(Published June 19, 2020 for ISSUE II)
Kidz at Play is a creative collective of entrepreneurs, artists, and producers based in Richmond, Virginia, USA. At the moment they have two artists: Smyth Knight and Quincy X who are making a dent in the Hip-Hop scene in Richmond.
While a main focus of theirs is music, they refuse to box themselves in creatively. As a collective, Kidz At Play eventually want to have their foot in every door possible, lending their perspective to all forms of art.
Lara Rudar: Quincy X- congratulations on your new album, Smyth Knight- we can’t wait to listen to yours. Recently, which artists have influenced you the most when creating music?
Quincy X: My inspirations at the moment are drake, Smino, Tyler, The Creator, and J Cole. I try to convey the same style of emotion and freedom in my music like they do.
Smyth Knight: Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and JID. I’ve always had an appreciation for their creativity in lyrism, unique use of imagery, and well roundedness as artists, something I strive to attain.
LR: Do you guys have any mentors or individuals that you look up to who you think have shaped you into who you are today?
QX: Chris Brown and Travis Scott’s work ethic & showmanship really shapes how I carry myself today musically.
SK: I’ve been lucky to have a few local artists that have guided me through the beginning stages of my career in music. Richmond Hip-hop artist Radio B gave me my first performance opportunity in the city and I’ll forever be grateful for that.
LR: As artists with many platforms, what are your thoughts the way that the Black Lives Matter movement has taken over social media?
SK: I’ve heard people saying this has become the largest civil rights movement in history with all 50 states in the US showing support along with many countries from all around the world. That has to be the most empowering statement for me in the last few weeks. Going from all of Kidz At Play marching through our city’s streets, to then go on social media and seeing the solidarity of people from all around the world puts this movement in perspective. It shows that what we are fighting for truly matters and we are making a difference.
QX: I thinks it’s been impactful on a level we haven’t seen before. It’s preventing people from running away from the problem, and it has never been this easy to be on the right side of a basic human right. The movement has garnered overwhelming support from people all over the world, who have joined in the endeavor for equality and fairness.
LR: What are some ways in which creatives can help fight social and racial injustice? Do you think that everyone has an obligation to speak out on these issues?
“As creatives, I believe our message is the most important aspect of our art.”
SK: What artists are trying to communicate with their pieces is now more essential than ever. I wholeheartedly believe that creatives have a responsibility to speak up from their perspectives with their art. We hold the keys to universal communication and it’s up to us to try to unite people by providing understanding. Not everyone is obligated to march in the streets, but it should be a human obligation to find your role of support and magnify it.
LR: And finally, where do you all see yourselves in five years?
QX: In five years, we want to be established as a record label with multiple studio locations in different cities like New York City and Los Angeles. We are very interested is using our platform to find younger artists and bringing them up to their full potential. We also take great passion in the quality of production on all our content that could slowly transition to directing/producing short films and movies in the future.
Connect with Kidz at Play:
Follow Quincy X
Follow Smyth Knight: