Oozing flare, irresistible beats and good vibes, platinum-selling artist KYLE is back this year with the release of his brand new, highly anticipated offering, in the form of his fifth project ‘It’s Not So Bad’.

Garnering attention and acclaim for his unique brand of light-hearted pop-rap artistry, the LA-raised powerhouse has started 2022 off with a bang and beginning a new phase in his artistic journey. Previously signed to Atlantic Records, ‘It’s Not So Bad’ is KYLE’s first release as a newly independent artist and showcases him exuding a new sense of personal identity through his music.  


 An impressive 11-track album, ‘It’s Not So Bad’ sees KYLE team up and collaborate with an array of artists, including none other than the legendary Craig David, marking a personal career highlight for KYLE. Giving nothing short of up-tempo, positive energy throughout, the album is all about spreading the life-affirming and optimistic vibes we all need right now. 


With a lot in store for KYLE this year, he is also gearing up for his ‘I Miss U’ tour that marks his biggest run of shows to date, kicking off next month. And with the promise of even more new music to come, we can be sure to be hearing a lot from KYLE this year.  


Already set for an exciting year ahead, with a US tour and more new music on the horizon, Notion sat down with KYLE to chat about what’s to come and his latest new album ‘It’s Not So Bad’.  

You’ve had an incredible start to 2022 already with the release of your brand new album, ‘It’s Not So Bad’. Congratulations, the album is fantastic! 

Yeah, I’m very very excited about it. You lose the taste, or understanding, of what really dropping an album, and then going and hearing it on loudspeakers, is like through the pandemic because nobody hangs out with each other. And that is the most pivotal part to music becoming a classic in your mind or like, you forming memories to it. So, I’m overjoyed with how many memories I’ve been able to make with this album in three days. 

It’s crazy how much people have really missed live music over the pandemic. And I don’t think it was until it was gone, we truly realized how valuable it is in our experience of listening to and enjoying music. 

Yeah! Yeah, we don’t realize how important it is. We got to stand next to each other and feel the energy form another person in order for music to have its highest level of impact.  

 Absolutely! Would you say live music is your favourite way to listen to and experience music? 

Undoubtedly! Without a doubt in a mind, that is my favourite way. That is how music is meant to be heard, at least in my opinion. I mean, different music has different purposes; but this album specifically was made for the intent to evaporate your fear and evaporate your worry and your sadness about how obviously whack the world is at the time. So, it’s meant to be heard on loudspeakers, you enjoying yourself.  

Diving into that, one real overarching theme and message that the album has is just about spreading and radiating love and positivity. Which, like you said, is something that is so needed right now. Was that a conscious thematic and conceptual choice for the album, or did that happen more organically? 

I think all of my music and art in some way is always about overcoming some sort of bad mindset, because I know that bad mindsets are ultimately up to you and you’re in control of your either happiness or sadness. Like you literally have a button for both of those which you can access. So all my art is always about that. So, I think it is organic in this sense; but at the same time because I’m just an empath, for real, I’m always thinking about taking care of people. Taking care of people is always top of my list. So, it is sort of like a choice, a decision that’s made of “okay, right now you’re going to make a bunch of dance songs because people need to dance and they’re hella sad. So get out there and help them forget about that, that’s your mission Kyle. Go for it”. That’s what it feels like when I was making this album.  

For sure! The album has so many dance-able, up-tempo bangers on it that will definitely be spreading good vibes, and be perfect for when the summer weather hits! With that, do you reckon that the pandemic changed your whole creative mindset and creative process? Like you were saying, because of what was going on, wanting to make something to make people feel good and uplift people? 

