye West. I know it’s not there but I’m work­ing towards that and get­ting bet­ter.

GW: The one thing that is a ben­e­fit about cities like L.A., New York and Chicago is that you can be in the stu­dio just chilling and Chance [The Rap­per] will walk in. You get ex­po­sure to that level of artist that you want to be col­lab­o­rat­ing with.

KV: Have you met Jay An­der­son? He’s a sax­o­phon­ist. In his house, he set up a re­hearsal space and he cooks. That fam­ily is some­thing I couldn’t see be­ing with­out. All the other stuff comes out of that. Op­por­tu­ni­ties I never thought would come. The re­la­tion­ships are ev­ery­where.

GW: Yeah, you grow as an artist be­cause you feel like you have a fam­ily that sup­ports you so you can be your­self. You can mess up and you don’t feel the pres­sure that it’s the end. Not ev­ery sin­gle mo­ment is make or break. If you mess up in New York, peo­ple throw you a lot of shade. That doesn’t help in the growth of an artist.

KV: Right. You have to be able to make mis­takes.

GW: If you can be hanging in an apart­ment and peo­ple are cook­ing, re­laxed and happy, you’re prob­a­bly go­ing to make doper mu­sic.

KV: I’m a slow-build per­son al­ways. My par­ents read me "The Tor­toise and the Hare" ev­ery day. That’s Mil­wau­kee.

GW: Mil­wau­kee has this cool op­por­tu­nity be­cause it’s grow­ing. It doesn’t mat­ter what this con­cept of suc­cess is; the only thing that mat­ters is that we are cre­at­ing com­mu­nity and mu­sic. Let’s keep those val­ues in­stilled here. Like we don’t need your val­i­da­tion to be good; we just are.

Ki­ran Vee and Grace We­ber at 88.9 Ra­dio Mil­wau­kee's Stone Creek Stu­dio

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