Kinetics & One Love

June 11, 2010

“On the Come Up” chats with Kinetics & One Love, a production duo that is sure to soar the musical skies.

What was your inspiration for “Airplanes” by B.o.B.?

Kinetics: I wrote that chorus, when I was going through a rough patch and needed something to help me get by. The main sentiment being expressed is one of hope and optimism – making the most of what's been given to you, in hard times. Imagine, you're sitting on the roof of your building and you’re scanning the sky for shooting stars, in desperate need of something to wish on. When shooting stars never show, the best thing you can do is let the airplanes count, too.

What are you working on, currently?

K: The goal, right now, is to write three or four more records in the next year that rival or top the success of “Airplanes.” This was our first attempt at songwriting and by no means is it the peak of our potential. I think Lupe [Fiasco] is dropping an album, soon, and I would be honored to get a hook on that. My producer, One Love, and I are also releasing a new mixtape of our own material, soon, and hoping to emerge as artists at some point down the line.

Where are you from, originally?

K: I was born in Brooklyn (where all the best emcees come from), and grew up in Cold Spring, NY, in the Hudson Valley. As a group, One Love and I started working together in our freshman dorm at Cornell University.

OL: I grew up in the suburbs of D.C., in Maryland.

Who is your musical mentor and why?

K: When it comes to writing lyrics, I've always been largely influenced by emcees like Nas and Common. In recent years, I've also been listening to a lot of Lupe. I just have a lot of respect for writers that are really passionate about a certain issue and determined to get their point across. The beauty is that you could throw on their music and dance to it, or just let it be the soundtrack to whatever you're doing, without really paying attention to the words. Or you could also sit down, pay attention, and take away something valuable from their music.

OL: I look up to current producers and songwriters who have been serious musicians their entire lives, such as Dr. Luke and JR Rotiem; producers such as these have studied a variety of musical styles, before ever breaking into the mainstream pop scene. What sets these producers apart from others is the fact that they have so much other knowledge and experience, under their belt. I hope to use my years of musical experience and training to, one day, be as successful as people like this.

What was your first introduction into the music industry?

K: My senior year at Cornell, one of my boys told me he had a friend interning at Atlantic and wanted to hand off our demo to her. We told him to go ahead, but we were pretty skeptical, like “Yeah yeah, it's not like we haven't heard that one a thousand times.” “Airplanes” was on that demo and it made its way from the intern to an assistant and up the food chain, until two weeks later, we got a call from Gina Tucci inviting us down to the NYC office for a meeting. I guess the moral of the story is never underestimate any connection or dismiss any lead as too unlikely.

OL: I’ve been a lifetime musician; I’ve been playing the piano since the age of 5, drums since the age of 11, and I majored in music at Cornell. Having studied classical, jazz, and all types of music today, I can say that it helps tremendously, when I’m composing and producing pop songs. I believe it’s advantageous to have a widespread musical background because I can incorporate everything that I’ve learned into the music that I make, right now.