Yeah, you know, the pandemic definitely changed not only my creative process but me and my life in so many ways; as it did for everybody else too. But the pandemic really changed my creative process because I needed to have a breakthrough myself. I think my music is never really preachy where I’m trying to give somebody a message or do something that I’m not trying to practice myself. And I needed a breakthrough of “okay Kyle, you’re going to get out of this studio with just you and your one homie. You’re going to stop doing that. You’re going to stop making all these sad ass lo-fi songs – cut it out. You, Kyle, you are going learn it’s not so bad. You are going to learn that the world is not so bad and there is a lot of fun to be had. You’re going to lean it first. And through learning that, you’re going to make this album. And that album is going to teach other people that, or help them realize, that it’s not so bad”. So, I think how it changed my creative process is I literally had to get up and leave my house. I left LA and had to fly to Miami because I needed to be around new energy. I needed to go, it’s like a quest damn near, to get out of my little depressed stint of being in my house in the pandemic, looking on Instagram like “does anybody love me”. I needed to stop doing that. And in order to do that, I had to get out of my comfort zone completely. I never make songs with people in the room. Ever. Until this album. I usually do it solo. And then with this project, there’s like thirty people in the room at all times and I’m forcing myself to get uncomfortable so I can learn 

Talking about the whole creative process and people you had in the room, for this album, you’ve had some incredible features and collabs in there. Craig David for one! Incredible! How did that collab with Craig David come about? 

For me personally, that’s one of the bow, cherry on top, to the entire album. Because when I started making it, I wanted to make really lo-fi, slow, singing songs. But then I realized, “no, Kyle, your tempo needs to be faster because that is what you’re giving people. You need to excite them”. So, I wanted to make up-tempo R&B songs which just don’t exist, except for Craig David. So, I started listening to so much Craig David, and we ended up sampling Craig David, and it seemed like at first, he was kind of like a mythical creature that was our north star. And then it became, he’s really my friend now. And that was like “life is crazy for me”. And by the way he is the nicest person of all time. He’s much nicer than me and that’s saying something. He’s also the best in-person singer I’ve ever heard. Getting that feature and getting to shoot that video with him and do all that made me feel like magic is still a real thing because how did this happen! 

Was that a proper full circle moment, where it was like “okay, it’s happened. We’ve got Craig David on the track”.  

I was like “this album is done”. The moment we got that, I was like “mission accomplished, we did the damn thing”. We got Craig David on my favourite song on the whole album. It wasn’t even just the fact we got him on the album, it was that we got him on that song specifically. Life can’t get better than this.  

I was like “this album is done”. The moment we got that, I was like “mission accomplished, we did the damn thing”. We got Craig David on my favourite song on the whole album. It wasn’t even just the fact we got him on the album, it was that we got him on that song specifically. Life can’t get better than this.  

Yeah, I would love to work with, and I really really badly want to make a song with, Pharrell. Before I go, I got to know what that’s like too. I feel like everybody has that experience, or the people who are lucky enough to have worked with Pharrell have that story, and I need that too. I gotta know what that’s like because I feel like Pharrell is such a master of being able to participate in different genres in a really authentic way where it always sounds like him; but it’s a true pop song, or it’s an R&B song, or it’s a turnt ass rap song, or a rock song. Bro can really do it all, and I kind of feel like I can do it all, so I would love to be in the studio with Pharrell and see what happens.  

That would be incredible, I’d love to hear that collab! And you for sure definitely do the same thing where you effortlessly switch between an array of genres – from R&B, to rap, to pop. Is that something that’s quite important in your creative process, and something you enjoy doing; being a bit more non-definable and non-linear in your sound? 

Definitely! I can only make music if I’m learning. Earth is a school, my whole life is a school. I’m trying to learn. When I’m participating in a genre I’ve already done before, or a type of sound or song I’ve already done before, it’s much less fun for me. It’s fifty percent less fun because I’ve already done it. So, I end up participating in a bunch of genres because I’m trying to do something different. Or at least, inspiration wise, let’s just sample all surf-rock songs. Everything. Top to bottom, surf-rock songs. And I will do my Kyle thing on it, and it will probably lean rap and then lean R&B. But for the inspiration, I need to go somewhere different. I got to venture into something else, or else what’s the point. Is the point to just try and make another big song? Or, do you, the artist, want to have fun while you’re doing it? I definitely love participating in every kind of genre. If it’s new, I’m down. Whatever kind of sound you want to go for, I want to attempt doing it too 

That’s so cool, and I think that’s how things stay fresh and original and exciting for you the artist, and the listener. So, for ‘It’s Not So Bad’, what was that unique thing and unique vision you had behind the album and you were wanting to achieve sonically? 

