by People’s Office of Oakland Information Minister JR Valrey
If you’ve been anywhere in the local Oakland or San Francisco music scene since the lockdowns ended, then you’ve probably come across Keldamuzik’s name on a flyer at least once or twice, because as they had l t used to say that James Brown was the man, Keldamuzik is the hardest-working woman in entertainment in the Bay Area.
She is a fashion designer with her own line of berets. She is a model. She is an actress. It hosts and organizes fashion shows that include local designers and models. She is the COO of a well-known record label. She organizes her own tours, she is a Hip Hop artist and more. Keldamuzik is a crown jewel of the Bay Area music scene, so read her in her own words.
JR Valrey: You recently visited the European country of Switzerland, what brought you there of all, and how was it? Keldamuzik: Switzerland has great opportunities for Hip Hop artists, and I wanted to go to a place where a lot of American independent artists don’t normally go to Europe and start my own movement there. Zurich is where all the big gigs are – recently Kendrick Lamar was there, Kehlani, Pusha-T, Lizzo – I also had a few business meetings to discuss the launch of my berets called Tamz. By meeting and greeting different fashion brands, artists, promoters and places, I was really able to build a foundation for myself there.
JR Valrey: How did you get accepted as a black American musician in Switzerland?
Keldamuzik: In some venues I was very well accepted, but in others they strictly play Blues and Jazz, because Zurich is a very conservative city. At Club Hard One where I appeared, there were only Hip Hop artists, lol the funny thing is that nobody was black, I was the only black artist. It shows you how hip hop has grown in so many areas. Everyone was down with the movement and the support.
JR Valrey: What did you do regarding the recording?
Keldamuzik: Right now I’m working on a few tracks with my big brother Kafani. We recently released the song and video “Mind Sex”; now we’re going to release an EP before he leaves.
I will also be releasing a compilation at the end of November entitled “The Diva Network”. The album consists of all the collaborations I’ve had with some of the most pop artists in Hip Hop such as Hylan Starr, Eddi Projex, Nova Boy, Kirk Brown, Netta Brielle, Numskull, Dem Hoodstarz and a few others. You will all love it!
JR Valrey: You have done a lot of fashion shows. Can you tell us about your line of berets? Did you promote it in Switzerland?
Keldamuzik: Yes, I’ve been doing fashion shows for about a year now – definitely a new industry for me especially with my new line of berets, Tamz. It’s funny because I’ve never seen myself hosting fashion shows or even working backstage, casting models, designers and such, but it all came so naturally to me when I started doing it; and I love doing it.
I promoted Tamz in Switzerland and was able to meet a few distributors that I am looking to partner with to bring Tamz to an international market.
JR Valrey: What inspired you to get into berets first in the fashion industry?
Keldamuzik: Honestly, no one has branded berets before, especially in the Hip Hop community and the black community; and I mean that from a fashion point of view. We’ve never had anything like it before, especially with different colors.
At first I was selling this to women only because of all the bright colors we have, but then men started gravitating towards it and buying the blacks and browns. So I’m like OK, this is for EVERYONE!
JR Valrey: Can you talk about your promotion to COO to run rapper Kafani’s label?
Keldamuzik: Yeah! So that’s a story I’ve always wanted to share about my brother. I’ve known him for years, when he was on the rise. I remember coming to him to ask him to interview him when “Fasst” came out. I was like fuck this is the next Bay Area star here.
Fast forward – do it “fast forward” lol – anyway, when he was sitting down he was listening to music at the bandstand they have, and he noticed that I was the only artist in the Bay Area whose music was placed in prisons. From there, when he got out, he contacted me and the rest is history.
This next tour will be called Diva International Tour, because “Diva” is the basis of my brand, so everything I do is related to Diva.
Kafani is a very savvy businessman, and he showed me the Hip Hop game and put me on things that money can’t buy in this industry. I look forward to running his label while he’s gone and being able to give other artists the opportunities they deserve and give them the opportunity to be distributed by Ice King/Empire.
JR Valrey: So as a rapper, fashion designer and musical director, what is your priority work? Why?
Keldamuzik: ALL, lol! I take time for every campaign or project I do; for example, I recently did a sizzle reel with comedian Mario Hodge, we did a trailer for his new series called “The Hodges”. I made sure to prioritize this in my schedule where there were no other conflicts, and everything went amazingly and perfectly.
Before that, I was in a play called “How Black Mothers Say I Love You” directed by Tanika Baptiste. I committed to it for a month and a half. It was hard work and my first time in a play, but I was so glad I did it and had this experience under my belt.
Before that, Kafani and I recorded “Mind Sex” and shot the video. We made it a priority for both of us and we were able to eliminate it in a timely manner. It’s so funny because when I was hosting Diva Talk Tonite on KOFY TV I had people telling me that I should put music and movies aside and just work on the talk show, but I’m like Nope ! I can do everything. Anyone can do anything as long as you know what you’re doing and how to meet deadlines and such.
JR Valrey: Where do you plan to travel next outside of Switzerland?
Keldamuzik: Then, I plan to perform again in Tokyo as well as in the Philippines. My team and I are working on it now, and I hope to have dates lined up early next year. This tour will be called Diva International Tour, because Diva is the base of my brand, so everything I do is related to Diva.
Other places I want to play are Hong Kong, Singapore, Nigeria and India. Really good markets for Hip Hop and with the women who are trending in the game right now, there are even better opportunities. JR Valrey: Where can people listen to and buy your music? How can people follow you online?
Keldamuzik: Yes, they can visit my world on Keldamuzik.com, all my social networks and access to music are there. But just in case, my social media is @Keldamuzik on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
JR Valrey, journalist, author, filmmaker and founder of New World Black Mediadirects the Oakland office of SF Bay View and is the founder of his latest project, the Ministry of Information Podcast. He can be reached at email@example.com and on instagram.