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In K-Riz We Trust

The Edmonton rapper is making peace with trust issues on his latest single, "I Don't Trust You."

by Daniel McIntosh

There are some issues in relationships that you just can’t see until you’re out of them. K-Riz knows this all too well. His new single, “I Don’t Trust You” is a testament to hindsight. On the track, the Edmonton rapper flows through his ex’s inconsistencies, reminiscing on the perils of a toxic relationship over luxurious jazzy orchestration. 

K-Riz is no stranger to channeling tragedy into his music. His recent Room EP was inspired by a near-fatal car crash in the summer of 2020. On the EP, K-Riz meditates on the finer things in life, or rather what remains when your whole world is the four walls of the eponymous recovery room.

“I Don’t Trust You” comes ahead of K-Riz’s sophomore album, Peace & Love, due out September 24. RANGE caught up with K-Riz to discuss the forthcoming album, sussing out red flags in relationships, and which of his albums is his Tokyo Drift. 

“I Don’t Trust You” is about betrayal and red flags in relationships. What are some red flags you think people don’t pick up on?

I believe people wear masks sometimes to appear as something they are not. I believe a person can only pretend for so long. Sometimes we are too blindly in love to notice when people reveal themselves. Then over time, conflicts come and the person is far from who you fell in love with. I believe it’s important to take the time to know the real person, in turn you have to be vulnerable, but if a person has experienced hurt, it’s harder for them to open up in fear of being hurt again.

You released last year’s Room EP in the wake of a pretty significant car accident. Does your upcoming album expand on this experience?

Unfortunately, this album does not expand on that. Peace & Love was supposed to be released last year but the pandemic made us hold back until we knew when we could get things back to normal. The accident happened and I turned to music and creating for therapy and healing. The Room was born out of that time. I felt like I had not released material in the last few years, so I was anxious to give The Room away. I look at this album as the true next chapter after my debut, Fresh Air. It’s everything that I was feeling and experiencing leading up to The Room. The Room is sort of like the ‘Tokyo Drift’ of my story.

It’s ironic that your first single off an album called Peace & Love is called “I Don’t Trust You.” What do peace and love mean to you?

Peace and love are a personal journey towards peace of mind and self-love. I feel like you have to go through things to grow through them, and that’s where the learning and the growth comes from. ‘I Don’t Trust You’ or not trusting people is a representation of the harder parts of the story. Trusting can be difficult after painful experiences and can cause one to be closed off from people and certain feelings and I felt the need to express it in the moment. Trust to me is a huge component to peace of mind and self-love.

You chose to hold back on releasing Peace & Love during the pandemic. What have you been up to in the meantime?

I’ve really just been spending time recovering, reading more than I used to, and collaborating with artists a bit more. I’ve begun putting down some ideas for the next album. I’m looking forward to seeing where we can take things because the demos are dope.

There are some bossa and jazz elements in “I Don’t Trust You.” Who were your influences while making Peace & Love?

Janet Jackson’s Velvet Rope was an influence. Her honesty and rawness were really on display with that album. Also, I love the darker tones to the music on that record and the fact that it still had grooves. A song like ‘I Don’t Trust You,’ which was produced by J. Deppisch and LordQuest, has a dark but groovy vibe. I also wanted to touch a different part of my roots musically. With my family being from the Caribbean, we embraced some dancehall rhythms, so you can move to it. I was listening to a lot of songs from the 80s and 90s, which definitely influenced the sound. I feel like that was a time when music was really original, so I wanted to see where we could take things musically. From studying artists like David Bowie to groups like The Internet, the mentality was to just always be myself and be fresh.

Edmonton’s music scene doesn’t get enough attention. Anyone you want to put us on to? Who should we be listening to?

One of my favourite artists from Edmonton is Deuce Fantastick. He’s been putting music out there for a minute. I believe he has something coming right away. The city is in good hands with artists like Selassie Drah, Moto, kii saverina, and many more. Edmonton and Calgary are bubbling, I feel. The time is right now and I feel like we’re ready over here. I love what everyone is doing.

Now that things are starting to slowly reopen, can we expect any live events from K-Riz?

I like to be low-key, but definitely with the album on its way, I can’t wait to get out and see people and feel their energy. I’m sure there will be some dates to announce in September.