I think at its core, it’s trying to make a perfect love song album. That was the real goal. Dedicating an entire twelve tracks to love, the whole thing. Everything dedicated towards love and relationships I think was my primary goal. And I’ve never done that before so that was exciting. But then also, I was really inspired by the UK in general, but Craig David specifically, and how effortlessly they can do very tasteful R&B, soulful songs that are to a dance track. Cause garage is kind of dance-y, I feel like. Or drum and bass is still like dance to me. But, a lot of UK artists inspired me to try and attempt rapping or singing on beats that even leaned more dance, because this whole album is a dance; because, it’s like there’s still a part of you that’s holding back, you don’t know if you want to do a whole dance album. But I was pushed, kind of closer to house or drum and bass or garage, because of UK artists and that whole sound. I really wanted to do that, there was a newness of this. I was like “okay, I can put a house beat on. I know guys, it sounds weird, but we’re doing house music today”.  

There are definitely some fantastic UK artists within that garage, house, R&B/Dance space like Disclosure and Ella Eyre. So, as well as Craig David, who are some artists who have really inspired you and influenced you creatively; especially over the last couple of years? 

I think most recently, where I’ve been getting a lot of joy from, is the feeling that Pink Pantheress gives me. It’s kind of this feeling that somebody’s hugging me. And I really love that. I think that’s my favourite new artist. And as for other people who have inspired me, the list is so long. I’m inspired by so many people, but I think most recently, Pink Pantheress has been my favourite new artist. 

Talking about new artists, I think that has been one good think that has come out of the pandemic, and we have seen more over recent yearsthe rise of emerging artists with more things going online, people migrating to doing the DIY thing, and the promotion and sharing of music via socials and online platforms.  

Yeah it is, for sure! It’s really great. I think there’s so many DIY platforms and verticals to use to promote your music, that we’re going to start getting artists from left field coming up left and right. Actually, the only reason I knew about Pink Pantheress as early as I did was because I was using TikTok so heavy. Amongst all my other rapper homies, they were like “TikTok is lame”. But, because I was so dedicated on there, I ended up finding Pink Pantheress’ music just from the little videos she was posting on TikTok and I was like “damn, this shit is hard”. But yeah, it’s great! Artists, they just need freedom to do things and they’ll figure it out. Just give them an iPhone and be like, “go become a star”. And if your art is good enough, you will do that.  

Talking about freedom, this is your fifth project and the first as a newly independent artist which is incredibly exciting! So how has that process been, especially the release process, and how have you found it going from being under a major label to being independent? 

You know, the first thing I noticed is more joy. Just outwardly more joy, because I’m way more attached to the process of releasing it. And it’s like, it’s happening right then and there and we’re uploading it, and our hands are all over the entire thing. And there’s no guess or wander as to if everything that could be done for something has been done, because you’re in charge of it. So, I was like “wow, that was way more fun”. And also, you realize how simple making and releasing music really is. This is really simple when you think about it. Like, go make a project that impresses you and you think is good, that you love, and upload that shit and drop it. And that is your job as an artist. And I think you feel that very heavily when you’re an independent artist. When you’re with a label, it is a machine. And they’re great at what they do, but it also comes with these expectations of “this machine is working right now and this music need to be it” and it’s like no, that’s not the case. The real machine is me literally filming myself on TikTok, that’s the machine, and dropping a good song. So, I just had a lot more fun; because when you’re doing it independent, you’re stripping away all these expectations and you’re just making art to make art, like you’re supposed to. I really enjoyed it this time.  

