In the last year and change, Kirko Bangz has been able to string together a collection of radio records, positioning himself as one to watch in 2013. He had a strong close this year: He appeared on the lead single, “Young & Gettin’ It,” from Meek Mill’s Dreams & Nightmares, and just dropped his own new single, “Keep It Trill,” in late November. But the Warner Bros. signee is eager to show both fans and critics that there’s more to him than smooth, syrupy records for the ladies. Though he has plenty of those too. With his debut album, which he discusses here, dropping in the new year, the 23-year-old is ready to offer a more personal side. Keep it trill. —Adam Fleischer
How’s the reception been to “Keep It Trill”?
Oh, man, the feedback’s been great on that so far. After “Drank in My Cup,” and the buzz we got goin’ now, and the Meek record, that built the momentum back up. And dropping the single on top of that, it’s a great look. So we just seeing where it’s gonna take us.
I’m sure you’ve been in the studio and have a bunch of records. Why’d you go with this one?
That’s what people love me for—that “Drank In My Cup” vibe. It’s that same type of vibe. I got a lot going towards the females. It’s really just the feel of it. I’m creating my own lane, so I was like, Why not just keeping what we got going and what’s working for us? Keep on doing that.
Who produced it?
Sound M.O.B. Same producer that produced my first single ["What Yo Name Iz?"] and “Drank in My Cup.”
Did you expect “Drank in My Cup” to be bigger than “What Yo Name Iz”?
Hell yeah [laughs].
I know that helped put you on the national scale at first, and there was a big remix with Bun, Wale and Big Sean. And then “Drank” came and kept it moving to a bigger level.
We gotta do the same thing with this motherfucker that “Drank in My Cup” did with “What Yo Name Iz.”
Do you have visuals lined up yet?
Of course I’m gonna do a video for “Keep It Trill,” and we gonna do a lot more vlogs and stuff like that.
You mentioned the Meek record earlier. You guys are labelmates. Tell me how that record came about.
Homie just hit me up like, “I got this record I need you on. It’s crazy.” I was like, “I’m down.” He told me it was the lead single off the album and I was like, “I need that look!” He shot me the record and we made it happen.
How was it performing it on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon?
It was dope, man. That was my first time doing some shit like that, so I appreciate it. I talked to everybody from The Roots, but not Jimmy. I’m just waiting on my moment.
Is this single just to feed the fans, or is it off of a mixtape, or the album?
That’s the single off the album. I got a lot of records done for the album already. We shooting towards that.
What can you tell me about the album?
Ah, man, I’ma give people what they always get with Kirko Bangz. I have records like “Keep It Trill,” “Drank in My Cup,” and then also have records like I had on my mixtape like “The Vent,” reflecting on my life. It’s gonna be a lot deeper than people have heard from me in the past. I feel like the album is really just time for me to tell my story and let people know who I really am. So really it’s mixing all those elements in with the H-Town element as well, and seeing where it goes.
I like “Drank in My Cup” and stuff like that, but I really messed with “The Vent” too. I think it showed that you’re maybe a deeper artist than people expected.
Yeah. A lot of my real deep records, real quality records, I’ve been holding ’em for the album. All the time that I had mixtapes, I had one or two big, quality records, and the rest was mixtape stuff. But I’m holding those records, so when the album come, everybody be like, He really is a artist. I just put out radio singles here and there.
You have a timetable on when you’re looking to drop the album?
Me, I don’t really know. I’m just working. But sometime in the top of 2013.
Is there a title yet?
Nah, I ain’t got a title yet.
Are you weighing any options yet?
Really just working on the music, see where the music takes me. Then, after that, come up with a title for it.
Are there any guests on there that you can talk about?
Not yet. I got some things I want to come together with a couple people. But really, I feel like this album is for me to really prove myself. I feel like a lot of people mess with a couple of my records, but I really wanna let people know that I’m an artist and I can do this on my own. And then, later on, I’ll get with everybody else.
It seems like everyone in Houston has embraced you. Has there been that love over the last few months, the last year?
Oh, yeah. I appreciate the love. But there’s some love, some hate.