UCCS senior Kimba Kyambalesa, also known as Kaay Freeze, is using his music and business skills to build a label dedicated to a variety of music, focusing on mentorship instead of money-making.
Over the last couple of years, Kyambalesa, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Innovation in business, has switched his focus from making music to building his label. The label, named “All Blessings In Entertainment,” finds up-and-coming artists and provides invaluable mentorship to succeed in the entertainment industry.
Kyambalesa has dreamed of creating his label since he was a child. He said, “Since I was 10 or 11, even though I didn’t know how a label worked, I always used to say, ‘I’ve made my own label’ and I used to tell people, ‘This is my label.’ When I was young, for some reason, I just always thought of myself having a label.”
Kyambalesa is approaching this endeavor with an open mind and a willingness to learn from whomever he can. “I just try to get as much information and just really listen. My dad said, ‘A wise man knows nothing,’ so I try to go into everything [with the mindset that] I don’t know anything. Give me all the information, in different genres too.”
He described his goal of branching into other genres as part of this learning process. “I want to expand my horizons from just primarily hip-hop and R&B, which is what I primarily do, but I definitely want to expand. Back then, I was more focused on the artistry, my own personal stuff. But now it’s focused on finding the next Justin Bieber,” he said.
He expressed that he hopes to help new artists understand the business side of music and provide valuable mentorship for their careers. “Do what you have to do as a business because that’s what an artist really is. You’re an artist, you make art, but you’re also a business.”
Kyambalesa’s label is different from most labels because his focus isn’t on locking artists into contracts but mentoring new artists and setting themselves up for their future careers. “I look at my record label like a university. I don’t want you to be with me forever, I want you to come to learn, and we can learn together, and then I want you to go ahead and do your own thing eventually. I feel like that’s the only way. I feel like that’s how it should be for everything.”
He said, “A lot of labels nowadays just give you money. But really, the true definition, and why I really got into it, was the mentorship. Because a lot of artists say, ‘I’m just a creative, do everything for me.’ But a true label should really guide you and show you, so they don’t sign a contract and end up saying ‘you’re stealing from me.'”
While Kyambalesa’s focus has shifted, his passion for music never changed. As a child, he dreamed of being an artist, and he started writing poetry at a young age. Then, that passion turned into writing raps and creating music.
He said, “A lot of artists just go into it with making money as their goal, but mine started as a real passion for poetry and lyrics. And so I feel like that makes music a little different when someone like has a real passion for music.”
Kyambalesa spends a lot of his free time making music, building connections and working to achieve his dream. He balances being a full-time student while building his label and music career more easily because his degree supports his business.
”You got to take things at your own pace because not everybody has the same story. Not everyone has the journey. So I just take it one step at a time, but it doesn’t hurt that what I’m doing is basically what my major is,” he said.
Students can find Kyambalesa’s music on Instagram @kaayfreeze and on Spotify and Apple Music under Kaay Freeze. His newest record, “You,” will be released in October.
Kyambalesa will also travel to Atlanta to be featured on an upcoming episode of the “Dirty Glove Bastard” podcast in November.