That’s so awesome you had a lot more fun this time around! One other really exciting thing you did for this album was releasing it as an NFT which is really cool! What sparked that decision and your interest in NFTs? 

Well, my manager and one of my best friends, Nolan, is very into the blockchain and always is conversating about that. And we were presented with the opportunity and I thought about it and I was like, “hey, releasing this as an NFT…really the important part of it for me was being able to give the opportunity to people who say “hey, I like you and I love your music”, you know. The same person that would hug me on the street, that person now has an opportunity to benefit from the art in the same fashion that I do. And that’s just so powerful to me. Even thinking about it from a perspective of like my aunt and my uncle or my cousin or my brother or my mom, right; so many times, rappers, especially from my community, are the spearhead financially for their family. They break into new financial things that their family has never touched because the majority of us come from poverty. And, this is 2017, I was dropping iSpy and I’m looking at the numbers and I’m like “oh shit, I’m about to become really famous”. If this technology existed back then, I would heavily encourage my family and friends to invest their money into this album and we would all grow as a community like this, at once. And that’s just really, really, really powerful for me. And I was like, we need to start doing this, all of us. People probably aren’t going to follow right away because that’s how people work, they’re scared; but, if other rappers were to watch what happens with this NFT sale, and implement it in themselves… one, you wouldn’t need any kind of record label because all your stuff would be funded by fans who think you’re cool. And two, when you became financially successful, because you dropped really good art, everybody from your community, and surrounding you, can all become financially successful together. That’s powerful. All I’m doing is really just giving a percentage of the royalties of this album to the public and whoever wants to buy it.  

It seems like that’s definitely a transition that’s been happening for the last several years, even with platforms like Patreon, with people wanting to build a community and share their process and art with a community where they can all grow and benefit together.  

Yeah, I like Patreon too, a lot. I’m active with people on Patreon. I damn near, similar to music and doing different genres, I will f*ck around and do whatever social media thing exists. I will do it all, because I just love people. But with Patreon, it’s really unique and cool because, I started realizing too, there’s this much of your fanbase * holds finger and thumb close together * that is keeping the whole ship afloat. It’s this big. Like, me, Kyle the person, I’m a famous person; if I walk down the street someone’s going to be like “oh it’s Kyle” or whatever. But, the percentage of people who know me, who are actually keeping my career moving is this big; and you know exactly who it is when you’re on Patreon and you have this tiny community of real supporters. I want to get closer with them, because, I’ve touched them in a way in a way and they’ve touched me in a way that we’re genuinely probably there for each other until I call this quits and even after that. And I just wanted to get closer to them because it’s really important to know who that small community is. Cause that community is keeping you alive. It’s not like, you’re at the club and this girl walks over like “oh my gosh, I love your song”. I mean, maybe, that is a person from Patreon… but whoever those people are, your real supporters, get close to them at all costs. Stand right next to them, get as close as you can with them and be proud of it. I’m proud of Patreon, I gave people on Patreon the album a whole ass day in advance and I didn’t even promote it trying to get more people to join the Patreon. Because no, it’s like, you are real supporters and you’ve been here for a really long time. And we’re this close, and I’m trying to get closer. Yeah, I love Patreon 

Well, one way fans can get closer is on your tour, which is kicking off next month. Your biggest run of shows ever which is huge, what can people expect from you for this tour? 

You know, I think, if this album makes them want to dance when they’re listening to it in their car or through their headphones, I hope to bring my most exciting and most intimate performance ever. I need this, personally. I need to go dance and go release. So, there’s three years of pent up needing to feel something with another person that is going to explode on this tour. My inspiration words keep being liberating, connection and enchanting. Those are the feelings I’m giving you this time around. It’s more love, but it’s just going to be really exciting. Turnt up love. It’s like if DJ love pulled up to the festival, that’s what we’re giving people.  

I can’t wait to see everything that’s going to go down on tour! 

Don’t worry, we’ll come to the UK too. It’ll be sick!